In the aftermath of the OOXML approval, an indictment of the process:

Microsoft got what it wanted - though only after pulling every lever it could to swing early opposition in its favour.

The outcome, though messy, was probably the right one. Under ISO control, future development of the formats will now be subject to independent direction, and the full technical specification will be open for all to see. The way it was arrived at, however, left much to be desired.

The ISO needs to reconsider the "fast-track" procedures supposed to speed standards-setting but which led to the debacle. Pushing a technical 6,000-page proposal through the system in a rush left many issues unresolved. Some of the national standards bodies whose votes determined the outcome have been shown in a bad light. More transparency is needed on who casts the votes and how decisions are made. ...

Microsoft can do much to rebuild credibility by supporting a truly open standard and working to harmonise the new standard with IBM's rival format. It needs to think harder, too, about how it approaches battles like this. Winning ugly will not do anymore.
As a point of clarification, ODF is not "IBM's rival format".  It's the previously existing ISO-approved standard in this area, supported by vendors like Sun, Google, and others.  Either way, a call from the mainstream media for harmonization, in the context of making all of this better for customers, is helpful.

Link: Financial Times: Software wars >

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