Google approves of Office Open XML decision by the ISO

Posted by Mark Raby

Mountain View (CA) - Google has released a statement praising the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) for not approving the new Open Office XML standard.

The OOXML standard (DIS 29500) failed to meet the approval guidelines from the ISO, which would have required 2/3 of the participating members to vote positively, and have less than 1/4 vote negatively.  Neither of these criteria was met.

Google said there were numerous factors that made the format less than ideal, including too much dependency on other Microsoft proprietary formats and the high cost of implementing multiple standards.  It also noted that there was not enough time to fully review the specification and that there are too many undocumented features, which prevents other vendors from implemented OOXML.

Another open-source standard, ODF, has been more widely praised by industry insiders, and during the same process it was approved 23-0 by ISO participating members.

"Technical standards should be arrived at transparently, openly, and based on technical merit," wrote Zaheda Bhorat from Google's Open Source Team on the site's official blog.  "Google supports one open document format and calls on industry participants to collaboratively work on ODF."