March 27, 2008 12:52 PM PDT

U.K. may make last-minute U-turn on OOXML

The British Standards Institution could change sides, days before voting closes, and register a vote in favor of Microsoft's Office Open XML becoming an International Organization for Standardization standard--having previously voted against.

If the British Standards Institution (BSI) registers a vote in favor, Office Open XML would pass one of two criteria to becoming a standard, but fail the other.

A technical group formed to make a recommendation to the BSI's policy panel has voted five-to-one in favor of OOXML being accepted as an international standard, a source close to the process has told ZDNet.co.uk. There was intense lobbying by interested parties before a meeting on Tuesday, in which IBM was apparently the one remaining dissident. IBM uses the competing OpenDocument Format, which is already an international standard.

The committee--whose members are not made public--voted against OOXML in September, criticizing it, among other things, for failing to take account of existing international standards, including ODF.

The BSI policy panel is not obliged to follow the technical group's recommendation and can simply note it, leaving its vote unchanged. If it does approve OOXML and other votes remain the same, the specification would be approved by 59 percent of the 32 eligible organizations, or "P-members." However, OOXML would still fall short of the two-thirds majority that is required and would not, therefore, become a standard.

The complex ISO standards process does, however, have a second criterion: OOXML has to be disapproved of by less than 25 percent of a larger group of 69 standards bodies, known as "O-members." A switch by BSI would take this figure down from 26 percent to 24.6 percent (17 out of 69). Without a majority of the P-members voting in favor, this would not allow OOXML to become a standard, but it illustrates the knife-edge closeness of the ballot.

It appears that OOXML needs another four of the P-Members, including the U.K., to change sides before it becomes a standard.

Peter Judge of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
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6 comments

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funny
India got this one right and the UK messed it up. OOXML is about
as open as NORAD is and is downright offensive to anyone who's
paying attention.
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yea, Sell out to the richest guy....
who has mucked just about everything he sells.
I warn you. He is destroying our nation with Vista, and if given the opportunity he will destroy the world with his so called open standards.
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Link Flag
When "The Concorde" Flies Commercially Again!
"A technical group formed to make a recommendation to the BSI's policy panel has voted five-to-one in favor of OOXML being accepted as an international standard, a source close to the process has told ZDNet.co.uk. There was intense lobbying by interested parties before a meeting on Tuesday, in which IBM was apparently the one remaining dissident. IBM uses the competing OpenDocument Format, which is already an international standard.

The committee--whose members are not made public--voted against OOXML in September, criticizing it, among other things, for failing to take account of existing international standards, including ODF..."

This (Britain voting for OOXML...) should only happen (Read the subject line). :-( !
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Clinton and The Bush Administrations as well...
... the Brazilian Government got it right with regards to the - "Economy", "the U. S. Security Energy Bill" and "the Ethanol 85 (E85) Program".... while Air France and British Airways got it wrong with "The Concorde". It is the U.S. Housing and Financial Markets....... (check out that famous Clinton Administration's Election Slogan. Ouch! An EXCEL "ERR" Achilles Heel can hurt a company and a country's economy soooooooo........... bad. ;-) M :-$ !
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hath "the British Standards Institution" any "economic" philosophy!
This article having stated in part; "The British Standards Institution could change sides, days before voting closes, and register a vote in favor of Microsoft's Office Open XML becoming an International Organization for Standardization standard--having previously voted against..."

How about visiting the *GOLEM HEIGHTS* (UNIDO) and finding out about "alternatives" in accomplishing certain goals (other than that of the "Redmond Way"). ;-)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.golem.at/comfar/eng/comfar.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.golem.at/comfar/eng/comfar.htm</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.golem.at/comfar/eng/comfar_mini.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.golem.at/comfar/eng/comfar_mini.htm</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.unido.org/doc/3383" target="_newWindow">http://www.unido.org/doc/3383</a>

Read the subject line!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
M$ pockets another commision...
With ghost representatives, so much for transparency and accountability. This has been happening everywhere -- take a look into the Portuguese case.

Other interesting reads:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080305124744293" target="_newWindow">http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080305124744293</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.noooxml.org/petition" target="_newWindow">http://www.noooxml.org/petition</a>
Posted by MichaGato (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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