Appeal the appeal, enforce ISO rules, and kick OOXML out

Brussels, 2 April 2008 — ISO members failed to disapprove the Open XML format. Microsoft has compromised the International Standards Organisation (ISO) during the rush to get a stamp for their Office OpenXML (OOXML), using unfair practices such as committee stuffing in several countries and political interventions of ministers in the standardization process.

OOXML received 75 percent approval votes of p-members of JTC1, among them many nations of questionable expertise in standardization. In September a first attempt to approve the 6000 page standard Open XML failed with more than 3500 submitted comments. As in September many of the new approval votes were won by political high level intervention and the vendors dominance in national technical committees.

Benjamin Henrion, initiator of the <NO>OOXML campaign, is furious about the tactics he followed over several months: "Committee stuffing is a standard practice for Microsoft. Microsoft raped ISO with their office file formats, leaving the organization in limbo. The whole campaign against the format have raised an army of people, which are furious about the dirty tactics used by Microsoft to get the broken standard through ISO. This anger won't go away, and I wish good luck to Microsoft to get it adopted by governments. The reputation of Microsoft went down below zero with this process."

Read the complete press release...


The preferred document exchange among European Institutions is OOXML

"The preferred document exchange among European Institutions is OOXML", this is the summary of an awful document produced by the "Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics" of the European Institutions. Basically the document says that European bureaucrats use Microsoft Office everywhere on their desktop, and this is not gonna change. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 22 Dec 2011 19:45

Embarrassing details from South America

Last week new details surfaced how the Brazilian government was defamed by OOXML proponents in their stance on Open XML. — Comments: 1 — by arebentiarebenti 10 Sep 2011 13:56

ECMA standard to be supported in Australia

Australia is adopting OOXML according to its Whole-of-Government Common Operating Environment (WofG COE) Policy — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 24 Jan 2011 20:00

Europe wants an open document exchange format

A report on completing the internal market for e-commerce highlights the business interests in open formats and interoperability. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 21 Sep 2010 11:07

Money makes the Wikipedia go round

Did you notice, the open xml controversy is gone. — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 26 Aug 2010 19:01

Binary Format Plugfest in October

In a post-OOXML world "binary format" interoperability remains a challenge. Doug Mahugh invites developers to a Binary Format Plugfest. — Comments: 1 — by arebentiarebenti 19 Aug 2010 01:30

Mandatory Use of State Document Format ODF in Indonesia

After all of the computers in government agencies will be migrated to Open Source in late 2011, the government also plans to migrate all the important documents of the country using open document formats (Open Document Format / ODF). "We chose to switch to open formats like ODF because no dependence with a vendor," said Ashwin Sasongko, DG Applications and Telematics Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. — Comments: 0 — by ggiedkeggiedke 03 Aug 2010 07:11

Reform or not reform?

ISO and other standards bodies did not learn from the OOXML debate. Reform of ISO is pending to allow more fast tracked standards from ECMA. Procurement of OOXML might be illegal in Europe. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 23 Jun 2010 15:50

Alan Bryden in Brussels

An old fox is put in charge of another hen house. — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 18 Jun 2010 11:50

Alex Brown: Microsoft Fails the Standards Test

The second anniversary of the approval of ISO/IEC 29500 (aka OOXML) is upon us. [...] we can fill out a report card for a couple of these promises and determine how well Microsoft is doing … On this count Microsoft seems set for failure. In its pre-release form Office™ 2010 supports not the approved Strict variant of OOXML, but the very format the global community rejected in September 2007, and subsequently marked as not for use in new documents – the Transitional variant. Microsoft are behaving as if the JTC 1 standardisation process never happened [...]. — Comments: 1 — by ggiedkeggiedke 02 Apr 2010 15:46

Samba guru Jeremy Allison reflects on Open XML standardisation

Allison says professionals lost their respect in ISO. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 21 Jan 2010 16:45

EU settlement: ECMA 376 not ISO 29500

Microsoft will document "additional information" to ECMA 376 and will comply with ECMA 376 1st January and shields the freedom to create software as a work of art pour l'art. — Comments: 2 — by arebentiarebenti 17 Dec 2009 23:47

ANSI: international standards system is working well

Messages from a parallel universe. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 15 Dec 2009 14:10

