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[Ars] OOXML out of MS's Hands

post #1 of 2
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A couple of weeks ago, ISO members voted to make Microsoft's Office Open XML format an official standard. The vote was not without its share of controversy, but it's a done deal and now the world will get to see how Microsoft handles having the file format for its flagship office suite no longer under its exclusive command. ISO has now taken official control of the format and has put it under the aegis of the same Joint Technical Committee responsible for the OpenDocument Format.

ISO votes against fast tracking Microsoft's Office Open XML
Microsoft to create Microsoft Word plug-in to output in DAISY XML
Over the next six months, an ad hoc working group will draw up a plan on how to best maintain the OOXML format. A second working group will continue to stay on top of the OpenDocument Format used by OpenOffice.org and a number of other applications, while a third will begin work on OOXML-ODF interoperability. [...]

With the rancor of the standardization fight now in the rearview mirror, observers will be watching not only the ISO, but also Microsoft. The software giant is still the 800 pound gorilla behind the OOXML format. As we've pointed out before, OOXML was bound to be a de facto standard due to Office's domination of its market. But Microsoft is no longer the sole arbiter of how OOXML develops, and the company may well find itself in the position of making ISO-mandated changes to Microsoft Office as a result of the ISO's deliberations.

ISO governance of the OOXML format may also serve as something of a litmus test for Microsoft's newfound explicit commitment to interoperability and open standards. The company has pledged to "enhance support for industry standards" and promises an "open and level playing field" for developers. Critics of both Microsoft and OOXML will no doubt remind the company of the pledge should the ISO decide to move the format in a direction not to the software giant's liking
Via Ars Technica
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post #2 of 2
Well at least they're going to work on making Microsoft's semi-open format a fully-open format, but I really don't see why they let it become a standard in the first place. Maybe there plan was to get partial control over the formats produced by Microsoft Office...
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