WSJ et al. on OOXML

Revised to cover some more press reports: now in addition to WSJ we have Groklaw, Robert Weir, CBR online, Punto Informatico (Italian) and Mimmo Cosenza (Italian).

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) runs another article written by Charles Forelle, who already wrote a story on 30th August, with a balanced and impartial view. The article sports some lines of mine, gathered during a chat with the author.

Another article, slightly unbalanced (it claims victory for OXXML), but which at least has links to some reliable sources (including my post on OOXML voting) is at Strange, Punto Informatico is usually quite open-minded.

The best rebuttal to the twist (or the “spin”) some articles have on the story, which claim that this is just the first round, is from Robert Weir, which I quote:
Jason Matusow claims that “The next 6 months will be where the rubber really meets the road for the work on Open XML.” This is nonsense. The work should have been done back in Ecma, before submission to ISO. Fast Track is not a standards development process. It is intended for standards that are already completed and for which there is already industry consensus, to quickly transpose them into International Standards”

Always from the same source, I found illustrative the following table, which discerns the “old” P members of ISO/IEC and the “rookies”:

Approval Abstain Disapproval
Old Guard 7 8 14
New NB's 10 1 1
Total 19 9 15

As Always, also Pamela Jones has good coverage on Groklaw. My advice to readers: never go home before having read Groklaw on all issues we are discussing here, most likely you will find everything you need there!

A more recent update from CBR online, which says:

Given the controversy that has been involved in the approval voting process it is perhaps in everyone's interests that OOXML failed to gain approval as an ISO standard. Had it done so, the approval would have been tainted.
Microsoft and ECMA now have the opportunity to deal with the many comments (some estimate as many as 10,000) that will need to be resolved if it is to be approved. The criticisms of OOXML are too lengthy to list here but include the fact that it is seen as too closely tied to Microsoft Office, overlaps with ODF, is inconsistent, contradicts existing standards, and raises legal uncertainty with regards to patents.
If Microsoft and ECMA can resolve these comments and OOXML can win approval via the ballot resolution meeting then OOXML will be more readily welcomed than if it had been approved following a fast track vote.

True, but the ISO procedure is still a Fast Track procedure, therefore, as Robert Weir pointed out, there is a high degree of contradiction in what Microsoft and part of the press says.

For those who can read Italian, please check out the blog of Mimmo Cosenza, who extensively reported about the voting ridding etc. Everything at

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