Microsoft Wins Document Format Standards Battle
April 2, 2008 4:15 PM
comment(s) - last by
Microsoft takes important step in crushing its rival's format
Microsoft has long profited from proprietary formats, occasionally at its competitors' expense. However, with open standards coming into vogue, Microsoft adopted an "if you can't beat them, join them" approach, creating its own
open document format
However, its new format was not warmly received. Microsoft hoped its Office Open XML (OOXML) format would become the office file format of choice for the industry. The OpenDoc Society, a long term opponent of Microsoft, did not believe in Microsoft's sudden change of heart. It sought to
outcompete OOXML, with its existing format, Open Document Format (ODF)
The ODF format is already ratified as a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), solidifying its place in the academic and business communities as a viable option. When Microsoft sought ISO ratification, the OpenDoc Society lobbied against it. It argued that having multiple open document standards defeats the purpose of having standards and that the standard would allow Microsoft to tighten its grip on computer systems.
In the end the OpenDoc Society's campaign was an exercise in futility as Microsoft's OOXML has
finally been ISO certified
. The decision was leaked Tuesday ahead of the official ISO announcement, which came today. Microsoft lauded the move, saying that it created a "level playing field" for OOXML to competed with ODF and other formats.
Tom Robertson, Microsoft's head of interoperability and standards, stated, "Open XML joins the
ranks of PDF
, HTML and ODF among the ranks of document formats. I think it makes it easier for governments to offer users choice. The control over the specification now moves into the hands of the global community. This is going to be one of the most, if not the most important document format around the world for years to come."
James Love, director of Knowledge Economy International, an organization campaigning for more open access to knowledge critical of OOXML, stated, "We are disappointed. Microsoft's control over document formats has destroyed competition on the desktop, and the fight over OOXML is really a fight over the future of competition and innovation."
Microsoft lost an initial first vote, putting the format's future in jeopardy. The format was allowed a second balloting, though, and this time it passed. Of those voting, 86 percent of voting national bodies and 75 percent of the voting members -- known as P-members -- moved to approve the format. A two-thirds approval among P-members was sufficient to ratify the format. Voting for Microsoft's OOXML were the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan. Voting against it were China, India and Russia.
The committee had a tough job just reaching the vote, having to deal with the 6,000 pages of code that define OOXML and with over 1,000 points of order, topics to be discussed before the vote. Critics of OOXML point out that ODF is only 860 pages of code, making it difficult to guarantee true interoperability between the formats. Microsoft continues to insist that
OOXML will be fully interoperable with ODF
Michiel Leenaars, OpenDoc Society boardmember and ISO voting member, stated that the standard should not have been ratified and the ratification process was too hasty. He states, "It was mission impossible. The process wasn't meant for this type of thing."
Nonetheless, Microsoft has secured ratification and fulfilled its critics worse fears by moving one step closer to domination of the next generation industry standard for office documents.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: No Biggie
4/2/2008 10:11:27 PM
Apparantly MS Office doesn't follow the "standard" that they submitted. Their default saves in Office 2007 are in something called OOXML that is in fact different from this "spec."
It's like having standard HTML, CSS, JS, ect, then rendering it all incorrectly like IE5/6 did for years. It just f'cks everything up and makes actual standards de facto worthless.
RE: No Biggie
4/3/2008 2:33:13 AM
This should be understandable, if Microsoft changed the standard itself (not only the description) between the launch of Office 2007 and the ratification.
Understandable, but no less sad :(
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Microsoft Announces Release of Open XML, ODF Translator
February 5, 2007, 7:49 AM
Adobe PDF Gears Up for ISO Standardization
January 29, 2007, 6:11 PM
Microsoft Welcomes Open Document Format to Office 2007
July 6, 2006, 12:27 PM
Microsoft Says OpenDocument Format Isn't Satisfactory
May 26, 2006, 12:02 PM
Cortana, Xbox App, OneDrive Apps/Settings Backup Added to Windows 10 Build
December 15, 2014, 3:43 PM
Quick Note: Windows Phone Finally Gets Candy Crush Saga
December 13, 2014, 2:03 PM
Next Windows 10 Test Build Likely to Land on Jan. 21, Press Event Announced
December 11, 2014, 5:49 PM
New FourSquare App Hits Windows Store, WinPhone Gets Official Minecraft App
December 10, 2014, 2:15 PM
RIP, Microsoft Clip Art (1993 to 2014), You'll be Missed (Sort of)
December 3, 2014, 3:54 PM
Quick Note: Monday is Last Day for Half Off (or More) Square Enix Games
December 1, 2014, 5:30 AM
Most Popular Articles
Miyamoto: Nintendo is Prepping Successor to Troubled Wii U
December 22, 2014, 6:28 PM
Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Drops to $299 (30 Percent Off) for a Day
December 22, 2014, 10:57 AM
Airbus A350 XWB Passenger Jet Takes Off, First Unit Delivered to Qatar Airlines
December 22, 2014, 1:22 PM
Microsoft, Google Back The Interview, North Korea Vows Attacks on America
December 24, 2014, 4:25 PM
Nokia's Sweet $250 Android Lollipop N1 Tablet is Rumored for Jan. 7 China Launch
December 24, 2014, 1:45 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information