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Intense interest in Microsoft Office standard

The underlying question remains this. Is standards-setting a judicial or a political process? Even if it is a judicial process, should such a process ignore politics, or be informed by it?

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Microsoft's spin of its Open XML loss before the ISO as a win remains of intense interest.

The original story, from September, was the 7th most popular post here for 2007. In the story I used Microsoft's technical name for its format, OOXML.

I wrote the piece in an angry mood, having seen several stories which accepted Microsoft's spin on the news at face value. The post drew strong ratings and 26 talkbacks.

We have continued to follow the story, and you have remained interested in it. Our December 6 piece on Microsoft stacking the relevant ISO committee already has 31 talkbacks.

The underlying question remains this. Is standards-setting a judicial or a political process? Even if it is a judicial process, should such a process ignore politics, or be informed by it?

It's a question Americans have yet to confront in their own government, and that lack of respect for a separation of powers may yet enable Microsoft to push OOXML through.