[discuss] [Fwd: Comments in ISO/IEC JTC 1 on Microsoft's OOXML Revealed to be Strongly Negative]


-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: andrew.updegrove@gesmer.com
Subject: Comments in ISO/IEC JTC 1 on Microsoft's OOXML Revealed to be
Strongly Negative
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 22:54:06 -0500

I've received, and authenticated through a second source, the package of
materials distributed by ISO/IEC JTC 1 earlier today to its members. The
package contains each of the responses filed during the ISO Fast Track
Contradictions period for Ecma 376, the specification based upon
Microsoft's OOXML formats, as well as the responses prepared by Ecma to
those responses.

Earlier, Microsoft had downplayed reports by myself and others that the
great majority of the responses were negative, suggesting that most or many
were either neutral, or in fact "laudatory." In fact, the actual responses
demonstrate that 14 of 20 responses - more than 2/3s - were clearly
negative, two indicated divisions of opinion among the members of the
national bodies submitting them, three were inconclusive or neutral, and
one offered no objections.

What happens next? The transmittal note from JTC1 indicates that after
internal consultation, next steps will be communicated to the National
Bodies "in the very near future." But given the degree of opposition and
concern expressed by a significant percentage of those national bodies
entitled to vote up or down on adoption, it's fair to say that Microsoft
has its work cut out for it, if it wants to see OOXML achieve the same
degree of international standards status as ODF.

Representative, verbatim, excerpts from all 20 responses may be found here:

In a related story, a bill was introduced in California last Friday that
would require usage of open XML formats in creation and archiving of state
documents. The language closely tracks the text of the Texas and Minnesota
bills introduced in the last few weeks. Further details are here:

As always, please let me know if you would like to be removed from this
distribution list.

Andrew Updegrove
Gesmer Updegrove LLP
40 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02109
v: 617/350-6800
f: 617/350-6878

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G. Roderick Singleton
PATH tech