Microsoft cranks up its Open XML standardization campaign

Summary:Now that Microsoft's Office Open XML specification has entered into the official ISO five-month technical review/balloting period, company employees are encouraging Microsoft supporters to lend their support to Microsoft's standardization campaign by signing an online petition.

Now that Microsoft's Office Open XML specification has entered into the official ISO five-month technical review/balloting period, company employees are encouraging Microsoft supporters to lend their support to Microsoft's standardization campaign.

Ecma approved Open XML as a standard in December. Open XML is an alternative to ODF, the Open Document Format, which already is an ISO-approved standard.

Several Microsoft bloggers recently have posted links to an online petition in favor of ISO standardization of OpenXML.

The petition asks customers, partners and other interested parties to register their "full support for the ratification of the Ecma Open XML formats as an international open standard for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations and strongly urge the British Standards Institute to support this Fast Track process."

Am I the only one, in reading Microsoft's rationale for ISO standardization, who finds it ironic that Microsoft is citing "customer choice" and "interoperability" as the motivators for its moves?

Wouldn't it be more genuine (to use another Microsoft buzzword) to admit that Microsoft is seeking standardization for Open XML because there is a growing number of customers -- especially government customers -- whose purchasing contracts require approved-standards-based technologies?

Topics: Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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