Redmond (WA) – It’s official (and no April Fool): Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format, used in its Office 2007 suite, has been approved as a standard by a Joint Technical Committee of the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The news of the ratification of the format, referred to as Draft International Standard (DIS) 29500, comes after the voting results from the weekend had leaked onto the Internet this morning and Microsoft subsequently confirmed that it was successful in making OOXML an ISO/IEC standard.
However, the vote was everything else than unanimous and mirrored the controversy about the standardization battle, in which both OOMXL promoters and opponents accused each other of unfair tactics. Microsoft said that 86% of all voting national body members supported the ISO/IEC standardization of OOXML, meeting the 75% requirement. Also, 75% of the “participating” national body members voted in favor of the standardization, lifting Microsoft above the 66.7% requirement for this group
Microsoft claimed that the voting results were “well above” ISO/IEC requirements. In fact the participating vote was significantly better than the fast-track voting result o f last September, in which Microsoft only received a 53% approval. However, one could argue that even with 75% approval, the company just barely squeezed by – despite the fact that company employees have recently claimed that the format has been gaining traction in recent weeks.
The competing Open Document Format (ODF) was approved as ISO standard in May of 2006.