OOXML as a response

Why did OOXML come into existence? — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 29 Aug 2009 18:59

Softpatent trolls OOXML and Word

The Amageddon of Open XML. Redmond graps the bitter fruits from nuturing the software patent troll legislative environment. Soft patents are a nightmare for software companies and prohibit the company to sell MS Word. — Comments: 1 — by podmoklepodmokle 12 Aug 2009 09:07

Open XML is a foul apple

So you are using Mac MS-Office? Giant fail! — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 07 Aug 2009 12:45

800 pages of defect for OOXML, here it is

800 pages of defect for OOXML, here it is. ISO is such a transparent organisation that they are afraid of the web, and the public light of the blogosphere. Here is the leak for you. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 07 Aug 2009 12:41

ISO will meet in Redmond, dinner paid by Microsoft

The capture of the ISO process by the vendor is not finished. The next ISO SC34 meeting, who should review more then 800 pages of defects of OOXML. will be held in Redmond, at a stone throw of Microsoft's headquarters. Remember the dinner in Korea? — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 07 Aug 2009 12:24

New Wordprocessing Patent

Does it make you feel comfortable to sit on mined grounds? — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 07 Aug 2009 11:45

Microsoft now attempts to sabotage ODF

Users should react loudly to the latest attempt of Microsoft to sabotage ODF and fragment the corpus of ODF files — Comments: 8 — by Luc BollenLuc Bollen 08 May 2009 15:39

Burning the binary ships

The latest discussed advocacy scheme for OOXML: The old binary formats implementations are insecure and attention to fix security flaws of implementations is reduced. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 18 Apr 2009 12:19

What is the definition of an "existing document"?

ISO SC34, now heavily controlled by Microsoft people who go to ISO meeting happening all over the planet, has published a report of defects of the pseudo ISO standard ISO29500. They do not provide a definition of what is an "existing document". — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 17 Apr 2009 14:58

Open XML, the standard that was not

Many neutral BRM observers felt screwed up and they get more and more evidence that their feelings were right. Open XML proponents become twitter jerks. — Comments: 1 — by podmoklepodmokle 17 Apr 2009 14:30

Portuguese Public Administration forced to use Microsoft Office 2003/7

The Court of Accounts's Counsil for Corruption Prevention is making a mandatory survey on corruption risks in public procurement, which all public administrators must reply, by law. However, not only the survey is available only in Microsoft's binary format, but they also demand that it is returned in Microsoft Office 2003/7 XML format (MS-OOXML). — Comments: 2 — by RuiSeabraRuiSeabra 30 Mar 2009 19:45

Paoli: This is a time of change

Did we overlook an important event? And what about the crumbs of the ongoing crisis spending? — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 22 Mar 2009 15:04

Fraunhofer Fokus supported by Microsoft

The new Fraunhofer Fokus lab will validate the ISO/IEC 29500 aka OOXML. — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 14 Mar 2009 20:32

Microsoft hijacking ODF: the freedom to embrace and extend

Doug Mahugh of Microsoft is pushing inside the ODF Technical Committee for proprietary extensions, by which the monopolist vendor could embrace and extend the format to "innovate". The extensions possibility is the door open to proprietary closed source parts, that renders the ODF customer a Microsoft slave once again like in the good old times of the .DOC. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 27 Feb 2009 19:39

.XLSX files as a security risk

Some Open XML based products as Microsoft Excel are affected by a security flaw and the Trojan.Mdropper.AC. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 25 Feb 2009 00:13

National Word Processors?

Russia pioneers the concept of a National Operating System. Are National Office suites also an option to sent a clear message to end software extortion and make way for a competitive environment based on true open standards? — Comments: 1 — by podmoklepodmokle 24 Jan 2009 17:03

Tridge asks for reparations

Andrew Tridgell is still upset about the Open XML process. In other news we watch the fallout when passionate supporters of open standards in a successful SME get really upset. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 20 Jan 2009 02:40

EIF2 contribution of Open Source Consortium

Open XML and software patents are concerns where they want to see regulatory action, Gerry Gavigan wrote on behalf of the Open Source Consortium to European Commission interoperability decision makers . — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 15 Jan 2009 22:34

European SME representation was against OOXML

NORMAPME, the association that represents European small and medium sized companies in standard bodies urged CEN members to vote against Open XML. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 12 Jan 2009 01:47

Microsoft excludes competitors with OOXML patent license?

