Open document standard battle is far from over

Written by Vrishti Beniwal | New Delhi, Dec 26 | Updated: Dec 27 2007, 05:26am hrs
Microsofts Office Open XML (or, OOXML) format has taken a step closer to receiving International Standards Organisation (ISO) approval. Ecma, the international standards organisation for IT and consumer electronics, has managed to resolve half the issues raised by national standard bodies to reject the format.

Ecma has until mid-January to resolve the remaining issues related to the XML-based electronic documentation file format before ISO members meet in February as part of the ballot resolution process to fast-track OOXMLs approval. ISO rejected OOXML as the international standard for documentation in September.

Ecma has so far addressed 1,766 issues of the 3,522 comments posted by 87 voting national bodies, including the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Proponents of the rival open document format (ODF), the existing international standard, said granting standardisation to OOXML would lead to duplication and other complications.

The ISO ballot resolution meeting in Geneva will review and seek consensus on the modifications to the draft OOXML document. If the modifications are such that national bodies wish to withdraw their negative votes, the Microsoft format could be granted status as a global documentation standard.

Ecma has already addressed some of the issues identified by India. It is, however, not mandatory for India to accept any ISO standard, a BIS official told FE.