04 September 2007

Microsoft Spins Negative OOXML Result

Classic Microsoft press release here on the OOXML decision under the upbeat heading "Strong Global Support for Open XML as It Enters Final Phase of ISO Standards Process":

Today the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released the results of the preliminary ballot to participating National Body members for the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (Ecma 376 Office Open XML file formats) ratification process. The results show that 51 ISO members, representing 74 percent of all qualified votes, stated their support for ratification of Open XML. Along with their votes, the National Bodies also provided invaluable technical comments designed to improve the specification. Many of the remaining ISO members stated that they will support Open XML after their comments are addressed during the final phase of the process, which is expected to close in March 2008.

Sounds almost like a "yes" - but note: no mention of the crucial "P" votes, and even the 74 percent is insufficient according to ISO rules:

Although no date has been formally set, the final tally is likely to take place in March 2008. ISO/IEC requires that at least 75 percent of all "yes" or "no" votes (qualified votes) and at least two-thirds of "P" members that vote "yes" or "no" support ratification of a format in the Fast Track process.

So we'll take that as a "no", then?

More analysis once we get all the details of how people voted, and how many comments there are, which together will show just how much of a "non" it was. One thing is certain: now begins the real work to make sure that the vote in March is fair and not bought.

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