ISO votes to reject Microsoft's OOXML as standard

Microsoft Corp. has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked straight to the status of an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization. The proposal must now be revised to take into account the negative comments made during the voting process. Microsoft expects that a second vote early next year will result in approval, it said Tuesday.

A proposal must pass two voting hurdles in order to be approved as an ISO standard: it must win the support of two-thirds of voting national standards bodies that participated in work on the proposal, known as P-members, and also of three-quarters of all voting members. OOXML failed on both counts, according to figures provided by Microsoft, and by other sources with knowledge of the voting process. ISO has not yet officially announced the results.

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News source: InfoWorld

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24 Comments

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Microsoft doesn't have a single valid argument for why anyone should use OOXML over ODF. It is not a better standard, it's another one of Microsoft's self-serving knockoffs that further entrenches Microsoft products and makes things more difficult for both users and developers. Microsoft would not have even developed OOXML had it not been for government agencies complaining about proprietary formats, Microsoft would be much happier continuing to push its completely closed Office formats and terrorizing the world with its monopoly.

Does it need a valid reason OVER odf? They both are open standards, so simply having a good reason to use either is quite good enough.
Anyway, I'm glad Microsoft went with OOXML, even if it was forced. The files are smaller.

billyea said,
Does it need a valid reason OVER odf? They both are open standards, so simply having a good reason to use either is quite good enough.
Anyway, I'm glad Microsoft went with OOXML, even if it was forced. The files are smaller.

Yeah, its nice to be able to email a buddy a powerpoint which is 1/2 the size

OOXML got spreadhets, and ODF doesn ? if I'm not mistaking things here.... seems like a fairly good reason to me.

as for why, why not, why should we only had ODF? because it's developed by the mighty Open Source worlds which allways does things better, faster, smaller and more effective.. /sarcasm

HawkMan said,
OOXML got spreadhets, and ODF doesn ? if I'm not mistaking things here.... seems like a fairly good reason to me.

as for why, why not, why should we only had ODF? because it's developed by the mighty Open Source worlds which allways does things better, faster, smaller and more effective.. /sarcasm


You seriously need to lurk more.

HawkMan said,
OOXML got spreadhets, and ODF doesn ? if I'm not mistaking things here.... seems like a fairly good reason to me.

as for why, why not, why should we only had ODF? because it's developed by the mighty Open Source worlds which allways does things better, faster, smaller and more effective.. /sarcasm

Interesting, what do you call this:

There you go, OpenDocument Spreadsheet.

How about instead of ranting you actually spend some time researching before making an idiot of yourself.

kaiwai said,

Interesting, what do you call this:

There you go, OpenDocument Spreadsheet.

How about instead of ranting you actually spend some time researching before making an idiot of yourself.

Nice namecalling there smart guy, I allready mentioned in my post I wasn't sure about this. but I guess that would require thought beyond wanting to just go namecalling huh ?

Croquant said,
It means that ISO members have their own agenda and aren't mere pawns of Microsoft.

It means that the standard wasn't fast-tracked, stop interpolating :suspicious:

Frankly, I think the ISO label is just something that looks really good for PR ("see, we got an open standard!") but not something that MS needs. Their Office formats usually end up being de facto.

OOXML will become Offices default file format iirc. I think that's probably why MS wants to fash track it, and not go the normal, slower route.

I think the ODF people are kind of shooting themselves in the foor with this.
for one I though the Open Soruce people advocated and wanted competition.. guess not when they got the "upper hand"... though.. that may be themselves deceiving themselves.

OOXML will likely be the dominatiing standard wether it is an ISO or not... the question then of course is... since it will be the dominating standard, wouldn't you rather have it be an open and known ISO standard so that the other office products out there COULD support it, without relying on hacks and stuff. sure it's open anyway for now, but without ISO you never know what will happen in the future...

Ummm... ISO is an Open Standards group. Not Open Source. In fact, this is a file format, not code to be open/proprietary at all.

Open Source apps, and Proprietary Code apps should both be equally able to support Open Standards for file format. Unless there are patent or other issues that would preclude a candidate from being accepted as a "standard".

Hopefully, with the "commented no" votes, the reasons can be worked on.

markjensen said,
Ummm... ISO is an Open Standards group. Not Open Source. In fact, this is a file format, not code to be open/proprietary at all.

Open Source apps, and Proprietary Code apps should both be equally able to support Open Standards for file format. Unless there are patent or other issues that would preclude a candidate from being accepted as a "standard".

