Microsoft claims victory in ISO struggle over OOXML

Microsoft claims victory in ISO struggle over OOXML

Summary: If a Chinese or a Russian or a Brazilian business seeks to impose a royalty-bearing, proprietary standard on users in the future, what can the U.S. say in response? Nothing.

SHARE:

OOXML before the ISO cartoon by JuegoMicrosoft today sent out a press statement claiming victory for Office Open XML, the Microsoft Office file format it has been trying to make an international standard through the International Standards Organization (ISO).

The e-mail reads in part:

While the final vote has not yet been announced formally, publicly available information shows overwhelming support for Open XML. According to documents available on the Internet, 86% of all national body members support ISO/IEC standardization, well above the 75% requirement for formal acceptance under ISO and IEC rules. In addition, 75% of the Participating national body members (known as P-members) support standardization, also well above the required 66.67% requirement for this group.

Open XML, IS29500, now joins HTML, PDF and ODF as ISO- and IEC-recognized open document format standards.

That last is important. PDF is a format which is proprietary to Adobe Corp. Microsoft is essentially saying the two decisions are identical.

But they are not, not politically. In order to win ratification for OOXML, Microsoft esssentially corrupted the ISO standards process.

This is worse than the alleged stretching of the Constitution done by the current Administration. Constitutions can be changed, or changed back. Once a standard is ratified, it's ratified for all time.

And once a method for corruption has been shown to work, it will be used again, by people whose motives are less pure.

My problem here is not with Microsoft. I know for certain that Steve Ballmer is a great and good man. But history shows once a way to power is shown by the good, it will be followed by the bad.

If a Chinese or a Russian or a Brazilian business seeks to impose a royalty-bearing, proprietary standard on users in the future, what can the U.S. say in response?

Nothing.

Topics: Microsoft, Emerging Tech, Enterprise Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

57 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • April Fools?

    [i]My problem here is not with Microsoft. I know for certain that Steve Ballmer is a great and good man.[/i]

    I'm sorry, but if a corporation corrupts a standards process the way they did, the person at the helm of that corporation is not entitled to be called "a great and good man". When you lie down with dogs....or, in this case, when you lie down with mangy dogs, you get mange.
    MGP2
    • You lost me at "Ballmer is a good and great man"

      He is a bullying, brazen Bush Nazi s&$t, is what he is!
      drprodny
  • Wait, this is right and just?

    All Microsoft did was justify destroying the ODF standard. This is just like those Brazilian and Chinese examples you use, Dana, only this company does it's business within US borders...

    ... or rather, does so when it's convenient. Microsoft has outsourced often lately to countries like... Brazil and China!
    superbus
  • Corruption?

    "In order to win ratification for OOXML, Microsoft esssentially corrupted the ISO standards process."
    Don't you think IBM/Google corrupted the ISO standards process when they promote ODF, a format that is not tested and poorly implemented?
    pa2004
    • Prevarication

      When ODF was ratified there was nowhere near the problems that the ISO is being grilled over now concerning OOXML. Microsoft may destroy the ISO's reputation, but they have also shown that they are prepared to do anything and everything to get what they want.



      "ODF showcases how an inclusive, consensus-driven, transparent development process can produce a standard that is available to everyone. OOXML's weaknesses begin at the fundamental level: its goals conflict. While the format proposes itself as a solution to backward compatibility, its approach, design, and execution block full implementation by entities other than Microsoft. The great promise of XML, interoperability, cannot be achieved with OOXML. Ultimately, the format's conflicting objectives make it a poor candidate for a global standard."

      http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2007/06/14/achieving-openness-a-closer-look-at-odf-and-ooxml.html?page=1
      DonRupertBitByte
    • ODF poorly implemented and not tested???? are you mad?

      It's in use on 100 million desktops, and as an XML guy (as I am) looks at it, it follows all other standards, does things in the right way.

      OOXML however, is a very poor technical work. Vastly overcomplicated and redundant (for example specifying alignment varies according to where you're doing it), and it doesn't follow any other XML standards. Very very poor.

      And then, no software actually supports it. Office 2007 format, ECMA_OOXML and ISO_OOXML are all significantly different.
      stevey_d
    • Got your acronyms mixed up!

      PA:

      Sorry, you must have your formats confused.

      OOXML, a format this is not implementable and poorly documented

      ODF - a format that is in great use and went through the ISO process w/o the shenanigans we see with OOXML.

