Microsoft wins OOXML award, but loses face

Microsoft has been awarded an honour that is unlikely to be shown off in its lobby. Somewhat sarcastically, the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, which is campaigning against Microsoft’s OOXML format, has named the company as the “Best Campaigner against OOXML Standardisation.”

Microsoft wins OOXML award, but loses face

The group claim that no one has done more to discredit the standard than Microsoft itself.

“We could never have done this by ourselves. By pushing so hard to get OOXML endorsed, even to the point of loading the standards boards in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and beyond, Microsoft showed to the world how poor its format is,” said FFII president, Pieter Hintjens.

“Good standards just don’t need that kind of pressure. Microsoft made a heroic – and costly – effort to discredit its own proposal, and we’re sincerely grateful to them.”

The award carries a 2,500 Euro prize, which the FFII claims Microsoft is welcome to, minus the 12 Euro cost of registering a domain for the campaign.

The FFII claim the OOXML standard is flawed because it relies on undisclosed patents which make any independent implementation impossible or very risky. The group has also created a petition against OOXML, which 50,000 people from almost a hundred countries have now signed.

Microsoft denies the format is proprietary, and has actively campaigned for some time for adoption of the standard. It also denies any wrongdoing in the ISO voting process.

For more on the OOXML voting scandal, see Jon Honeyball’s Advanced Windows column in the next issue of PC Pro, on sale 18 October

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