Four nations appeal against OOXML standard

Four developing countries have appealed against the adoption of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format as an international standard, according to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Four nations appeal against OOXML standard

ISO said in a statement the national standards bodies of Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela had appealed against the positive outcome of a vote held in March, after a controversial fast-track ratification process.

It gave no details of the substance of the appeals. At the time of the vote, several parties complained that the discussion and subsequent voting process was muddled and rushed.

Gaining the final ISO stamp of approval would help Microsoft win more public-sector contracts, as some government bodies are nervous about storing archives in a proprietary format.

The adoption of OOXML as an ISO standard will remain on hold until the appeals are resolved, which could take several months, ISO said.

Critics say OOXML is not fully translatable into other document formats, notably the open-source Open Document Format that is already recognised as an international standard.

ISO’s secretary-general and the general secretary of the International Electrotechnical Commission are considering the appeals and will submit them to their respective management boards for consideration by the end of the month.

The boards will then decide whether to proceed with the appeals process.

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