[SATLUG] Reversing Loss, Microsoft Wins Open-Format Designation

Jonathan Hull masterr at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 12:07:46 CDT 2008

Dang. I was hoping that story was just an April Fool's joke.

With all the known corruption and consistencies in the voting I hope
this gets investigated and reversed, but judging by ISO's reputation
sadly that probably won't happen... grrrr. This is the worst
"standard" they could have approved.


On 4/2/08, Borries Demeler <demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu> wrote:
> In today's New York Times...what is this, let's vote until we get the
>  result we want? This doesn't look good for OpenOffice being accepted as
>  the standard.
>  -b.
>  ****************************************************************************
>  Reversing Loss, Microsoft Wins Open-Format Designation
>  Published: April 2, 2008
>  Microsoft has won an international standards designation for its
>  open-document format, according to voting results obtained Tuesday,
>  apparently ending a divisive yearlong battle with software rivals before
>  a global standards-setting organization.
>  Microsoft's Office Open XML, a format for interchangeable Web documents,
>  was approved by 24 of 32 countries in a core group in a ballot by
>  the International Organization for Standardization. Approval by the
>  standards-setting body, a nongovernmental network of 157 countries based
>  in Geneva, is considered almost certain to influence software spending
>  by governments and large companies.
>  The tally reversed a loss by Microsoft in first-round voting before an
>  87-nation panel in September, a process that involved blunt lobbying by
>  both sides toward members of national standards committees - typically
>  made up of technicians, engineers and bureaucrats.
>  In the final round of voting, which ended Saturday, three-quarters of the
>  core group members - including Britain, Japan, Germany and Switzerland -
>  supported Microsoft's standard, according to the results document. Of
>  the 87 votes, 10 opposed the standard: Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba,
>  Ecuador, India, Iran, New Zealand, South Africa and Venezuela.
>  Under organization rules, at least 66 percent of core group members must
>  accept a standard for it to be approved, and no more than 25 percent of
>  all voting nations can be opposed.
>  Roger Frost, a spokesman in Geneva for the standardization group,
>  would not confirm that Microsoft's format had been designated, saying
>  the organization would disclose the vote Wednesday after informing its
>  members. The International Herald Tribune obtained the results from one
>  of the delegations contacted by the standardization group.
>  Microsoft's request for rapid approval of its standard in early 2007
>  produced an intense lobbying campaign by I.B.M. and Sun Microsystems,
>  which had helped develop a rival interchangeable document format called
>  Open Document Format.
>  This rival was the first interchangeable document format to receive
>  approval by the standardization group in 2006, and its backers used that
>  in selling the technology to governments and large companies. The format
>  is now being considered for use by 70 nations.
>  Microsoft's push for speedy approval led to objections from many members
>  of the standards group. They felt pressure from the company, whose Office
>  application suite is the standard on more than 90 percent of computers and
>  archives worldwide, according to International Data in Framingham, Mass.
>  There were tart remarks even from countries that abstained from the
>  vote, like the Netherlands. "This is like someone with six shopping
>  carts of food trying to go through the express lane at a supermarket,"
>  said Michiel Leenaars, a member of the Dutch delegation. "The end result
>  of this will be confusion. The standard is simply too big. There are
>  still a lot of questions out there."
>  --
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