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Microsoft Loses First Big Open XML Standardization Vote

The ISO has voted, and Microsoft lost in its bid to get Open XML fast-tracked as an international standard. Of the two criteria for voting, Microsoft barely fell short in one, getting 74% of the 104 qualifying members (when it needed 75%) and missed the other vote of P members by a wider margin. Among P members, Microsoft needed two-thirds and got 17 for and 15 against. Nine members abstained, so if Microsoft satisfies the concerns of five or more members, it has a good shot of passing both votes next time.

There’s a lot of controversy about Microsoft encouraging new countries to join the voting group, trying to load the vote with new members who would vote in their favor. While they received 53% of P members, without the 11 newcomers (9 of whome voted for Microsoft) they’d have a mere 42%. Joe Wilcox covers a lot of the controversy, as well as these links:

If This Was a Month Ago, OOXML Would Be Over - Slashdot
Poland vote$ for Microsoft OOXML [it’s official] - polishlinux
Open XML - The Vote in Sweden -Microsoft’s Jason Matusow explains how a Microsoft employee inappropriately encourage partners to vote for Microsoft
Sweden’s Vote on OOXML Invalidated - Slashdot

Keep in mind why this vote is so critical: Microsoft competitors are trying to use their own exclusive international standard status to win government contracts away from Microsoft.

September 4th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Open Source, Applications, General | no comments

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