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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ecma Makes Open XML Changes in Bid to Swing ISO Votes

Ecma, the standards body that is pushing Microsoft Corp.'s Office Open
XML document format for approval as an ISO standard published a
2,300-page document on Monday addressing complaints and suggestions
about the format made by ISO members after it failed to win enough
votes in an initial round of balloting. The most significant changes
in the standards submission by Geneva-based Ecma International include
the sidelining of a graphics rendering technology used by Microsoft
but few other vendors, and the release of more information on how Open
XML, the native file format in Office 2007, supports file compatibility
with older Office documents. Under ISO rules, the full text of Ecma's
document can only be viewed by members of national standards bodies
via a password-protected Web portal. But Ecma posted a summary of some
the key changes that have been made in the Open XML standards proposal,
which is being shepherded by the group's Technical Committee 45. The
length of Ecma's response isn't surprising in light of the fact that
ISO members offered up a total of 3,522 written comments about Open
XML in the wake of last September's vote on whether to accept Ecma's
fast-track standards submission. The proposal received a majority of
the votes cast but not the amount required for approval; a second round
of voting is scheduled for late next month... Activity already is
ramping up in the campaign by Microsoft and Ecma to get Open XML on
the same footing as ODF, which already had been accepted as an ISO

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