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12/7/2006
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IBM Votes Against Microsoft's Open XML

Ecma General Assembly voted Thursday on whether to send the Microsoft Office 2007 spec to ISO for approval.

IBM has given the thumbs down to approving Microsoft's Open XML specification as an international standard.

Members of the Ecma General Assembly voted Thursday on whether to send the default document format in Microsoft Office 2007 to the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, for approval. Open XML competes with the ISO-approved OpenDocument, which is the default format in OpenOffice, the open source productivity suite that's marketed as a free alternative to the Microsoft product.

In disclosing IBM's no vote, Bob Sutor, vice president for open source and standards for the Armonk, N.Y., company, said in his blog that OpenDocument is "vastly superior" to Open XML, and is what the industry needs to drive competition and lower costs to customers.

"[OpenDocument] is an example of a real open standard versus a vendor-dictated spec that documents proprietary products via XML," Sutor said. "ODF is about the future, Open XML is about the past. We voted for the future."

Despite IBM's opposition, Ecma is expected to approve the spec and send it off to ISO.

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