Microsoft OOXML opponents won't back down

If Microsoft wants its standard to stand on equal footing with the ODF, it needs to stop embedding closed binary objects in the Office format, and stop treating it as proprietary.

Hillary Clinton
After Hillary Clinton spoke last night I listened closely for what the loudspeakers would play.

It was Tom Petty's hit "I Won't Back Down." (UPDATE: Clinton did back down Wednesday, with the official announcement now expected in two stages Friday and Saturday. OOXML opponents, meanwhile, fight on.)

This is also the theme song for opponents of Office Open XML (OOXML). The Microsoft Office format may be an ISO standard, but opponents won't back down and will keep fighting it.

This is the first ever appeal of such a standards ruling, notes Rick Jelliffe. He has a long post at O'Reilly on the issues and the process, but it comes to this. ODF supporters have as much chance of overturning this as Clinton does of overturning her rejection.

Which does not mean there isn't any recourse, in either case. And the answer is also the same in both cases.

It lies with the winner.

If Microsoft wants its standard to stand on equal footing with the ODF, it needs to stop embedding closed binary objects in the Office format, and stop treating it as proprietary.

Recognizing the other side, offering a real concession, is often the only way for a winner to achieve real closure. Convincing the other side that the concession is real and worthwhile is the art of business and politics.

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