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Submission + - Ecma Approves OOXML - What Does it All Mean?

Andy Updegrove writes: "As expected, Ecma, the European-based standards body chosen by Microsoft to fast-track its Office Open XML standard to ISO, voted today to adopt OOXML. The vote was 20 to 1, with IBM casting the only negative vote. Is this vote a big deal or not? The answer is yes and no. No, in that everyone knew that Ecma was going to approve OOXML. After you write up a working group charter that says, and I quote, "The goal of the Technical Committee is to produce a formal standard for office productivity applications within the Ecma International standards process which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats," you haven't left much to chance. But yes, in the sense that there were other members of the working group (e.g., Intel, the British Museum, Apple, and so on), so there was a group effort in packaging the standard. still, that would have provided impact mostly at the process level rathan than an opportunity to assert any real technical influence. The biggest significance of today's vote will be that Microsoft can now say that OOXML has been "approved by a standards organization." Most people have no reason to know the details, so a statement that "OOXML has been approved as a standard" will go a long way in the marketplace, for PR purposes. As a result, you can expect that Microsoft will make the most of today's event. e.php?story=20061207053332191"

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle