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Microsoft, OOXML and the ISO

Jul 14, 2009, 14:01 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)


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"In order to gain ISO approval, Microsoft needed to garner the requisite number of “P” votes, and the influx of many new “P” voting members, most of whom were in favour of OOXML, was striking. This sudden urge to join an otherwise obscure ISO committee might, on its own, be unproblematic if it had no further knock-on consequences. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Here's what Martin Bryan, the convenor of the relevant ISO workgroup, had to say soon afterwards:

"The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 [OOXML] as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots. Though P members are required to vote, 50% of our current members, and some 66% of our new members, blatantly ignore this rule despite weekly email reminders and reminders on our website. As ISO require at least 50% of P members to vote before they start to count the votes we have had to reballot standards that should have been passed and completed their publication stages at Kyoto. This delay will mean that these standards will appear on the list of WG1 standards that have not been produced within the time limits set by ISO, despite our best efforts."

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