Microsoft Loses ISO Vote on OOXML Format

Microsoft has been promoting their OOXML document format as an ISO standard, however in a recent ISO/IEC technical committee vote, the format was denied acceptance as an ISO standard, according to Redmondmag on Tuesday.

Microsoftis OOXML document format, to be used in Office 2008 for Macs and Office 2007 for PCs is similar to the Open Document Format (ODF), but considered more proprietary. It has also faced technical issues from the standards committee as Microsoft has rushed for acceptance.

Microsoft needed 66 percent of the members to approve, however, only 53 percent of the members voted to pass. Due to to the complexities of the two vote process and different kinds of members voting, Microsoft was able to put a positive spin on the results which has confused some reporting on the event.

In fact, much more support is required from key committee members than Microsoftis public statements suggest.

The next steps for Microsoft are to digest the technical objections to their standard and revise OOXML. "Technical experts around the world have provided invaluable feedback and technical recommendations for evolving the format," said Tom Robertson, general manager for Interoperability and Standards at Microsoft Corp. "The high quality of the Open XML format will be improved as a result of this process, and we take seriously our role in working within the Ecma technical committee to address the comments received. We believe that the ISO National Bodies will be pleased with the results."

The final vote on the standard is expected to take place in March, 2008.