This morning, it appears that the ISO vote on Microsoft's Open XML has failed to pass as-is.  It's hard to separate spin from reality, though, so I may have to update this blog posting later.  Here's what I can find:

New York Times Microsoft favored to win open document vote Standards Blog: Forecast: ISO Will Announce on Tuesday that OOXML Approval has Failed

Those were both written before today, though.  So what's out today?

Microsoft has issued a press release, Strong Global Support for Open XML as It Enters Final Phase of ISO Standards Process.  NONE of the regular blogs -- on either side -- have comments on this press release yet.  So by my reading, does it surprise anyone that
- The first source of news on a supposed standardization process comes from a vendor who kept insisting throughout the process that this was an ecma effort, that it was about standards rather than a single vendor, etc.?
- Microsoft has spun a failure to win the vote as "strong support"?  There's absolutely no acknowledgement in the release that this vote means that the effort did not pass.
- They claim that more countries voted on this effort than did for Open Document Format, evidence of "an unprecedented level of participation ".  Gee how did that happen?

None of the MS bloggers have anything on this at this particular moment, nor groklaw nor other similar sites.  The only one that seems to have comments on it is the NO-OOXML site, which was posted a few hours ago and the release is only linked in comments.

Update 1, 8 AM: IDG publications are now reporting "ISO votes to reject Microsoft's OOXML as standard".

OOXML failed on both counts, according to figures provided by Microsoft, and by other sources with knowledge of the voting process. ISO has not yet officially announced the results.
Update 2, 11 AM:

Well, Microsoft has managed to get some spinning the wrong way on this.  IT Pro and other publications have this story, "Microsoft Nears OOXML Approval":
Office Open XML (OOXML) has been given the preliminary thumbs up by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), thanks to a large number of the international standards body's members voting to support ratification of Microsoft's file format.

Computerworld sees through the smokescreen, reporting "Microsoft gaming ISO system in Open XML vote bid, say critics":
Opponents of Open XML claim that the sudden rise is no coincidence and is linked to aggressive local politicking by Microsoft that takes advantage of loopholes in the rules.

"I have to say that this is the most egregious, and far-reaching, example of playing the system to the advantage of a single company that I have ever seen. Breathtaking, in fact," wrote Andy Updegrove, a Boston lawyer and open standards activist, in a blog post late last week.
From the tone of today's press release, it's clear MS is going to continue to use whatever end-justifies-the-means tactics necessary approaching the February BRM (ballot resolution meeting) and beyond.  That is, if the market lets them.

Post a Comment