Microsofts Open Office still struggling to get Preference

Written by Vrishti Beniwal | New Delhi, Sep 2 | Updated: Sep 3 2007, 05:07am hrs
Microsofts Open Office XML format was far from fetching a two-third majority on Sundaythe last day of sending in the votes to the ISO for accepting or rejecting the standard, sources indicated.

OOXML will become an ISO standard if 66% of the P or participatory members approve it and not more than 25% of the total votes go against it.

Though there was no official confirmation on the number of countries voting for the standard as the voting was supposed to go on till midnight on Sunday, preliminary information suggested only seven out of 41 P-members had approved it till Friday. So far, the US, Colombia, Germany, Kenya, Poland, Romania, and Uruguay have voted in favour of OOXML, whereas India, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, France, New Zealand, Norway and South Africa have disapproved it as their national standard. Countries like Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, which got embroiled in a controversy for declaring its vote invalid, have abstained from voting.

While the open source camp alleged that many small countries like Jamaica, Lebanon and Turkey were given the P status in the last few days, Microsoft said a no in the ISO didnt nullify the format as it signified a conditional approval to the format.

The voting ending on September 2 is only a part of the process. It will be followed by a five-month ballot period wherein countries disapproving OOXML will have to state reasons for their decision. Proposals for changes, when addressed by ECMA, may convert a no into a yes, said Vijay Kapur, national technology officer, Microsoft.