Microsoft’s document format advances

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From Reuters

Microsoft Corp. has won a battle to have a key document format adopted as a global standard, improving its chances of winning government contracts and dealing a blow to supporters of a rival format.

The OpenDoc Society, which had argued that Microsoft’s Office Open XML format was unripe for ratification by the International Organization for Standardization, published the results showing Microsoft’s win on its website.

Microsoft welcomed the decision, which was leaked Tuesday ahead of an official ISO statement expected today, saying it created a “level playing field” for the format to compete with other standards.


Supporters of rival Open Document Format, which is already an ISO standard and widely used, said multiple formats defeated the purpose of having standards and the result would help Microsoft tighten its grip on computer users.

Tom Robertson, Microsoft’s head of interoperability and standards, said: “Open XML joins the ranks of PDF, HTML and ODF among the ranks of document formats. I think it makes it easier for governments to offer users choice.”

James Love, director of Knowledge Economy International, which campaigns for fairer access to information, said: “Microsoft’s control over document formats has destroyed competition on the desktop, and the fight over OOXML is really a fight over the future of competition and innovation.”