ECMA has just published two documents related to the patent licensing of ECMA376v1 and ECMA376v2. Microsoft promises to give a patent license under so called "reasonable terms". Reasonable for whom? — Comments: 4 — by zoobabzoobab 21 Dec 2008 16:51

FAIL: Docx plugins and interoperability solutions

It is time for caramels again. Microsoft released three interoperability solutions. — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 03 Dec 2008 21:45

Buy the OpenXML specification now at the ISO store! Only 342 Swiss francs

Buy the OpenXML specification now at the ISO store! Only 280USD or 342 Swiss francs. By the way, do you know is when the official burial date of ISO? — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 24 Nov 2008 09:53

Tineke Egyedi writes open letter to the IT standards community

The Dutch standard researcher asks: "Who pays for interoperability in public IT procurement?". Our site reproduces her letter sent by email to standard professionals. — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 17 Nov 2008 08:37

Alex Brown has mud in the eyes?

A while ago, I was riding my mountain bike under the deluge, with plenty of mud in the eyes, I was unable to ride correctly, it was dangerous. Now it seems that Alex Brown has also some mud in the eyes. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 05 Nov 2008 22:20

Does the OSP make OOXML an "open standard"?

Microsoft finds the Open Specification Promise (OSP) "provides the assurance that Microsoft will not assert its Necessary Claims against anyone who make, use, sell, offer for sale, import, or distribute any Covered Implementation under any type of development or distribution model, including the GPL." — Comments: 7 — by arebentiarebenti 10 Oct 2008 02:19

SC34 thanked Microsoft Korea for the dinner

The company from Redmond has heavily invested in the ISO SC34 committee. Thanks to a blogger who managed to shed some light on what was going on inside SC34, we hear now that Microsoft Korea was paying for dinner. I hope the meal was good. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 07 Oct 2008 13:08

Alex Brown mentions copyright violation

Alex Brown mentions copyright violation for the leak of the draft specification. He is calling on ISO lawyers to pursue the infringers. Some countries should move and draft a resolution to respect ISO's copyright, and defend the business model of Standard Bodies. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 07 Oct 2008 12:40

Final ISO specification leaked!

BoycottNovell has published a copy of the final OOXML specification! It seems that ISO does not want the public to review the broken specification before it is released. One country should just continue to appeal, and submit another complain, using the date of distribution of the specification as the basis for a 2 months appeal. Appeals are not finished. — Comments: 3 — by zoobabzoobab 03 Oct 2008 09:29

Norwegians leave their Standards Body in protest

13 members of the TC in Norway has left their Standards Body in protest. They say that the Standards Body has lost its credibility in the IT area. Remember that Standards Norway was voting Yes with the support of only 2 companies (Microsoft and Statoil), and against the will of the rest of the technical committee. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 01 Oct 2008 21:57

WSJ: IBM Considers Quitting Standards Bodies

The Wall Street Journal is publishing an article about the OOXML fiasco, and the intention of IBM to leave some standards organisations. With the disgusting Microsoft committee stuffing and the non-reaction of ISO, I would say this is something I should do now in terms of protest. The current way to define standards behind closed doors, closed rooms, and with archaic methods of patching standards proposals outside of the public eye is something that should be reformed. Remember, physical meetings are the standard way to exclude participation (oh, by the way, there was an SC34 meeting in South Korea where I forgot to blog about). — Comments: 3 — by zoobabzoobab 23 Sep 2008 10:07

Microsoft recycles its lobby platform "Voices for Innovation" to lobby against Open Source software

Microsoft recycles its lobby platform "Voices for Innovation" to lobby against Open Source software in the European Parliament systems. Over the past few weeks radical elements in the open source community have intensified their efforts in the European Parliament. — Comments: 5 — by zoobabzoobab 23 Sep 2008 09:03

Microsoft, CompTIA, Novell, ECMA and others members of the "Ecosystem"

BoycottNovell has a right vision of the Microsoft ecosystem. — Comments: 2 — by zoobabzoobab 20 Sep 2008 22:29

Microsoft hijacks now web standards and the W3C: -m$ fonts?

