http://www.jtc1sc34.org/ Secretariat Manager who approved OOXML's fast track submits his resignation?
The resignation as such is old news. The new information is that Japan has agreed to take over the duties.
This isn't just old news, it is inaccurate. The secretariat manager who is resigning had nothing to do with who approved the fast track.
This website has the report from Ecma on the process
It clearly states that they went to JTC1 who designated the fast track process and assigned it to SC34. SC34 had nothing to do with approving the fast track or even wanting to be involved in the process.
In Alex Brown's Blog (the guy who will be running the BRM in Geneva) I found this in his report on the June 2006 meetings:
"No, SC34 doesn't do hype or crave the spotlight. Which is probably why nobody has heard of us — even though (to risk being described as slashdottish) many current and upcoming Web technologies are rooted in standards SC34 originated (SGML and HyTime in particular).
SC34 members are also volunteers, drawn mostly from small and medium-sized companies. Many of us know the reality is, for our customers, that Microsoft tools are often the tools of choice; and many of us judge that having a locked-down standard version of the Microsoft Office formats could being huge benefits when it comes to working with Office documents.
However, in the grand scheme of the proposed standardisation of OOXML, SC34, and its members' judgements, are only part of the picture – there are other considerations in this complex matter …
First, SC34 members themselves will have no vote if and when OOXML is assigned to us for standardisation. It is standards bureaucrats in our national bodies (ISO member countries) who will vote. Sure, these people will often take advice from their country's SC34 members, but ultimately it is their votes, not ours, which count."
The people running SC34 are not spokespeople for M$, these are volunteers who have been offering (for no pay) their expertise to improve things for years. They believe in standards and the process. They had no choice about being involved in this political battle. And you have to remember that the people involved have to follow the rules and not skew the process in either direction.
Reading Alex Brown's blog gives a great overview of the process and what to expect at the BRM. So if you are looking for correct information from the horse's mouth rather than idle Machiavellian speculation, I recommend you bookmark that site.