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ODF vs OOXML: Microsoft Strong-Arm Tactics Appear to Have Succeeded…

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Balloting has ended on the fast-tracked measure to adopt Microsoft’s proprietary Office Open XML (often incorrectly called “Open Office XML” ) document standard as an international ISO-certified standard.

There are two criteria necessary for the measure to pass:

  1. Two-thirds of the voting P-Member countries must vote in favour of approval, and
  2. No more than one-quarter of votes cast must be opposed to approval of the standard.

The first criterion has been met for some time – no big change there, however the second criterion passed the test at the last minute.

The entire process has been marred by deceptive and manipulative interference by Microsoft – you can learn more here:


The voting process is under investigation by several countries, and also the European Union Commission:

  • The measure to approve the OOXML standard in Norway succeeded on just two yes votes against 21 no votes.
  • In Germany, the only options given the 12 voters were for Germany to accept or abstain. The vote tied at 6-6 until an irregular vote was cast to approve the measure by a 13th voter, apparently not entitled to cast a vote.
  • The voting process in Poland is being investigated by the EUC.

Also, the president of the European Academy for Standardization has raised the issue of whether the adoption of Microsoft’s OOXML as a standard may conflict with World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

You can get the latest updates on the vote count here:


Under intense pressure from Microsoft, the following countries changed their vote from their September vote from either “Abstain” or “No” to “Yes”:

  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • South Korea
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland

Written by westcoastsuccess

March 30, 2008 at 7:08 am

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