updated 04:40 pm EDT, Tue April 1, 2008
microsoft wins OOXML vote
Microsoft's Office Open XML open format for electronic documents has been voted in as a global industry standard by the ISO and IEC, the software company said on Tuesday. The decision, to be officially announced on Wednesday, has been over 14 months in the making. Last September, the standardization was rejected as the format did not receive the required two-thirds of votes from participating national body members of the ISO, but a second ballot that closed on Saturday netted a 75 percent majority in favor.
The argument against certification centers around the existence of the ISO-approved Open Document Format (ODF), with critics saying more than one standard is redundant. Also, the existing ODF standard is considered more universal and is supported by open productivity suites such as OpenOffice.
With the international ratification of OOXML, Microsoft is believed to have an easier time winning government contracts and having developers create new software. Open XML formats allow reporting of information from other applications and systems without having to translate them first. Open XML now joins HTML, PDF and ODF as recognized open document format standards.