Feeds

IBM raises standards bar, bitchslaps Microsoft

Open sesame

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Big Blue has issued a thinly-veiled threat to the international standards body ISO following its approval of Microsoft’s contentious Office Open XML document format.

IBM yesterday released a new set of open standards principles in which it warned the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and other standards groups it would back out of any process it considered lacks “quality and openness”.

“IBM's new standards policy promotes simplified and consistent intellectual property practices, and emphasises that all stakeholders, including the open source community and those in growth markets, should have equal footing as they participate in the standards process,” said the company.

The policy was garnered from online “wiki” discussions over a six-week period among 70 well-known contributors and experts on the international standards process.

It followed the ISO’s controversial approval of Microsoft’s OOXML document format as an international standard in April this year. Since then the body has also rejected appeals from national standards groups that had issued formal complaints against what some lambasted as a “farcical” voting process.

Tech giant IBM has considerable muscle among standards voters. Its influence almost matches Microsoft’s in terms of how much sway it can have on individual bodies responsible for determining what IT formats should be adopted as a standard.

Despite that, proprietary software beast MS (eventually) won the day on OOXML, which many had grumbled lacked the interoperability needed to cosy up to the international standards bosom. IBM uses the open source spec OpenDocumentFormat (ODF), which was ratified as an international standard by the ISO last year.

“Advance governance rules within standards bodies that ensure technology decisions, votes, and dispute resolutions are made fairly by independent participants, protected from undue influence,” said IBM in a clear slight against Redmond.

An invitation-only event at Yale University will take place in November where influential figures will meet to discuss recommendations for improving the standards-setting process, writes Andy Updegrove on his blog.

"While IBM's standards activities are formidible, IBM still controls only one vote within any single standards organisation," he said. "As a result, it will be significant to see whether it is successful in inspiring other companies (and particularly those that were its allies in the ODF-OOXML competition, such as Google and Oracle) to make statements of active support for these same principles." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.