back to article US gives thumbs up to OOXML for ISO standard

The US delegation to the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has voted to maintain its “Approve” recommendation for Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) to be adopted by the body. Microsoft tech evangelist Doug Mahugh said in a blog post on Friday that, having mulled over the feasibility of the OOXML file format, the US …


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  1. Avi

    Wrong comparison?

    “I think the interests of the United States have been well served by the process, and the spec is much better now than when we started,” said Mahugh

    Much better than ODF, or just much better than MSOOXML was last time we saw it?

    If the former, why keep ODF?

    If only the latter, what's the advantage of MSOOXML over ODF?

  2. Bruno Girin
    Thumb Down

    Better than awful doesn't make it good

    "the spec is much better now than when we started"

    Well, it wasn't very good to start with so it can only have improved. But even then, is it fit for purpose? And even if it is, having 2 competing standards is like having no standard at all. The best way forward would be to add to ODF whatever features of OOXML it currently lacks but that would mean Microsoft cooperating with potential competitors.

  3. Tom

    I expect it's more like...

    The US delegation has voted to stay bought.

  4. Ash

    Give the standard to Microsoft!

    Keep setting standards by the whim of major corporations!


    USA! USA! USA!

  5. Juillen

    The US Delegation

    Knows that if OOXML gets a standard, MS gets to keep office locked in, and all the money that floods to MS from the rest of the world gets taxed, at a time when the US Economy is decidedly shaky and needs every tax dollar it can get.

    Something has to fund GW's latest thoughts of a new tax rebate to try to kick start the economy!

  6. Jamie

    What is the point?

    The US will always side with the big US corporations to the detriment of both it's own citizens and those of other countries.

    This will end up going the way of the big buck.

    Enough said.

  7. Highlander

    Sad thing

    The sad thing is that the fix was in before they debated a thing, and no I don't mean that any money changed hands or anything. Anyone who thinks that the US delegation wouldn't side with MS has simply not been paying attention. The choice between the MS standard and the commie pinko Euro-standard is clear. Why would the US back a non-US standard controlled and specified by a non-US body?

    Anytime anything like this comes up, if you want to know who the US delegates will side with regardless of technical merit, look to the US side.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wow !

    Now there is a surprise. Well at least a dollar can't buy shit on the currency markets haha !

  9. Pierre

    I know why.

    It's because ODF supports terrorism. Plus, it has Weapon of Mass Destruction. And it illegally shares files. And it is commie. Kill ODF! Give the moneyz to MS! MS is 1337. They pay good moneyz to the people siding with them.

    USA against the rest of the world, part two: how to make standards useless.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    How do MS know that they comply with their doc?

    Given that, from previous articles, we know that MS are expecting adopters of the standard to re-create obscure Word6 re-pagination bugs and the like, how do we know that MS have even documented the bugs correctly? How ironic if they were found not to be compliant with their own standard.

  11. davcefai

    Composition of the Delegation.

    According to: , Microsoft and 11 of its business partners voted yes.

  12. Elmer Phud

    From the horses wotsit

    "I think the interests of the United States have been well served by the process,"

    Yeah right, I think we understand perfectly.

  13. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    What has changed?

    "the spec is much better now than when we started"

    What has even changed in the OOXML "standard"? I didn't think they had made very many changed to it at all, just planned to re-vote and see what happens?

  14. Martin Owens

    Not a vote

    This isn't the vote it's self but the recommendation committee. Given the way the USA NB delegation was talking when they left Geneva I wouldn't be surprised if they changed their vote to "F*ck No!", no because of the standard just because civil servants don't like to be gamed and abused in such a glaringly obvious way.

    If I was as pissed at Microsoft as most of those NB's I'd be changing my vote.

    Besides the process should have stopped, the votes were tied 4-4 and a tied means failure in JTC-1 rules.

  15. OldGreeeeeg
    Gates Horns

    "I think the interests of the United States have been well served by the process,"

    After all... it is MSUSA.

  16. B Gracey

    When is ISO not ISO?

    When it's incorrectly called 'International Standards Organization' is when. Admittedly, it really does not make sense that ISO actually stands for International Organization for Standardization, given the order of the letters, but it's true! Go to their website and find out for yourself... and then, please get it right when publishing!

  17. Ted Powell

    We need backward-compatible _applications_, not _formats_!

    The idea of a standard format that incorporates a whole raft of older formats is just plain silly.

    For years we have had applications, e.g. ApplixWare, AbiWord,, that have their own native format but also recognize (automatically or with user direction) various other file formats and deal with them.

    In particular, OO.o and its fellow ODF-implementers quite adequately deal with files in various foreign formats, _despite_ the fact that these formats have not been incorporated as part of the ODF standard.

    Having multiple formats as part of the same standard might make sense if one wanted to be able to handle documents where each paragraph was in a different format (various versions of MS-Word, WordPerfect, etc), but let's not go there.

    If it's true that for most MS file formats and communications protocols the only defining document is the source code of a specific (MS) application, this would go a long way toward explaining why they have come up with the kitchen-sink attempt at a standard that they have. (Speaking of kitchen sinks, how about we have an alternative standard for pipe threads, so plumbers have a choice? Ugh.)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    “I think the interests of the United States have been well served by the process, and the spec is much better now than when we started,” said Mahugh

    Fu#k the US of A.

    What about the rest of the world's desire for an open interoperable standard ??????????

  19. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Re: When is ISO not ISO?

    Maybe Cisco had already trademarked the term "IOS" ;-)

    On a more serious note, "Yay capitalism!"

    Clearly the US delegation is made up of biased or stupid people. The MS spec was (and as far as I can tell still is) broken. You can't put such a pathetic spec before ISO and expect to even get half the votes agreeing, especially when a spec of similar purpose was approved recently.

    The whole point is silly and pathetic. What is it about the ISO standard ODF that MS don't like, apart from it being the default in Open Office?

  20. yeah, right.

    Expected really.

    The US delegation was bought from the start, so no surprises there.

    Sad part is, even a no vote will mean that OOXML isn't rejected. It will only mean that it won't be allowed to go through fast track. Then Microsoft gets another kick at the can and a lot more time to buy votes with the normal ISO process.

    I wonder how much Microsoft paid for the ISO organization? Or did they just buy some of the key decision makers?

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