OOXML vote at ISO: France says non, Australia abstains

IF OOXML is not approved as an international standard, Microsoft could miss out on revenue from the lucrative government market.

France has voted against adoption of Microsoft's document format Office Open XML as an international standard, while Australia has decided to abstain.

Microsoft offered its OOXML specification to standards body ECMA last year, paving the way for the file format to be fast-tracked through the International Organization for Standardization's approvals process.

If enough other national standards bodies have voted the same way as those of France, India and Brazil, and OOXML is not approved as an international standard, Microsoft could miss out on revenue from the lucrative government market.

A number of governments, worried that the need for access to electronic archives in proprietary formats leaves them hostage to their software vendor, have mandated the use of document formats that comply with open international standards.

Others are considering such a move, which could put Microsoft at a double disadvantage to open source products such as OpenOffice.org, which not only store files in the standardized Open Document Format, but are free.

The French Association for Standardization, Afnor, announced Monday that it had informed the International Organization for Standardization of its "no" vote on the proposal to make Microsoft's OOXML format an ISO standard.

ISO had asked national standards bodies around the world to give their verdict on OOXML by September 2, and is in the process of counting the votes submitted. It will announce the result by Wednesday, officials say. Afnor had declined to announce its decision until ISO had received all votes.

Standards Australia, the Australian national standards body, announced Monday that it had abstained from the vote, after its members failed to reach a consensus.

The Swedish body last week annulled its vote in favor of adoption of the standard when it transpired that a Microsoft employee had pressured partners of the company to vote to support it. The U.S. standards body INCITS, however, has voted in favor of adopting OOXML as a standard.

With additional reporting by Bertrand Lemaire in Paris.

More about ECMAISOMicrosoftOpenOffice

ARN Directory | Distributors relevant to this article

Comments

Comments are now closed

 
Computerworld
CIO
Techworld
CMO

Latest News

03:09PM
CoinJar’s bitcoin EFTPOS card to hit the market next week
02:52PM
Queensland Government appoints Interactive Intelligence to ICT Service Panel
02:19PM
More than 200 Aussie Apple fanatics hire minions to stand in line for iPhone 6
12:59PM
Former Microsoft exec named CEO of Australian bar tab start-up
More News
29 Sep
Vendor and Supplier Management Workshop
30 Oct
Ovum 2020 Telecoms Summit
05 Nov
vForum 2014
25 Nov
GovInnovate Summit
View all events