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Office Open XML format gets thumbs up from ISO

Sounds of champagne corks popping could be heard on Microsoft Campus as the software giant celebrated a crucial victory which will see the format it was pushing, Office Open XML (OOXML), adopted by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Microsoft critics said that it was yet another attempt by Microsoft to stifle competition by introducing more confusion in the market

Microsoft's head of interoperability, Tom Robertson, said in a statement that governments should be offered more choices as OOXML joins the crowded group of document formats : already ODF (open document format), HTML and PDF (portable document format) are widely used.

Microsoft lost the first ISO vote in September but then got some special treatment from the European standards organisation ECMA and was finally accepted on the 29th of March.

Opponents of the OOXML format say that Microsoft has failed to incorporate native support for the Open Document File format which are used by Microsoft competitors like Sun, IBM and others and fear that Microsoft will use its financial clout to have it its way.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.