Should ISO throw out OOXML?

According to several reports this morning, the EU (god bless ’em) are digging deeply into Microsoft’s attempts to steamroller OOXML through the ISO last September.

As part of its battle against proponents of ODF – which was approved as the ISO standard last year – Redmond swelled the ranks of standards bodies with Microsoft allies in the hope of ratifying its Office file format as the default standard for international use.

Microsoft had tried to fast-track OOXML via Ecma International, the group which originally rubber-stamped the format. However, a vote of the draft (DIS 29500) failed to gain sufficient approval last September.

According to the Wall Street Journal, EU officials are now considering if Microsoft’s actions – which came under fire from critics who accused the firm of underhand tactics and even vote-rigging – were illegal.

The timing of this release couldn’t really be better for the “no campaign“. Just a few weeks before the NBs (National Standards Bodies) meet to discuss the proposed resolutions to the 3522 comments raised against the specification, this can only help to fuel the concern of many that Microsoft are endeavouring to push through not just simply a flawed standard, but one whose sole intention is to prolong their lock-in of customers (and so maintain their Office cash cow) with proprietary and binary storage methods and Intellectual Monopoly.

Please let your national body know that the EU obviously has some serious concerns about Microsoft’s intentions with their OOXML proposition.

Personally, I think enough is enough. The ISO should drop this whole fiasco like a ton of bricks, throw out dis29500 and force Microsoft, and their puppet ECMA, to go through the normal processes and abide by the normal rules. Just like Adobe did with PDF

Thanks to Matt Assay’s blog where I first read about this.

[Update] Here’s something I found quite amusing whilst getting the urls for this item. If you search Google for “no ooxml” see what the ad is that crops up? I’m not going to spoil your fun, but please click on it! 😉

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