Microsoft Corp. has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked straight to the status of an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization.
The proposal must now be revised to take into account the negative comments made during the voting process.
Microsoft expects that a second vote early next year will result in approval, it said Tuesday. That is by no means certain, however, given the objections raised by some national standards bodies.
A proposal must pass two voting hurdles in order to be approved as an ISO standard: it must win the support of two-thirds of voting national standards bodies that participated in work on the proposal, known as P-members, and also of three-quarters of all voting members.
OOXML failed on both counts, ISO announced, as the working day ended in its Geneva offices.
The proposal won the support of 74 percent of voting members -- just shy of the required number. But only 53 percent of the voting P-members supported the proposal, well short of the required 67 percent.
Many of the national standard bodies voting against the OOXML proposal accompanied their votes with comments on what must be changed before they will vote in favor. ISO committee JTC1 must now reconcile those objections with the text, and find a compromise that will win enough votes to get through.
That will be difficult, as the French Association for Standardization, Afnor, wants to tear the proposal into two parts: a "core" part, which it wants to see converged over the course of three years with the competing Open Document Format (ODF), already an ISO standard, and an "extensions" part dealing with compatibility with legacy documents in proprietary formats.
France is not alone in suggesting modifications to the standard: Brazil raised over 60 objections, including issues of support for different languages and date formats, while the standards body in India was concerned that OOXML is incompatible with the ODF standard.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Microsoft Loses ISO Vote
Microsoft's gambit to position its pseudo open-format document language in the International Standards Organization aren't working as of yet, ISO rejected a motion to consider it an approved international document format: