Microsoft Prevails in Document Standards Fight

OOXML ratified as a global standard
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 1:47 PM CDT
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, addresses the media during a news conference at the CeBIT in Hanover, northern Germany, on Monday, March 3, 2008. The world's biggest IT fair will be opened by Ballmer,...   (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)
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(Newser) – Microsoft has won a heated battle to have one of its document formats made into a global standard, disappointing many who lobbied against the company and making the software giant more likely to win government contracts. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) okayed OOXML, leading a Microsoft rep to boast the format now had a “level playing field” with others, Reuters reports.

Many opponents were supporters of ODF, which is already an ISO standard; they argued that having multiple formats defeated the purpose of having standards in the first place. One critic said, “the fight over OOXML is really a fight over the future of competition and innovation”—noting Microsoft’s role as a monopolizing force. Some experts worry that OOXML and ODF are too dissimilar to allow real interoperability.