Microsoft wasting no time rejoicing in its OOXML win

Like it or not, Microsoft’s OOXML – now known as IS 29500 -- has received the proper number of votes to become an ISO standard.And the Redmond, Washington company is wasting no time rejoicing the turnaround win.

Like it or not, Microsoft’s OOXML – now known as IS 29500 -- has received the proper number of votes to become an ISO standard.

And the Redmond, Washington company is wasting no time rejoicing the turnaround win.

In his blog today, Jason Matusow, a key Microsoft executive responsible for OOXML, pre-announced that ISO will publish a statement stating that DIS 29500 has become IS 29500 and that Microsoft is committing to implementing IS 29500 in its next version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft corporate also issued an official statement about Office Open XML “appearing” to win approval as an ISO standard. OOXML lost in the first voting round last September.

“After more than 14 months of intensive review, a Joint Technical Committee of the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has concluded its formal process to evaluate Ecma International’s submission of the Draft International Standard (DIS) 29500: Office Open XML (Open XML),” the statement said.

“While the final vote has not yet been announced formally, publicly available information appears to indicate the proposed Open XML standard received extremely broad support," Microsoft announced.

Microsoft, citing documents available on the Internet, said that 86 percent of all voting national body members support OOXML’s ISO/IEC standardization (above the 75 percent requirements) and that the participating national body members support standardization, also well above the 66.7 percent requirement for this group,” the Microsoft statement said. “Open XML now joins HTML, PDF and ODF as ISO- and IEC-recognized open document format standards.”

Microsoft noted that many ISVs and platform vendors including Apple, Corel, Sun, Novell have developed solutions that use Office Open XML and it is supported in Linux, Windows, Mac OS and the Palm OS.

According to anti-OOXML organization, 75 percent of the participating members approved OOXML while 14 percent voted it down. To win, Microsoft needed at least 66 percent in favor.

Groklaw had little to say on the matter this morning, but posted a report alleging that France had changed its No vote to Abstain because HP helped Microsoft France lobby hard on OOXML's behalf.

Matusow railed a bit on anti-OOXML forces that have demonized Microsoft's attempt to win ISO approval for an XML-based document format, saying that the format is the cumulative work of many people from many countries and will integrate changes the ISO committee requested after its meeting in Geneva earlier this year.

"The FUD-throwers will paint a picture of Microsoft taking unilateral action and thus this result. Anyone saying that is either purposely obfuscating the truth or spectacularly ignorant," Matusow said.

"Microsoft has committed to implementing IS 29500 in its next version of MS Office, and we will document that implementation in accordance with the interoperability principles we announced earlier this year," he wrote.

"Lobbying” was thrown about in an accusatory manner by both sides, but the pejorative hides what are some truly critical issues. Frankly, I welcome the fact that OSS advocates, private industry, NGOs, academics, and even other government agencies reached out to each other to discuss these issues. The invective that often accompanied some of these activities was unfortunate – but the end result was an overall, relatively deep discussion."