Microsoft has a tradition now with OOXML to hijack standard bodies. W3C is probably in the list, since they managed now to embrace and extend CSS 2.1 with their Microsoft fonts. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 16 Sep 2008 10:18

You are paid to blog, shut up

The role of blogging in corporate communication is challenging for ICT companies. Progressive views from a CEO about customer communications. — Comments: 0 — by podmoklepodmokle 13 Sep 2008 21:17

Four governments go ballistic over Open XML

Four national agencies which supervise their national standards bodies issued a joint statement in which they condemn the Open XML process and proclaimed that ISO standards would not be automatically considered binding anymore within their office. — Comments: 3 — by arebentiarebenti 01 Sep 2008 15:45

Open XML larger than LHC documentation

CERN's Large Hadron Collider, the world's greatest experiment particle accelerator for quantum physics built in Geneva, is being compared to Open XML. — Comments: 1 — by podmoklepodmokle 01 Sep 2008 07:59

Right or wrung with Open XML

Convert your document to Open XML and the viruses and vulnerabilities are gone. No, it is not a joke from the propaganda department. Open XML conversion with MOICE as a means of desinfection for dangerous office documents. — Comments: 1 — by podmoklepodmokle 29 Aug 2008 21:50

Older stories...


"Microsoft denies any wrongdoing and admits that there is some "internal inconsistency or ambiguity" in its OOXML code, which may result in errors." — Euactiv, blog

"The idea that “open” = no IP in a standard is an overbalance in favor of implementers just as the idea that a single party has unequal say in a working group can overbalance in favor of a contributor." — Jason Matusow, Microsoft, blog

"By "stuffing committees" at the ISO, Microsoft consultants managed to circumvent a compromise at the standard-making institution, according to Maurits Dolmans, a lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton." — Euractiv, EU eGovernment push 'threatens Microsoft supremacy'

"OOXML is an effort to stave off ODF becoming a standard." — Guido Sohne, FOSSFA

"Document interoperability is about people and companies dedicated to working together over the long haul to solve customer issues." — Doug Mahugh, CRN

"In fact, the European Commission may yet take action against Microsoft over its lobbying actions during the standards setting process." —Internetnews, BizTalk 2009 Arrives, Office 2007 SP2 Up Next

"Some members of the press have confused OpenDocument supporters with people who write for NOOXML blogs and websites, or that bash OpenXML, Microsoft, ISO, JTC 1, SC 34, etc. Those are not activities that support OpenDocument." —Patrick Durusau, Duruseau: Spotting OpenDocument Supporters

"The support for OOXML in other applications than Microsoft Office 2007 is ridiculously low. " — Jesper Lund Stocholm, on ANSI adoption

"Now is a great time to get involved in IS29500 maintenance, so if you’d like to contribute contact your national body and get involved. See you in Copenhagen!" —Doug Mahugh, MSDN-Blog March 30, 09

"I stay away from standards bodies,that seems to be a whole rat's nest of backstabbing and politics, and I really don't want to have anything to do with it. As for the OOXML case, anybody involved with that must have been crazy. That all just looked nasty." —Linus Torvalds, Technewsworld

"So, even if international standards bodies have been shown to be vulnerable to external pressure and can be gamed much like any other corporate body can, the products that they produce will still have relevance to developers, end users, and security researchers alike. " —Carl Jongsma, CIO

"What Microsoft really wanted was that ISO stamp of approval to use as a marketing tool. And just like your mother told you, when they get what they want and have their way with you, they’re probably not gonna call you in the morning." —Tim Bray, ISO Fantasy

"Europe has been strongly in favor of the use of ISO standards, but a lot of people doubt if ISO is the best place for software standardization. They are more impressed by the way bodies like IETF, W3C, IEEE, do the job." —Hollandopen, Europa: Hollandopen

"In Sri Lanka, the technical committee voted against OOXML but the country abstained. In Bangladesh, there was no open discussion on OOXML before the country voted in favor. In Pakistan, a secretive committee consisting on 4 Microsoft Gold Partners met and listened to a presentation by Microsoft and voted in favor of OOXML. Incidentally, Pakistan became a "P" member of ISO a month before the first OOXML vote. Angry? We all should be furious!" —Venkatesh Hariharan, Tbray: My Tinfoil Hat

