Open XML vote results are in – Ecma appears to have secured ISO/IEC ratification of the standard – now known as IS 29500.
It is a great victory for supporters of document choice and flexibility and for those who prefer to use ISO standard formats. It validates the need for additional document standards – for users not completely served by previously existing ISO standards. Ratification also demonstrates that the global community is interested in ISO/IEC oversight of the maintenance and evolution of the spec for such a widely used format. This long process has added tremendous value to the specification through improvements proposed by national bodies around the world and it is great to see the global community working together to build consensus.
I am very happy with this result, but our work continues – not just for Microsoft but for the entire vendor community. We will be continuing to build on the work the community has been doing to improve interoperability between standards-based document format implementations through our Document Interoperability Initiative (DII). The next event will take place in Munich, Germany April 22 and 23 with a collection of vendors from across Europe. Please let me know if you would like to participate in the testing and/or discussion. I am really looking forward to learning more about the needs of the vendor community (or more importantly our shared customers), and together develop process/tools/? to improve our implementations and serve these needs.
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