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ConsortiumInfo: Ecma Approves OOXML--What Does it All Mean?

Dec 09, 2006, 01:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Updegrove)

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"As expected, Ecma, the European-based standards body chosen by Microsoft to fast-track its Office Open XML standard to ISO, voted to adopt OOXML. The vote was 20 to 1, with IBM casting the only negative vote (as disclosed by IBM VP of Open Standards and Open Source Bob Sutor earlier in the day). What exactly does the favorable vote mean? Let's try the Q&A format again to sort it all out.

"Q: Why did Microsoft not send OOXML directly to ISO?

"A: First, let's clear up one thing for accuracy's sake: while people commonly refer to ISO approval as a shorthand convenience, the actual approving body is a joint committee formed years ago by both ISO, the International Organization for Standardization (right--it's not an acronym) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to address the then-emerging area of information technology standards. That committee is called the Joint Technical Committee, or JTC1. So it's actually joint ISO/IEC approval that Microsoft wants for OOXML, to gain parity with OASIS's ODF document format. ODF was approved for all practical purposes last May, and was formally published just a few days ago..."

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