"If people say this whole ISO process is lousy, out of date and doesn’t work anymore or is broken, I challenge anybody to make a new worldwide process" —Jan van den Beld, PCWorld: Former ECMA Sec. Gen challenges ISO/BRM critics to create a better process

"Both the W3C and IETF have long had a policy that all working-group drafts are publicly available on the Web for public review. In the W3C, a WG can elect to have private deliberations; in the IETF they are all by definition public. This is been the case for some years now, and those with experience of a transparent and public process tend to being flabbergasted that ISO's opacity continues to be tolerated." —Tim Bray, Alex Brown's blog: Webbifying the Standardisation Process, Part 1

"In other words, participation in standardization activities is time consuming and expensive, and large companies are much more able to make this kind of commitment than small companies, organizations or individuals. So ,large companies rule the world. This is especially true with standardization at the international level, where decisions are often made at meetings in very expensive international locations." —Rob Weir, Seeking Open Standards activists

"At this meeting, Brazil was represented by Microsoft. I and several other members of our committee protested against this indication, but we had our protests silenced by the Director of ABNT (Brazilian NB) that said that this decision was not our prerogative and that if Microsoft would pay for their own representative’s trip, their indication was approved." —Homebmit, Meeting of JTC1/SC34 in Korea: It is the end of the world (as we know it)

"For legacy reasons, an implementation using the 1900 backward compatibility date base system shall treat 1900 as though it was a leap year." —Final ISO OOXML specification, Mike Brown's comment

"The way Standard Norway has carried this process, we consider that the organization has lost its credibility in the IT area." — 13 TC member in Norway, Norwegians leave their Standards Body in protest

"Given the organisation's inability to follow its own rules we are no longer confident that ISO/IEC will be capable of transforming itself into the open and vendor-neutral standards setting organisation which is such an urgent requirement." — South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Paraguay, Cuba, CONSEGI 2008 Declaration

"OOXML was pushed through [or 'fast-tracked'] to a standard despite ongoing vocal community opposition, and as such I have lost all faith in the ISO as a vendor neutral organization." — Jeff Welling, Canada, NoOOXML petition latest signatures

"Levy suggests "Microsoft isn't in crisis mode just yet. But the writing is on the wall for both of its major cash cow franchises, Windows and Office. The shift toward the Web is putting pressure on Microsoft to address market performance shortcomings more aggressively." —Betanews, Vista's image problem personified

"What did the ISO… say to the anti-OOXML crowd? “Go away, losers.” In four different languages, no less. Open XML is here to stay, yum-yums*. Get over it! Now, can we all just get along?" *How must those troglodytes Sutor, Updegrove, and Jones feel right now? — John Obeto, Absolute Vista

"…standardization of a patented invention can yield procompetitive benefits, stimulate innovative research and development, and make the patent holder’s intellectual property more accessible to consumers through competing products." — Amy Marasco, ANSI vice president, FTC testimony 2002

"…the OSP is a great next step. Amy Marasco and Glen Johnson at MS are the quiet heroes who have been working so hard on the [OSP] text itself. A huge cast of characters both within MS and from various reaches of the community were also involved." — Matusow Blog, 12.9.2006

"The ISO Secretary General, Mr Alan Bryden was in India in December 2007 and I had asked him what he thought of the controversy surrounding the OOXML process. His answer was that ISO is a democratic organization and it will emerge stronger from this controversy. Very glib answer but an absolute and shameful lie." — Venkatesh Hariharan, Open Source India: ISO/IEC and OOXML: The judge, the jury and the hangman

"Standards bodies do important work in difficult circumstances. But like all of us their rules need to keep pace with the changing commercial environment. If they need help in tightening up their rules to avoid being manipulated by narrow commercial interests, or to design the right ex ante rules, then they have my support. My door is always open." — Neelie Kroes, Antitrust Commissioner, Being open about standards

"The world needs a reasonably competent and transparent standards organization whose integrity is not a standing joke." — Tim Bray, Sun Microsystems, OOXML: Everything’s Just Fine


Total number of signatures: 94989

Most recent signatures:

  • James Bowman, United States, 14 May 2022 15:58
    Comments: s


» Sign the petition Hague Declaration!
» Submit news
» All stories

Recent stories