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ZDnet - Monday, August 13 03:46 pm
Microsoft has failed by one vote to get the backing necessary for
Office Open XML to become an alternative to OpenDocument Format as a
standard of the International Committee for Information Technology
Acceptance by the International Committee for Information Technology
Standards (INCITS) is critical for Microsoft in the US. The software
company has already gained approval in principle from the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO), but it needs INCITS approval to
keep up the momentum.
It failed to gain acceptance for Office Open XML (OOXML) on Thursday by
the slimmest of margins. Eight votes were cast in favour, with seven
against and one abstention, one vote short of the nine votes needed.
The result is the latest setback for Microsoft in its long-running
battle to see its Open XML approved as an open standard for office
documents on equal terms with OpenDocument Format (ODF).
The discussions within INCITS have been controversial. Last month,
questions were raised over the membership of the crucial V1 technical
sub-group of INCITS when it emerged that the group had ballooned from
seven voting members at the start of the year to 26.
The vote was split along familiar lines; Intel, HP, EMC and Apple voted
in favour of OOXML, while Sun's allies, such as Oracle and IBM, lined
up against it. Sun had no vote.
US government bodies were split, with the US Department for Homeland
Security backing Microsoft and the US Department of Defense voting
against. IEEE, a large international standards body, abstained.
INCITS now has until 2 September to make its final decision as to
whether it will support Office Open XML.