OpenXML stopped – for now

Microsofts XML-based Office format failed to receive the needed votes for a fast track standardization. However, the differences have been more than marginal: Microsoft received 74% of all qualified votes, whereas 75% would have been sufficient to get it through. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has put out a nice graphic which visualizes the votes:

ISO 29500 Votes Map (2007-09-03)

(There is a textual overview of the results available here.)

Microsoft surely won’t give up the format just now, it is far too important for their business strategies in the next years. And its likely that they try to “fix” at least some of the outstanding issues (you could also say: do even more lobbying) to get the needed 75% in March 2008 for the final voting. Microsoft itself already speaks of “Strong Global Support for Open XML” in their press release on the topic:

“Technical experts around the world have provided invaluable feedback and technical recommendations for evolving the format,” Robertson said. “The high quality of the Open XML format will be improved as a result of this process, and we take seriously our role in working within the Ecma technical committee to address the comments received. We believe that the ISO National Bodies will be pleased with the results.”

Now lets see if we are equally pleased with the results…