Microsoft’s OOXML, which was vying for a fast-track approval, has been shown a thumbs down. It will now be tackled in the Ballot Resolution Meeting according to the standardization process. Microsoft is still looking at the positive side, applauding the support it has got.
However, as I have always complained, instead of the election style post-mortem of the event, it will be better if we can look at pros and cons of the two standards existing. Shouldn’t the convenience and need of the end users be the top priority for the standards body to consider this. Standards are not only about technology, they are more about using that technology to provide freedom to the end user. Andy Updegrove writes more about the votes and the O and the P memberships.
It is quite surprising how political the whole activity has become. Should lobbying and buying out work in standards? It would look lesser than a farce if this continues. That is the reason Norbert Bollow has started OpenISO.org with a vision to become a truly open standards organization. He explains the need for competition for ISO in this Slashdot comment.
Interestingly there has been a study about relation between voting for OOXML and corruption, and the voting has even been mapped out. I think we need to take the effort about updating main on the street about this. After all he/she are going to use the formats, irrespective of who makes and approves them. We need to impart more education on this front.
OOXML is still not out, but it has slowed down. The Ballot Resolution Meeting will decide this, but I sincerely hope someone twitters or blogs the meeting live to make everything transparent there.