It is a war between IBM and MS?

Today, April 29th 2008’s, Digital Life’s “Hot News” section has a blurb about failed ooxml tests. That blurb is reproduced here:

Office 2007 fails Open XML test

Microsoft is behind the newly approved Open XML (OXML) international standard that supposedly allows interoperability with Microsoft documents.
Last month, Microsoft shoehorned OXML to be passed as a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) an the International Electrotechnical Commission – despite heavy opposition.
Yet the company’s Office 2007 Word document do not conform to the standard, according to Alex Brown, leader of the ISO group in charge of maintaining OXML.
Alex recently revealed the findings in a blog post at
SIGNIFICANCE: This is a major problem for Microsoft. Many issues have been left answered, like why was OXML approved when it’s not even ready for primetime?
A posting on Groklaw, a website partly sponsored by IBM, asked: “All you folks who voted for it need to tell us why you accepted it before it was done. Because what this means is that OXML was just approved as an ISO standard, on the allegation that it was necessary for interoperability with Microsoft documents, and it turns out it doesn’t even do that.”
It’s a war between IBM and Microsoft.

Sigh. While I still think ooxml (and not OXML as alluded to in the paragraph above) is not worth the 6000 pages it is printed on, the writer just can’t get things right.

To wit:
a) ” … shoehorned OXML to be passed …”: while it is true that MS bought out many a national body to vote in their favour, shoehorn sounds too lame – bulldozed should have been better.
b) ” … Groklaw, a website partly sponsored by IBM …”: I have not found any evidence of that yet. Groklaw lists ibiblio and AMD as their sponsors. Journalistic boo-boo, again?
c) ” … a war between IBM and M…”: Sigh. OOXML, in it’s current form, has been opposed to by IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Google, and Sun, just to name a few. It is not that no one wants to approve another document standard – it is that the ooxml as it is now, is an incomplete work and is work-in-progress. To prematurely approve it as an ISO standard gives the spin meisters at Microsoft yet another data point to con and trick governments into using their stuff.

For some, clues can be offered, for others, just let them be.


  1. I’ve written to the editors
    … asking them to print a correction next week about points (b) and (c) since these are unsupported by the facts. Let’s see if they do the decent thing.

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