The real reason for MS’s ooxml push

I cannot help but lean towards agreeing with this article by Joe Wilcox. It is clearly the game plan of MS to embrace and extend and this time deeper into the enterprise. The ratification of ooxml as an ISO standard will be the coup de grâce that will see ODF under serious threat.

All things considered, it does appear that what MS wants, MS gets. Does not matter if it is unfair or unethical. They managed to use their weight to bulldoze ECMA to adopt it as a standard and for ECMA to pass it on to ISO for ratification. The ISO process has thrown up numerous issues which, if the ECMA was diligent, would have been fixed or addressed. The fact that it has not merely shows the disrespect that ECMA has to ISO. ECMA was able to be strong armed to do to the commercial will of MS. My technology fairplay doctrine tells me that OOXML has to be rejected come September 2nd. I am trying really hard to give OOXML a fair hearing, but no where does MS want to engage fairly (comment directed to MS Singapore).


  1. Government might look at ISO standards more than enterprise.
    Real problem of documents might exist in two different standards.
    And there might be different countries that are using different ISO standards also.
    And multi-national enterprises might also try to adapt to two different standards, as government is also one of the major customers too.
    In the future when all the countries are switched to xml standard, there exist a problem of handling two different standards. Can both two standards be translated to each other without any problem? Example: It’s like having two different OSI models.
    If one company works in ODF, and the other company works in OOXML, exchanging of documents will make things seemed a bit more complicated. Of course, we would agreed that there’s translators around, but we should recognise the fact that the translators are not always perfect, as it might lag behind due to new stuff being added to either standards.
    In layman term, I send you people documents, they can clearly see my documents without any problem. And when people send documents to me, I can clearly see their documents without any problem. The best way, is to have one standard, a truly open one.

  2. International bulldozers
    Hi Harish,
    Do you have any views on the reports emerging from Portugal’s national standards deliberation on ECMA 376:
    And also on how should one prepare for the very high likelihood that such tactics will be applied during (and before) these meetings – wherever they are held?
    Concerned ODF User

    • Re: International bulldozers
      Thanks for the reply. I am indeed concerned that the continued arm twisting by MS for their commercial ends will only get stronger and intense as the September 2nd deadline approaches.
      I just read (linked in
      from the GrokLaw story) and it continues to show how manipulative
      MS is.
      I am not sure what preparations we can make, except to be an active participant in the various national bodies. The sad part is that most national bodies are run by civil servants who probably do not want to be seen to “rock the boat” and unless there is strong participation people concerned about these bodies being hijacked, we might end up with ooxml being adopted!

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