India Deals Blow To Microsoft Office 2007 Standard - InformationWeek

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India Deals Blow To Microsoft Office 2007 Standard

Country officials say they will not recommend that the OOXML file format be adopted when the issue comes to a vote next month.

Microsoft has suffered a setback in its campaign to have the file format used by its new Office 2007 productivity suite accepted as an international standard under a fast track approval process.

India's Bureau of Indian Standards on Thursday withheld endorsement of Microsoft's Office Open XML format as a standard, indicating its preference for the existing Open Document Format.

The decision means that India will not recommend to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that OOXML be adopted as an international standard when the issue comes to a vote on September 2nd. More than 120 countries are expected to weigh in on whether the ISO gives OOXML fast track approval.

If OOXML fails to gain fast track approval, the ISO could still give the file format the nod at a later date, following a more prolonged approval process.

Brazil, China and Canada are, or are expected to be, among the countries that vote against OOXML. Germany, Malaysia and Denmark are expected to vote in favor of the format. Earlier this month, the International Committee for Information Technology Standards in the U.S. said it would not recommend that OOXML receive fast track ISO approval.

It's not been all bad news of late for OOXML, however.

Massachusetts recently reversed a policy under which it would not allow state workers to use computer applications containing the OOXML file format.

Previously, Massachusetts officials had indicated they wouldn't endorse OOXML for state use because it didn't fit their definition of an open standard. They said they would endorse only the ODF standard -- which is used by the Open Office suite -- and Adobe's PDF format.

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