I don't see how supporting an obfuscated, potentially patent-infested format designed not to be interoperable with anything, will do anything other than strengthen the position of the monopolist who is one of the main obstacles for more widespread adoption of Free Software in the first place.
Everything in the software world is patent infested, but in this case the Microsoft Open Specification Promise covers OOXML 1.0. It may not cover future versions, you may not trust them, but there it is. I am less concerned about Microsoft-owned patents than those owned by patent trolls. We're actually in a similar position to Microsoft on this front.
Microsoft will be in a stronger position if users don't have the opportunity to adopt FLOSS products because they don't interoperate with existing documents (including those of their friends and work colleagues). OpenOffice.org has been a success not just because it's "good enough" and "cheap", but because users don't have to drop everything to use it. If OpenOffice.org didn't support the binary Microsoft document formats, the barrier to entry would be way too high, and no one would bother.
I say support here because the OOXML format will be far more powerful if it is certified as an open standard, and I understand that the GNOME Foundation is a part of this process. [...] So what we may end up with is a somewhat less obfuscated format which is still too complex for anyone to implement to perfection, which is considered open because even the GNOME Foundation worked on its development/refinement.
The GNOME Foundation is not contributing to, endorsing, improving or developing OOXML independently or towards ISO standardisation. We are involved in ECMA TC45-M to get as much documentation out of Microsoft as possible. If OOXML is crappy, particularly on the terms of ISO voting bodies, having good documentation only helps to illustrate that crappiness. We're not making it less crap.
At the moment where governments and companies are increasingly standardising on ODF because they want truly open formats, the last thing we want is to have a Microsoft-created format with 6000 pages of documentation to be adopted instead, creating another lockin.
No disagreements there!