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ISO Becomes OOXML’s Steward

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ISO Becomes OOXML’s Steward

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Against the backdrop of a noisy protest march through downtown Oslo Wednesday by 60 Norwegian software experts – including Opera CTO Haakon Wium Lie – objecting to Norway’s Yes vote for Open XML standardization by the International Standards Organization, ISO took control of the controversial Microsoft file format, setting up three committees to handle it from here on out.

One of the committees is meant to make OOXML, or rather ISO/IEC 29500, interoperate with its worst enemy, that other ISO standard, the OpenDocument Format and see how both can co-exist with other standards like the Open Font Format.

OOXML’s formal standardization is still off somewhere in the distance, pending publication.

The protesters, demanding ISO’s reform, claimed that Norway’s vote didn’t represent the sum of its parts and was pressured into it by Microsoft. Their leader, Steve Pepper, who quit his post over the vote, was quoted as saying, “People shouldn’t have to pay money to Microsoft to be able to read my documents.”

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