Microsoft got a surprise smackdown from an international panel yesterday in its bid to have its open document format recognized as an international standard. The effort to certify Office Open XML met with resistance from 26% of the voting nations, and anything over 25% is a deal-breaker, the Times reports. Still, Microsoft predicts its format will eventually be adopted.
The vote matters because governments want certified open formats to make their documents viewable with software from more than one company. An IBM-led consortium developed the one current available open format, but more than 90% of all text documents in the world are still in Microsoft formats, giving credence to critics' arguments that governments are too reliant on Microsoft.