News item: http://www.betanews.com/article/1165528807 

ECMA's press release: http://www.ecma-international.org/news/PressReleases/PR_TC45_Dec2006.htm

 An Excerpt:

At the General Assembly meeting on 7 December 2006, Ecma International approved Office Open XML as an Ecma standard (Ecma 376). The General Assembly also approved submitting the standard for adoption under the ISO/IEC JTC 1 process.

The work to standardize OpenXML has been carried out by Ecma International as part of an open, cross-industry collaboration via Technical Committee 45 (Ecma TC45), which includes representatives from Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress.

With more and more organizations around the world interested in achieving document processing interoperability, and creating digital archives using open formats, the Office Open XML (Open XML) formats provide an international open standard for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that can be freely implemented across multiple applications and platforms, both today and in the future. Multiple vendors such as Corel, Microsoft and Novell already announced implementations of the Open XML standard in very popular applications such as WordPerfect, Open Office and Microsoft Office 2007.