EOOXML Enters Into ISO Fast Track Process

by M. David Peterson

Microsoft guns Open XML onto ISO fast track

March 12, 2007 (Computerworld) -- The International Standards Organization (ISO) agreed Saturday to put Open XML, the document format created and championed by Microsoft Corp., on a fast-track approval process that could see Open XML ratified as an international standard by August.

That's despite lingering opposition to Open XML by several key voting countries, including some of whom whose governments are moving forward to adopt the alternative Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) format, which the ISO approved as a standard last year.

Hmmm... Interesting... A bit further down we discover,

Rajchel wrote that she decided to move Open XML forward after consulting with staff at the International Technology Task Force. She did not mention that the 6,000-page proposal, submitted by another standards body, Ecma International, had garnered comments and criticism from 20 out of the 30 countries sitting on the JTC-1 committee.

Hmmm... Interesting... A bit further down we discover,


2007-03-13 10:30:53
I'll go first

I do not agree that it needs to get approved, nor even that it should get approved.  Instead, ECMA and Microsoft should sit down with OASIS and help to improve the already-approved standard for everyone's benefit.  That is the ideal and best resolution of the whole affair.
M. David Peterson
2007-03-14 00:31:43

In a perfect world, you're right: This would be the best solution. Maybe.

I'm not convinced that attempting to "get along" or "play nicely" with potential competitors is always the best strategy. USB 2.0, Firewire: USB 2.0 came about because it had to to be able to compete. My point is simple: When competition exists, improvements are made. When there is not, while improvements are still made, it happens at a *MUCH* slower pace, mainly due to the fact that with competition you have two driving forces: customer demand (which you have regardless) and a competitive marketplace, the first being fed at an exponential rate by the second.