Hopefully, with the "commented no" votes, the reasons can be worked on.

yeah, that wasn't entirely my point though, my point is that Open source groups have been fighting so hard for OOXML to not be accepted as a standard at all, somethign wich will just return and bite them back.

From what I can tell, the "Open Source" guys have raised points regarding the patent rights and license compatibility.
http://www.noooxml.org/patents

There are doubts that apps written that can read/write Microsoft's OOXML format may run afoul of free distribution under licenses such as the GPL. If so, then surely you agree that a "document standard" should be able to be used equally by all, and not cripple efforts by some competitors to implement. After all, you mentioned competition in your first post, and you would agree that the field should be level in order to have fair competition.

Microsoft is currently raising the "patent liability" specter in regards to Linux (most noteably, Red hat, as their "Get the Facts" campaign has been re-vamped). If they can get OOXML accepted and have it also include a bit of uncertainty regarding legality for use in Linux or other competitors (even closed-source stuff, like Word Perfect, it doesn't have to be "Open Source"), then Microsoft gets another item to create some Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

A standard should be very clearly written for equally unrestricted use by all, or it isn't a very good one.

This will become an ISO in the end, that's the way I see it. A few licensing/legal bits are what everyone is talking about. Hell, where's the news about the French saying ODF and OOXML should become one? I'm surprised that's not up as news.

markjensen said,
From what I can tell, the "Open Source" guys have raised points regarding the patent rights and license compatibility.
http://www.noooxml.org/patents

There are doubts that apps written that can read/write Microsoft's OOXML format may run afoul of free distribution under licenses such as the GPL. If so, then surely you agree that a "document standard" should be able to be used equally by all, and not cripple efforts by some competitors to implement. After all, you mentioned competition in your first post, and you would agree that the field should be level in order to have fair competition.

Microsoft is currently raising the "patent liability" specter in regards to Linux (most noteably, Red hat, as their "Get the Facts" campaign has been re-vamped). If they can get OOXML accepted and have it also include a bit of uncertainty regarding legality for use in Linux or other competitors (even closed-source stuff, like Word Perfect, it doesn't have to be "Open Source"), then Microsoft gets another item to create some Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

A standard should be very clearly written for equally unrestricted use by all, or it isn't a very good one.

From what I gather is the real point here is that OOXML is more pwoerful in the way it allows apps to integrate fucntions into the documents, fucntions that require code that goes beyond the document itself. and currently only MS has these functions built into their office apps.

BUT I also don't see that since the OOXML standard is there other office packaged can't code their own versions of these, they just can't use the un-release MS code, but have to do it thmselves.

I mean the whole gripe is that MS has patented ufucntiosn used by the document format, but lies ousite the document itself.

HawkMan said,

yeah, that wasn't entirely my point though, my point is that Open source groups have been fighting so hard for OOXML to not be accepted as a standard at all, somethign wich will just return and bite them back.

Actually, if you have a look at those who are fighting it, they aren't opensource companies; most of them are actually closed sourced companies who want a level playing field so that they can compete with Microsoft based on superior product rather than whether or not they have decipher a proprietary file format well.

Who is the fool? MS? really?
I can understand why MS push his own "product" and maybe why other companies are against this, but what's the sense of any standard if only economic importance from one company (or against one company) are in the foreground?

A standard must be decided and a companies must push their own product. If Microsoft is the only one the push it's own, well so much the better for them. Of course Microsoft will benefit from a positic decision from the ISO.

Altough, keep in mind that wich ever company wins, customers are the one that will benefit the most.

Pip'

A bit more information I have gathered from other news reports:
http://news.com.com/British+standards+body..._3-6205797.html

In the fast-track process to approve OOXML as an ISO standard, some sources have said, the only vote that would prevent a specification from being automatically recommended for ISO certification would be a "no, with comments."
so an abstain or a plain "no" would not have prevented this from becoming a standard. The real meat of this item is what comments were made on issues that prevented OOSML from becoming an ISO standard?

That source also pointed out that

Microsoft has admitted attempting to influence its partners to join national standards bodies around the globe with the intention of pushing the OOXML specification through the ISO fast-track process. This has drawn accusations from the Free Software Foundation that Microsoft has tried to "stuff the ballot boxes."
so, even with a push to get Microsoft people freshly into voting organizations, this didn't go through.

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/14311/53/
This link holds a breakdown of votes by country

Among other nations, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Japan and New Zealand have reportedly voted against the proposal, while Germany, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Portugal, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US have voted in favour. The result is expected to be announced in the next day or two.