Microsoft Pops The Champagne Over OOXML


In an announcement on its PressPass Website, Microsoft cited unspecified sources that indicate OOXML has received the support of 86 percent of all national voting bodies, easily surpassing the 75 percent necessary for formal acceptance of the standard.

Microsoft also claims to have garnered 75 percent of votes from so-called P-members, or top-tier national body members, surpassing the two-thirds majority required for standardization of OOXML.

Ric Opal, vice president of Peters and Associates, an Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based solution provider, believes ISO standardization of OOXML will have a positive impact on the channel.

"Many of us have moved from providing core infrastructure services and now include more business productivity and collaboration offerings in our solutions delivery," Opal said. "Understanding Open XML and what the impacts are to our businesses moving forward is important."

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Microsoft developed OOXML for its Office 2007 suite and is positioning it as an open standard. In December 2006, OOXML was certified as an Ecma standard, and Microsoft has been pushing hard to get OOXML certified with the ISO.

Opal acknowledges that proponents of Open Document Format (ODF) have fought tooth and nail against having an alternative XML-based open standard for documents, but says OOXML will have a beneficial effect on the industry.

"In many areas of technology, alternative standards bring choice, competition, and innovation to the marketplace. This is important to all Microsoft partners," said Opal.