OOXML is hotting up again! This time in the Philippines.

Now the time is getting closer for the BRM, the noise level is starting to grow too! Lots of positioning, posturing, PR and lobbying is going to go on between now and next February.

This story caught my eye today:

PHILIPPINES–Microsoft and industry body Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) have teamed up to drive the adoption of Office Open XML in the Philippines.

According to Dave Walsh, Microsoft’s senior standard program manager, the Philippines was one of the countries which voted “no” on the use of OOXML.

“The country voted ‘no’ with clarifications. This means the panel voting on the standard still needs more information about Open XML,” Walsh said at the briefing last week.

Well now. Let’s have a look at this in a bit more detail… In the vote in September, the following countries (in that part of the world) voted with comments as follows:

Japan: 81, New Zealand: 54, Australia: 30, Korea: 25, Malaysia: 23, Philippines: 7, China: 1, Thailand: 1.

You can see the nature of the comments by the Philippines here, and, as a matter of fact, you can see the comments left by all of the voting members. www.dis29500.org is hosted by us as an Open endeavour to enable anyone to assist with the monumental task of identifying duplicates, comments that can be easily dealt with and comments of real substance that must be addressed.

But what about the two voting members who only made one comment? Here’s China’s

China National Body have been paid special attention to the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 ballot. Great work have been done and during the process we found it is a very complex technology which needs further more time to establish testing environment for thoroughly and deeply evaluation. We think the fast-track procedure is not suitable for this DIS.
We requested an extension to the ballot period for the DIS29500 for another 6 months in the letter to ISO/IEC JTC1 secretariat as well as ITTF. We still keep to our position that more time is necessary and essential to conduct a credible and responsible evaluation.

And here’s what Thailand though of ECMA-376

We disapprove the draft ISO/IEC 29500 for the reason that the time given by the fast-track processing is not enough for consideration of this important draft.

Ahhhh, now I can see why Microsoft are courting the Philippines. In the UK we like to call this “low hanging fruit”… But even here, their final comment is common with many others:

As well as other sub-sections within this level make references to proprietary applications whose behaviors are undefined in the standard. For example, autospaceLike Word95 specifies that implementations should autospace like Word95 but exactly how Word 95 autospaces is a Microsoft Company secret.

Precisely. How can something like “autospaceLikeWord95” be in an ISO specification? Not very “OPEN” is it?

I wonder how Microsoft are helping CompTIA? Free Training perhaps, low cost licenses, gold-partner upgrades????

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