Feeds

ISO rejects Office Open XML appeal (redux)

Microsoft wins the day

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) has rejected appeals by four countries to reject Microsoft's Office Open XML formats as an international standard. No further appeals can be made against the decision by two technical boards, so ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology - Office Open XML formats can wend its way to publication in coming weeks.

In a press release yesterday, the ISO said appeals by Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela had failed to muster the support of two thirds of the members of its technical boards.

Acknowledging the debate over the ratification of Office Open XML, the standards body noted: "Experiences from the ISO/IEC 29500 process will also provide important input to ISO and IEC and their respective national bodies and national committees in their efforts to continually improve standards development policies and procedures." This will be a great consolation for the losing side.

The ISO's decision comes as no surprise. A month ago, a leaked document, recommending that the appeals from national standard bodies from South Africa, Brazil, India and Venezuela "should not be processed further", tipped up on Groklaw (PDF).

Microsoft is delighted that OOXML is a standard at last - it's been through a lot of debates in a lot of countries over the last year. But it is not crowing in public. So let's turn to Jerry Fishenden, Microsoft UK's lead technology advisor, who has the party line down pat on his personal blog. "Users now have what they have long asked for: independent ownership and maintenance of these important document" formats," he writes.

Critics of OOXML have two main objections against the standard. First, Microsoft does not support Open Document Files (ODF), a rival ISO file format standard used in OpenOffice, among others. MS-Office 2007, for instance, uses OOXML formats but lacks native ODF support. (In the toing and froing over the OOXML standard, Microsoft said in May that it will build ODF support into SP2 of Office 2007, due out sometime next year.) Second, many in the anti-camp are against OOXML - because they are against Microsoft.

Groklaw's Pamela Jones last month denounced ISO's OOXML deliberations as a farce. We find it hard to work up a sweat, for file format squabbling be one of the worst spectator sports known to Man. But considering the efforts made by both sides, it must be a very important game, mustn't it? ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?