Feeds

Official: OOXML approved as international standard

Microsoft slips into robe, smokes fat cigar

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The ISO/IEC confirmed this morning that Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) has been approved as an international standard, leaving the Open Document Format (ODF) lobby raging about alleged voting irregularities.

The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) finally posted a press release today officially confirming what was already widely known, that Microsoft bagged 75 per cent of the votes, enough to see its Office 2007 file format given the thumbs-up.

The decision follows February's ballot resolution meeting in Geneva, where delegates from 87 national bodies were given the opportunity to review comments and change their stance after voting to reject OOXML last autumn. It will come as a massive blow to advocates of ISO-approved ODF.

Many critics of OOXML have argued against the specification because Microsoft has failed to build in native support for ODF files, which are used by the likes of IBM, Sun Microsystems and others, into its latest Office suite. Others, meanwhile, have complained that approving OOXML as a standard would see Redmond tighten its monopolistic stranglehold on the software industry.

The ISO, which delayed its announcement by a day – presumably to review complaints over alleged voting misdeeds – said: “The issues addressed and revised have resulted in sufficient national bodies withdrawing their earlier disapproval votes, or transforming them into positive votes, so that the criteria for approval of the document as an International Standard have now been met.

“Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication.”

Now that Microsoft has secured victory with the format, the firm will have an equal footing with its rivals, and will doubtless be gunning for OOXML to take supremacy on the global stage as the file format of choice among the biz community.

Yesterday, when documents first appeared on the internet that revealed the ISO’s result, Microsoft execs felt confident enough to put out a statement.

The company's interoperability and standards general manager Tom Robertson said: “This outcome is a clear win for the customers, technology providers and governments that want to choose the format that best meets their needs and have a voice in the evolution of this widely adopted standard.”

However, the whole process to fast-track OOXML through the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has been marred by accusations of voting irregularities which are still loudly being voiced in some quarters.

National standard bodies in Norway and elsewhere could yet try and crash the party by mounting formal appeals in an attempt to reverse the ISO's approval of OOXML. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.