I know it will not surprise you to hear that ISO/IEC have rejected the four appeals against OOXML. Here's their press release. Now what? Andy Updegrove:
Under the ISO rules of process, this now paves the way for the as-adopted version of OOXML, now called IS0/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology - Office Open XML, to proceed to publication. That version is substantially different than the current implementation of OOXML in Office 2007, and its text has still not been publicly released by ISO/IEC. According to a joint press release, "this is expected to take place within the next few weeks on completion of final processing of the document." Intriguingly, the press release goes on to say, "and subject to no further appeals against the decision.
That should be hilarious, when they publish it and anyone tries to actually use it. Anyone? Bueller?
Keep in mind that Microsoft's Office 2007 does not implement OOXML. Infoworld May 21, 2008:
On Wednesday, Microsoft said it will not have support for the current ISO specific for OOXML until it releases the next version of Office, code-named Office 14. The company has not said when that software will be available. No one does. How could they? Why would they?
What really happens next: the complaints lodged with the EU Commission. ISO/IEC
decided to go down with the ship.
Some countries involved in the OOXML process filed complaints, but earlier, the Commission had already announced that it would investigate whether "Office Open XML as implemented in Office is sufficiently interoperable with competitors' products". Here's a paper, Lost in Translation, that indicates that it is not. The authors make an understandable mistake I hope the EU Commission does not, thinking that Office 2007 implements OOXML, the ISO standard. It does not. OOXML as a standard has not been published yet. I wrote to Mr. Shah, and that will be corrected in the next revision. But take a look at how bad the situation currently is.
Here's the ISO/IEC press release:
ISO and IEC members give go ahead on ISO/IEC DIS 29500
The two ISO and IEC technical boards have given the go-ahead to publish ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML formats, as an ISO/IEC International Standard after appeals by four national standards bodies against the approval of the document failed to garner sufficient support.
None of the appeals from Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela received the support for further processing of two-thirds of the members of the ISO Technical Management Board and IEC Standardization Management Board, as required by ISO/IEC rules governing the work of their joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology.
According to the ISO/IEC rules, DIS 29500 can now proceed to publication as an ISO/IEC International Standard. This is expected to take place within the next few weeks on completion of final processing of the document, and subject to no further appeals against the decision.
The adoption process of Office Open XML (OOXML) as an ISO/IEC Standard has generated significant debate related to both technical and procedural issues which have been addressed according to ISO and IEC procedures. Experiences from the ISO/IEC 29500 process will also provide important input to ISO and IEC and their respective national bodies and national committees in their efforts to continually improve standards development policies and procedures.
ISO is a global network of national standards institutes from 157 countries. It has a current portfolio of more than 17 000 standards for business, government and society. ISO's standards make up a complete offering for all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, environmental and social. ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment and services.
The IEC is the world's leading organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as "electrotechnology". IEC Standards cover a vast range of technologies from power generation, transmission and distribution to home appliances and office equipment, semiconductors, fibre optics, batteries, solar energy, nanotechnology and marine energy to mention just a few. Wherever you find electricity and electronics, you find the IEC supporting safety and performance, the environment, electrical energy efficiency and renewable energies. The IEC also manages conformity assessment schemes that certify whether equipment, systems or components conform to its International Standards.