OOXML approved

Chris Auld has the results of the international standards meeting on Open Office XML (OOXML), and reports it has been overwhelmingly approved.

I doubt many have followed this debate, but it has to some degree become a proxy (even though it shouldn’t have been) for Microsoft vs open source and a closely followed issue by many of the IT industry. The very simple explanation is it was about whether one needed to have OOXML adopted as a standard when there was already an open source ODF standard. There were strong arguments both ways.

An unofficial tally as the following votes cast:


  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Cote-d’Ivore
  3. Cyprus
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Denmark
  6. Finland
  7. Germany
  8. Ireland
  9. Japan
  10. Jamaica
  11. Kazakhstan
  12. Lebanon
  13. Malta
  14. Norway
  15. Pakistan
  16. Saudi Arabia
  17. Singapore
  18. Slovenia
  19. South Korea
  20. Switzerland
  21. Trinidad and Tobago
  22. United Kingdom
  23. USA
  24. Uruguay


  1. Canada
  2. China
  3. Ecuador
  4. India
  5. Iran
  6. New Zealand
  7. South Africa
  8. Venezuela


  1. Australia
  2. Belgium
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Kenya
  6. Malaysia
  7. Netherlands
  8. Spain
  9. Turkey

There has been some ferocious (and controversial) lobbying around this vote, plus one should acknowledge a lot of work to improve the OOXML standard from the previous version which was rejected.

This means Open XML now joins HTML, PDF and ODF as ISO- and IEC-recognized open document format standards.

For those worried about the future of ODF, I found a useful read this blog post giving ten reasons why ODF will not be greatly impacted by the adoption of OOXML. The author was against OOXML being approved, but doesn’t think in the end it will reverse the momentum ODF has.

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