British Standards Institute 'contradiction' to Open XML application will certainly delay standardisation
Microsoft's bid to get its Open XML formats recognised as an international standard faces a delay for at least three months and could fail altogether, it emerged today.
The British Standards Institute, which represents the UK with the International Standards Organisation, has issued what is called a " contradiction" to Microsoft's specification.
And it is just one of many national bodies that had until today to contradict the application, which was being fast-tracked following its endorsement by the European Computer Manufacturers' Asoociation (ECMA).
Proponents of the rival Open Document Format, which is already an ISO standard, had called on the BSI to raise objections. Among other reasons, it said there was no point in having two document standards.
ISO standardisation is a two-stage process, and objections at this stage refer to the process itself – that is, whether it should be fast-tracked or whether it should go forward at all.
A spokesman for the BSI could give no details of the organisation's contradiction but he said it meant the next stage of the application would not proceed for 90 days, because ISO has to consider the submissions from member countries.
The application could be rejected at this stage, or during the next phase when details of the 6,000-page specification are being considered. But if the objections are minor, of course, Open XML could sail through to standardisation.
Microsoft stands to lose lucrative government contracts if its bid for standardisation fails.
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