OOXML Format Wins Approval

It's not even officially announced, but Microsoft has been trying so long to get OOXML approved, it can't wait.  It's already issued a press release.

While the final vote has not yet been announced formally, publicly available information appears to indicate the proposed Open XML standard received extremely broad support. According to documents available on the Internet, 86 percent of all voting national body members support ISO/IEC standardization, well above the 75 percent requirement for formal acceptance under ISO and IEC rules. In addition, 75 percent of the voting Participating national body members (known as P-members) support standardization, also well above the 66.7 percent requirement for this group. Open XML now joins HTML, PDF and ODF as ISO- and IEC-recognized open document format standards.

“With 86 percent of voting national bodies supporting ratification, there is overwhelming support for Open XML. This outcome is a clear win for the customers, technology providers and governments that want to choose the format that best meets their needs and have a voice in the evolution of this widely adopted standard,” said Tom Robertson, general manager of Interoperability and Standards at Microsoft Corp. “The input from technical experts, customers and governments around the world has greatly improved the Open XML specification and will make it even more useful to developers and customers. Once it is formally approved, we are committed to supporting this specification in our products, and we will continue to work with standards bodies, governments and the industry to promote greater interoperability and innovation.”

It should be noted that Ecma International has also issued a press release, so it looks like a done deal.  Of course, most people still use Office 2003 file formats to be compatible with the vast number of people who still use Office 2003, but the main point for Microsoft, of course, was to create opportunities for Microsoft to get into the government software market.
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