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So what's the difference between Microsoft/OOXML and OpenOffice.org/ODF ?

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| The difference is, that Microsoft Office is behind OOXML. OpenOffice.org is
| ahead of ODF. According to the ISO rules, a specification can only be
| approved as an ISO-standard, unless it has been implemented.


ODF's competition is not OOXML; it's corruption, which all leads back to
Microsoft and its anti-competitive ecosystem.


When is a Standard Not a Standard?

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| What this means in practice is that Microsoft will be able to get away with
| blue murder, by deftly moving between all the different kinds of standards –
| ECMA standards, putative ISO standards, de facto standards etc. - until
| people charged with procuring office software will simply throw their hands
| up and sign on the dotted line for another ten years of Microsoft Office
| bondage. * *
| Now, you might argue that the ODF side can play the same games, and I agree
| that some of the more, er, commercially-minded outfits might well be tempted.
| But there's a big difference from the OOXML world in that ODF is today a key
| part of the free software world. As such, there are crates of nitpickers and
| argumentative technical pub bores who really care about ODF and its inner
| wonders, and will delight in pouncing on such inaccuracies – not least
| because there is no love lost between them and the commercial side of things.
| If Sun or IBM or anyone else misbehaves, somebody will spot it, and blog
| about it. * * * *
| OOXML, on the other hand, is essentially a product of one company, with
| practically no open source community around it (Novell hardly counts). *


ISO puts out a face-saving (it hopes) FAQ

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| Dear ISO, damage control doesn't work, if you let the damage remain. That's
| like putting out a statement that if an oil spill you caused does any damage
| in the future, you'll clean it up right away, but for now, you'll leave the
| spill in place and wait to see what happens going forward. Oil spills need to
| be cleaned up before they do more damage. * *
| [...]
| I am sure you are relieved to hear it. Anyway, now you know. If Microsoft
| plays dirty with patents, ISO might withdraw OOXML as a standard. And as
| we've seen watching the OOXML standards process play out, when ISO says
| something, they reeeeeally, reeealy mean it. *


Martin Bryan: we are getting “standardization by corporation”

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| A November informative report of Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34
| WG1 highlights the fallout of the ECMA-376 fast-track process for ISO. He
| says he is 'glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible' *
| [...]
| In what is an astonishingly outspoken report, Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC
| JTC1/SC34 WG1 has given us insight into the total mess that Microsoft/ECMA
| have caused during their scandalous, underhand and unremitting attempts to
| get - what is a very poorly written specification {i.e. DIS 29500 aka OOXML,
| AR} - approved as an ISO standard. … * *


Dysfunctional ISO - Courtesy of Microsoft


EC probes OOXML standards-setting process

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| A spokesman for the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, told
| The Register that regulators were continuing to scrutinise interoperability
| issues related to Microsoft’s products following complaints from the
| Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) group. *
| As part of that process, the EC formally contacted a number of national
| standards bodies, including the Norwegian Standards Institute (NSI),
| requesting more details about possible irregularities in the OOXML
| standardisation process. *
| [...]
| “It must be stressed that it is not the Commission's intention to influence
| the outcome of this process, but the Commission considers it essential to
| ensure that European competition law is not violated in the course of the
| standard setting process,” he said in an email to El Reg. *
| In January the EC began formal anti-trust probes against Microsoft in two
| cases where it was alleged that the multinational firm had abused its strong
| market position. As part of the investigation into the first case, the
| Commission said that it would scrutinise OOXML on the grounds that the
| specification doesn't work with those of competitors. * *


Could an Appeal Derail OOXML?

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| Meanwhile, the normal ISO process means that OOXML will not become an
| official standard until at least the two-month waiting period runs out.


Microsoft accused of stacking ISO committee

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| In a memo sent following his last meeting as head of the working group on
| WG1, which is handling Microsoft’s application to make the Word format an ISO
| standard as ECMA 376, outgoing Governor Martin Bryan (above), an expert on
| SGML and XML, accused the company of stacking his group. *


Corrupt countries were more likely to support the OOXML document format

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| Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above
| mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less
| than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments)
| and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI
| index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for
| disapproval; 11 abstained - see the table below. * * *


Microsoft accused of more OOXML standards fiddling

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| However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These
| include Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan,
| Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think
| that these have been put there by Vole to make sure the standard gets pushed
| through. * *

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