They managed to make it happen.  IS29500 has passed, and Microsoft now has an ISO standard in Open XML.

Clearly, I'm disappointed in this outcome.  Microsoft's publicly-stated attitude of "standards are great, let's have more of them!" did not and does not make sense in the space where there are already established standards.  With the blessing of the ISO, it's not clear what will really happen in terms of Office 2007 adoption.  It remains to be seen what products actually implement the standard as it is now approved.  There's a long road between here and the supposed document nirvana envisioned by MS. And there's a fair bit of fallout from the overall process.

Bob Sutor captures some of that fallout as an opportunity:

I believe that thousands of motivated yet pragmatic people will now move on to fix the systemic issues I've identified, with fresh evidence of why it is necessary. There are now, as there have always been, much bigger issues than OOXML itself. For that reason, we are still in the early phases of the worldwide movement to true open standards.
There is other fallout, though, worth examining.  Last week, IT World ran a story headlined, "Study sees Microsoft brand in sharp decline".  It says:
Microsoft's brand power has been in sharp decline over the past four years, an indication the company is losing credibility and mindshare with U.S. business users, according to a recent study by market research firm CoreBrand.  According to the CoreBrand Power 100 2007 study, which polled about 12,000 U.S. business decision-makers, Microsoft dropped from number 12 in the ranking of the most powerful U.S. company brands in 2004 to number 59 last year. In 1996, the company ranked number 1 in brand power among 1,200 top companies in about 50 industries, said James Gregory, CEO of CoreBrand. ... Among its peers in the category of Computers, Peripherals and Computer Software, Microsoft is second to IBM in brand power, with Toshiba a close third, Gregory said.
While a direct connection between brand erosion and the OOXML process may not be possible to make, what is certainly true is that buyers change their perceptions of a company that executes a scorched earth win-at-all-costs plan in every aspect of their business.  Other emergent enterprise vendors have a "Don't be evil" approach that seems to be able to support a successful business model.  Which type of vendor would you prefer to partner with for the long term?

Link: Bob Sutor: Regarding OOXML and the need for change >

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