Microsoft wins battle for OOXML approval

The International Organization for Standardization has formally announced that the OOXML document format is to become a fully-fledged standard

The International Organization for Standardization has officially approved Microsoft's OOXML specification as a standard.

The news confirms documents leaked on Tuesday were genuine. Three-quarters of the "Principal Countries" involved in the vote gave their approval (at least two-thirds were needed) and just 14 percent of participating members of ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) disapproved (under a quarter was needed).

According to ISO's Wednesday statement: "Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication."

Although there have been allegations of voting irregularities within some of the national standards bodies that in turn participated in the ISO vote, no national body has yet made a formal appeal to ISO.

One prominent example had been an objection from Steve Pepper, the chairman of Standard Norge's joint technical committee, which he faxed directly to the ISO. In the letter, he claimed that 80 percent of the committee had been against the OOXML standard being passed — Norway officially recorded a vote of approval.

However, a spokesperson for Standard Norge told on Wednesday that the organisation had not made a formal appeal to ISO, and did not intend to do so. "One of the committee members sent a fax to ISO about this matter, but he did that directly and not through us," the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for ISO confirmed on Wednesday that it had not yet received any formal objections to the OOXML voting process, and refused to comment on the reports of voting irregularities within national bodies.