      Just say no to OOXML.

      Happy to help!

      -Mike
      SpikeyMike
  • You anti-MS guys are something else

    MS diligently worked through the technical issues, and blunted political assails on it buy IBM, Sun, Google, and company's usual enemies. Every time MS repelled your political attacks, you howled in protest and tore your hair out. You guys really need to relax.
    P. Douglas
    • sure all the overturning of majority votes etc is normal

      I personally expected this corruption. It's everywhere you turn these days.
      The thing that gets me is that people don't realize we are weaker because of the cheating, not stronger.
      stevey_d
    • You Pro-MS guys are something else

      We point out how they are subverting and entire industry, and all you do is push your head farther in the sand.

      You guys really need to wake up and see what's going on!
      SpikeyMike
      • How did they suvert it?

        They are not the ones voting. If it was subverted look to the members not Microsoft. They are the ones that decided not Microsoft. You are blaming the patient for the doctors malpractice.
        ShadeTree
      • They don't do that. They bend down towards

        Redmond with the chant "Microsoft o' akbar" or something VERY similar !
        hkommedal
    • Lets talk about technical issues...

      Given that there's over 3000 issues in the specification that Microsoft has ignored, I'll let you decide where to start ;-) .
      Sysadm1n
  • RE: Microsoft claims victory in ISO struggle over OOXML

    I take the OOXML-as-standard process as a honeypot for the purpose of collecting evidence for ongoing, large-scale investigation of the behavior of a convicted monopolist.
    dpnewkirk
    • For what seems like no win at all

      Even if the standard passes, Microsoft has so tarnished it's image with this thing, it makes Pyrrhus look like he won his victory comfortably.

      1. Microsoft hasn't played fair. There is masses of evidence to back this up.
      2. Many people in standards organisations will never be taken seriously again.
      3. The quality of Microsoft's technical ability is seriously called into question again (if it wasn't obvious from MSDN) with this absolute pig of a standard.

      Taking Google APIs, their documentation, and Android (code and documentation) plus their unbreakable elegant, well designed products, and Microsoft is looking ever more like a ridiculous fossil well past it's alloted extinction time.
      stevey_d
    • For the umpteenth time!

      Microsoft is not a convicted monopolist. First of all being a monopoly is not a crime. Using a monopoly to unduly influence a market is. Furthermore to be convicted of a crime you must be tried in a criminal court. Microsoft never was. The US DOJ versus Microsoft and the ECC versus Microsoft were Civil and not criminalo actions. No one was found guilty of anything.

      I cannot take your post seriously when you call Microsoft something they are not. As they say in court it goes to credibility!
      ShadeTree
      • Wrong.

        MS was found, in civil court, to have broken the law regarding abuse of their monopoly, not once, but twice. Yes this was a civil court action but the findings of fact demonstrated to the court that [b]MS had indeed broken the law both times[/b].

        You can quibble all you want about the terms "guilty" and "convicted," but the real truth is that MS broke the law. In my judgment, that makes them guilty.

        If someone steals money but is never caught, are they guilty? You bet they are! The court will "find" a criminal guilty in criminal court but that guilt is fait accompli. That is, the party was already guilty, the court just settles that fact in the rule of law.

        What we don't know is just how much more MS is guilty of or how many times they really have broken the law. But that they did break the law is certain.

        BTW "convicted monopolist" in no way implies that the party was convicted for being a monopolist. You could be a "convicted man" but that says nothing about your manhood, does it?
        jacarter3
        • Absolutely right!

          Your arguement furthers my point and does not refute it. Under the Sherman Act Microsoft could have been tried in criminal court. They were not. They were adjudged liable and not found guilty. It really doesn't matter what you think. I spoke facts your emotions are irrelevent!
          ShadeTree
          • Now hold on a dog gorn minute a second ago you said

            they couldn't be found guilty, now you say they were found not guilty.
            You're making your c**p up as you go along.

            Microsoft were found to be a Monopoly that abused it's power in an anti-trust fashion. Everything else you say is splitting hairs. They damn well did the nasty, and got off scott free by putting money into GWB's campaign fund. Everyone knows this, and just repeating your lies again and again just makes you look pathetic.
            stevey_d
      • If you check the sherman act it specifically uses the word "guilty"

        You should read up a bit before making yourself appear so dumb.
        stevey_d