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.