May 5, 2009, 4:35 am
Remember Office Open XML ‚Äì a name chosen to be as confusingly close to OpenOffice XML as possible ‚Äì better known as OOXML? Remember how just over a year ago this and many other blogs and news outlets were full of sound and fury, as OOXML slouched its way through the ISO standardisation process, finally staggering across the finishing line at the beginning of April 2008? I certainly do, but it's extraordinary how things can change in a year.
A year ago, the fear was that if approved, OOXML would simply tap into the momentum behind Microsoft Office's earlier formats, and become the nominally ‚Äúopen‚Äù standard used by all. To prevent this, people around the open source world mobilised against OOXML at the ISO, and nearly succeeded in blocking its progress. Only Microsoft's huge resources enabled it to use the ISO machinery to get its seriously inadequate format approved...