Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life











{April 03, 2008}   The European Commision and OOXML

After the approval of OOXML as a standard by ISO, it seems that there are two months for appealing the decision. The European Commission, Europe’s top antitrust authority, will investigate whether OOXML, as the format is known, is “sufficiently interoperable with competitors’ products”, as well as if there have there been any irregularities or attempts to influence the debate or vote. If national ISO bodies return evidence that Microsoft attempted to influence the votes to secure acceptance of OOXML, it would strengthen the Commission’s antitrust case.

According to Thomas Vinje, legal counsel for the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), “Even if the votes were legitimately won, which I doubt, OOXML is not an open standard because it isn’t fully implemented on competing platforms, and its future shape is subject purely to Microsoft’s control”. “Granting ISO status to OOXML doesn’t begin to resolve the competition law questions the Commission is looking into”. Lets hope the European Union investigates and clarifies all this.

“An appeal would have to be resolved before publication of a document as an International Standard”, said Roger Frost, spokesperson for ISO. In other words, if an appeal is filed, it’s conceivable that final publication of OOXML as a standard could be delayed. Lets hope ISO appealing process, if followed, is less irregular than the approval one. Maybe I can still recover my trust in ISO. Lest see how it goes.



Nacho says:

Great post in these dark times…

Does anyone know if there are groups who will organize their claims to appeal the ISO decisions? Is there any formal way to raise our voices against such a nonsense? The NO OOXML campaign seems not to be getting much attention… is there any other complementary way to keep the action forward? Definitely, is not the time for lament and just stand waiting for things to change alone. The free software developers community and anyone who knows about xml and is conscious about what this story might lead to, should raise their voices.

Let’s DO something.



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