back to article Brazil bitchslaps ratification of OOXML

Brazil has fired off a formal objection to the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) against the approval of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format as an international standard. Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT), which is the Brazilian national standards body, issued its appeal to the ISO …


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  1. mike brockington
    IT Angle


    Who in their right mind is ever going to use this standard, even if it does survive?

    The quality does not matter, only that MS can put a tick in the box when they say that Office supports open standards, and can therefore be used by all the places that have mandated open-standards-only.

    This has nothing to do with IT, and everything to do with Marketing.

  2. Niall
    Thumb Up

    Where's the UK's BSI objection

    No BSI objection = corrupt BSI.

    Well done Brazil, and South Africa too.

  3. Henry
    Gates Horns

    @Mike Brockington

    "Who in their right mind is ever going to use this standard, even if it does survive?"

    If it is dropped? 90% of the Computer using public.

    If it remains? 95%

    Monopoly in action...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Where's the UK's BSI objection

    Oh, I think the BSI has already nailed their colours to the mast by switching their vote from a "no" even though their technical objections were not addressed. I don't think we will see an objection lodged from them.

    Thank goodness for the SA, Brazilian and apparently Indian standards bodies.

  5. Uwe Dippel


    "The ISO, for it's part, has so far remained tight-lipped on the matter. "

    Let's better call the spade a spade: They are still chewing on the brown envelopes.

  6. Julian Cox
    Gates Horns

    Brazil is good at governance...

    When a country where CObIT is a required practice by Law objects to dodgy governance they obviously know what they're doing ... ;-)

  7. Codge
    Paris Hilton

    How many pages???

    Just out of interest, the Open Document ISO specification amounts to 722 pages.

    The Microsoft OOXML ISO specification runs to 6,000 pages.

    Typical Bloated Crud from Microsoft!

    Paris, because she prefers lean to bloated.

  8. Joshua
    Paris Hilton

    Where's the UK's BSI objection II

    Second Niall's call...

    Paris: cos even she would object to getting fsck'd up the datehole like that...

  9. Dunstan Vavasour


    Er, BSI voted in favour. They shouldn't have, but they can't exactly appeal after voting for.

  10. Ed

    Re: Title

    Well, given the interest level Microsoft has indicated they have for supporting DIS 29500, I think I can safely say "nobody": only Microsoft can really implement it, and they're apparently not going to. If nobody implements it, nobody can use it. QED.

  11. louis hopcraft

    Yes, $$$ is all this is to MS

    I agree. This should never had happened. MS bribed their way into this process for only one reason. Greed and Dominance of their market.

    This "VOTE" should be over turned and thrown out. NOW.

  12. Mark


    At the moment, it's 90% "Various .doc formats". About 1% Office 2003 docx (not OOXML) and about 0.3% docx (not OOXML either but the ECMA 347(?) standard).

    OOXML standard: 0.0(recurring)%

    However, what MS will say:

    90% docx (like the ISO standard) [meta note: say "like" not "is"]

  13. J

    Hmmm... question!

    Is it possible to prove ("court"-like proof) that MS Office does NOT follow the ISO specification?

    If it is, then what use would this all be, even for Microsoft's marketing? For the people who don't care/ know about standards and all that won't be looking at this anyway, and will be following the herd. And the people who do know/care (gov et al.) would be bribeb into buying their software anyway, compliant or not, even if someone proves that the software is not following the specification.

    Anyway, does ANY software follow such complicated specifications perfectly?

  14. Rick Stockton
    Thumb Down

    India, too

    India has also filed an appeal. The first round of appeals is answered by the same people who created the BRM farce (with the magical voting of everything, including the over 80% of issues never discussed, in one big lump). And with "not enough time" to discuss substantive changes, while giving HOURS of time ECMA speakers, non-NB people who shouldn't have even been there, for speeches full of irrelevant platitudes.

    They will of course find themselves to have behaved flawlessly-- but the near certainty of sophistry, absurdity, and irrelevancy in the response will stink to high heaven.

    All of that goes to the next level of ISO mgmt, the Secretaries-General, which will hopefully order a do-over of the "Steamroller-from-Microsoft-controlled-ECMA" process using the standard process (NOT fast-track). If they don't, well, then we will know ISO for who they have become.

  15. Captain DaFt

    Zero percent OOXML adoption until Office 14... maybe

    It looks like even Microsoft isn't supporting OOXML any time soon, but ARE supporting ODF:

    To quote;"Microsoft today announced that it would update Office 2007 to natively support ODF 1.1, but not to implement its own OOXML format. Moreover, it would also join both the OASIS ODF working group as well as the ISO/IEC JTC1 working group that has control of the ISO/IEC version of ODF. Implementation of DIS 29500, the ISO/IEC JTC 1 version of OOXML that has still not been publicly released will await the release of Office 14, the ship date of which remains unannounced."

    So it looks like the old Microsoft song and dance, "That's a great standard, but ours will be better, just wait, someday!."

  16. ac

    legacy binary mapping

    Have you ever tried to look inside an XLS file? Have you tried to download and understand MS's 349-page PDF on Excel97-2007 Binary File Format (BIFF) specification?

    The sheer obscurity and unnecessary complexity blows my mind!

  17. David
    Paris Hilton

    Time for ISO

    The ISO is obviously incompetent.

    HTML is an open standard that flourishes and you would think that the ISO would see a standard for documents like HTML given that success. But no, the idiots want a convicted monopolist to be a standard bearer. It is time to sack the ISO, they have no idea what they are doing in this case.

    Would you let a convicted murderer babysit your kids? Why then let a convicted monopolist take care of our documents. Where is the common sense in that?

    Perhaps the ISO is made up of old farts who have been left behind in the information age. Why do we need these old farts anyway? The Web and its open formats can survive and do well without the ISO.

    ISO = International Stupidity Organisation.

  18. Glen Turner

    Finland too, it seems

    See Groklaw for details.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Any point?

    MS don't intend to use their own standard, but are going to use the competing one that they consider rubbish.

    I suspect that even if a future version of MS Office actually uses the ISO MSXLM, ODF will already be way ahead in use anyway.

    Too little, too late really. Though I would love to see this decision reversed and MS lose their "standard".

  21. Tim Williams

    Re : BSI Objection

    BSI are being taken to the High court by UKUUG. Looks like the result of this action may be too late for an appeal to be lodged, but it won't look good if BSI loose.

  22. Robert Grant

    And the Mark riposte to Joel

    More because it's funny than because it's true :)

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