01 March 2008

Microsoft's New Meme: "Marketplace Relevance"

Well, you can probably guess what Microsoft's Jason Matusow writes in his post about the Geneva BRM from the headline:

The Open XML Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) Was An Unqualified Success

That, of course, was to be expected. But what interests me is a new Microsoft meme that seems to hint at how they will try to play this going forward:

ISO/IEC standards are not only technically sound, but they should also be relevant to the marketplace.

* DIS 29500, as improved through the rigorous review of the past year and the decisions made by delegations during the BRM, is a specification that meets both bars of technical quality and marketplace relevance.
* Independent implementations of the specification are already available on most major operating systems platforms and in hundreds of applications. The statement that Open XML is about a single vendor is specious and empirically false.
* Open XML has brought more attention to, and interest in, international standardization than any specification in the history of the ICT industry. The reason for this is simple - greater openness in all document formats (not just Open XML) is a good thing for everyone. There is general recognition that there will be broad adoption of this format around the world. Open XML delivers on that promise and is part of the rich ecosystem of open document formats that are driving this issue forward.
* At the end of the day, customers should be able to choose the format(s) that best meet their needs and should not be told which technology to use. Open XML, as improved through the hard work of national bodies over the past year, is an attractive alternative for them.

This seems to be preparing the ground for an eventual rejection of OOXML. The line would be well, being an official ISO standard isn't *so* important: what matters is "marketplace relevance". And we all know what that means: just keep that status quo rolling...

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