ISO/IEC confirm Microsoft’s OOXML as standard

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ISO/IEC confirm Microsoft’s OOXML as standard

Chicago (IL) – Speculations about a possible standard approval started spreading on Monday and Microsoft announced the ratification of OOXML yesterday. Now it is also official, as the standardization confirmed that Microsoft’s document format has received the necessary number of votes to get “ISO/IEC DIS 29500” approved as ISO/IEC International Standard.   

If there was any doubt about yesterday’s April 1 OOXML news, it has been put to rest this morning. As confirmed by Microsoft yesterday, OOXML received positive votes from, 75% of the participating members, while 14% were negative. The ISO/IEC approval required a 66.67% majority.  

Microsoft lost the initial fast-track vote in September of last year and had to address 3522 comments, which were grouped into 1027 subjects. During a ballot resolution meeting (BRM), Microsoft said it was able to address 1014 of these topics by releasing 43 different resolutions. Apparently, these resolutions were enough to co convince enough national bodies to withdraw previous disapproval votes and pass OOXML as ISO/IEC standard. If there are no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the ISO/IEC 29500 International Standard will be published.

The organization describes the new standard as “a standard for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets that is intended to be implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms.  (…) ISO/IEC DIS 29500 was originally developed as the Office Open XML Specification by Microsoft Corporation which submitted it to Ecma International, an information technology industry association, for transposing into an ECMA standard. Following a process in which other IT industry players participated, Ecma International subsequently published the document as ECMA standard 376.”

The ISO/IEC process was open to the IEC and ISO national member bodies from 104 countries, including 41 that are participating members of the joint ISO/IEC JTC 1.