Feeds

IBM raises standards bar, bitchslaps Microsoft

Open sesame

Boost IT visibility and business value

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." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.