“It’s hard for Microsoft to commit to what comes out of Ecma [the European standards group that has already OK’d OOXML] in the coming years, because we don’t know what direction they will take the formats. We’ll of course stay active and propose changes based on where we want to go with Office 14. At the end of the day, though, the other Ecma members could decide to take the spec in a completely different direction. … Since it’s not guaranteed, it would be hard for us to make any sort of official statement.”
The ‘end of life’ milestone has been reached by OOXML, which is already fragmented, inconsistent, and was never complete anyway. It’s a farce, a decoy. You may also enjoy this new article from the FSFE. It explains why OOXML may be deprecated even before its use.
Simultaneously, ECMA addresses this in Response 34 of its proposed Disposition of Comments by removing all references to idiosyncrasies from the specification and placing them in a newly formed Annex for deprecated information. With the removal of this information from the DIS-29500, the design goal of MS-OOXML can no longer be met. The entire specification has therefore effectively become obsolete.
Microsoft can still join the side which includes everyone but Microsoft. It’s the side which comprises supporters of the international document standard. Microsoft has already shown sign of defecting away from OOXML, or at least considering duality. This is said to be inevitable (Walli thinks so), so why procrastinate?
The longer Microsoft pushes for OOXML, the more abuse the world will identify and report (consider examples from only hours ago [1, 2, 3]). It badly hurts Microsoft’s public image whenever it gets caught with its pants down like this. It’s time to call it quits. █