Nevermind the bulls**t, here's OOXML, says Microsoft
By Barry Collins
Posted on 3 Mar 2008 at 11:23
Microsoft says it is "optimistic" that the Office Open XML specification will be made into an ISO standard, despite a national body describing the ballot resolution process as "bulls**t".
Speaking after a week-long meeting to discuss technical issues raised following last year's failed bid to have OOXML fast-tracked, Microsoft's Tom Robertson said the company was hopeful of persuading sufficient national bodies to change their vote to 'yes'.
"There's reason for optimism here," said Robertson, the general manager for corporate interoperability and standards at Microsoft. "The process is working as it should have."
"They [the national bodies] have spoken, the specification will be modified as a result, and hopefully that's enough to move to a consensus yes."
National bodies have until 29 March to change the vote they made at last September's initial ballot.
The complicated voting process is split into two: the first vote among 41 national bodies must register a two-thirds "yes" majority for a standard application to be approved; the second, wider vote of the 104 nations, must register fewer than 25% 'no' votes.
Last September, Microsoft only managed to gain 53% support in the first vote, and accrued 26% 'no' votes in the second.
The meeting held last week was designed to resolve the 3,500 comments that had been made by national bodies following last year's vote. However, Canadian representative and Sun employee, Tim Bray, claims that thousands of the comments were simply approved in a block vote rather than being properly considered.
"The process was complete, utter, unadulterated bulls**t," he wrote on his blog. "I'm not an ISO expert, but whatever its 'Fast Track' process was designed for, it sure wasn't this.
"You just can't revise six thousand pages of deeply complex specification-ware in the time that was provided for the process. That's true whether you're talking about the months between the vote and when the responses were available, the weeks between the responses' arrival and the BRM [last week's Ballot Resolution Meeting], or the hours in the BRM room."
However, Robertson insists the national bodies had already approved a number of the changes. "We need to keep in mind a significant number of comments related to small changes in the spec," Roberston said. "Those proposed changes had been out for months. We knew going into the BRM that many of the national bodies were satisfied with many of the proposed changes."
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't