Microsoft gets an ISO standard

Written on April 15, 2008 by Ángel Barbero in Software

In this curious and (not so) strange race against itself that Microsoft is in, the last and promising act is the promotion of the Open Office XML format (OOXML) by the ISO as a proper standard. This means that from this moment that format will also be called ISO/IEC 29500.
The format OOXML was formerly designed to describe any document created and managed by the basic Office suite (spreadsheet, presentation or text document). Now that it’s included as a standard, it implies that the Microsoft Office suite will be considered to be able to deal with standard and open formats. One of the main implications for Microsoft is that it will have an extra point when dealing with the Public Sector, which usually primes the use of standards and open formats, and has always had a lot of problems in working with Microsoft because of this reason.
As with everything that regards Microsoft, from the very first moment a lot of voices have risen supporting the decision, but also against it. Apart from visceral opinions and more detailed analysis, I consider this, in any case, a really important moment in the life of Microsoft, even if the information has had little impact compared to the “Yahoo affair”. It’s an important brick in the road of the company to change its negative image regarding openness and compatibility. I maintain there is still a lot to see on this topic.


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