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Assorted Web/Blog Reactions to OOXML BRM

Noooxml.org could not contain a bit of excitement about the outcome. Its headline was:

BRM in Geneva is over: big failure for OOXML

Only ten national delegations voted, and only 4 P-members were for approval. 4 P-members disapproved, a whopping 15 abstained, and 2 even refused to register a vote in protest.

If you count all voting delegates, including those who are not P members, the vote was 6 approvals, 4 disapprovals, 18 abstentions and 4 refusals to vote. Expect this to be announced by Microsoft as a "3 to 2 majority for OOXML approval" in the next few hours. The reality is of course that this is a huge setback for Microsoft. The tricks they have been trying have backfired, and it is now more clear than ever before that OOXML is an immature specification which was totally inappropriate for the fast track procedure.


Same headline echoed by Open Malaysia:

BRM in Geneva is over: big failure for OOXML


As noooxml.org points out, Microsoft will try to spin this. It is already trying to spin (it's a pattern), so here is the point to bear in mind and prepare for:

Microsoft's New Meme: 'Marketplace Relevance'

This seems to be preparing the ground for an eventual rejection of OOXML. The line would be well, being an official ISO standard isn't *so* important: what matters is "marketplace relevance". And we all know what that means: just keep that status quo rolling...


Here is the summary of an article from InfoWorld, which also appears in CIO.com.

About four-fifths of the proposed changes to a draft standard for the OOXML document format were waved through, undiscussed, at the conclusion of a weeklong meeting in Geneva.


This relates to the prophecy of Bob Sutor, which he posted in his blog several days ago.

Although a month remains for changes of heart (brace yourself for colossally heavy lobbying by Microsoft), the following post prematurely predicts failure.

The BRM meeting in Geneva is over. The plan was, from the Microsoft point of view, that OOXML should now be an ISO standard. It didn't make it.


Noooxml.org later posted an update almost identical to ours and it's focused on Tim Bray's spilling of the beans.

The Canadian BRM delegate Tim Bray strongly criticised the ISO process while he doesn't blame the BRM failure on ISO but on the vendor that used the ECMA proxy.


Tim Bray, redirecting his readers to this page, was not too happy with the headlines, possibly ours included.

The Open Malaysia blogger posts another last update which concurs with what we find in the press.

The final day was absolute mayhem. We had to submit decisions on over 500 items which we hadn't have the time to review. All the important issues which have been worked on repeatedly happened to appear on this final day. So it was non-stop important matters. Unfortunately I was caught up in a change from Malaysia, so I must have missed deliberating on a few important matters.


Articles from the mainstream press agreed that the final day was somewhat of a mess. This BRM ought to be remembered as a disaster, as predciated all along [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It leaves ECMA, Microsoft and even ISO quite seriously wounded. In another Web forum, someone has begun asking if the European Commission can take action against ECMA, not just Microsoft, which is already under antitrust investigation for its abuse of ISO.

ISO standard

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