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Microsoft wins ISO designation

india Updated: Apr 02, 2008 19:19 IST

After almost a year-long battle, software major Microsoft today said it has won the global international standards designation for its open document format Office Open XML, a file format specification for electronic documents.

Though the result is yet to be announced formally, sources close to the development told PTI that Microsoft has won by a majority, with almost 75 per cent of all voters (representatives from various nations) supporting its format.

However, India had earlier voted against Microsoft's file format. New Delhi stood for Open Document Format (ODF), also supported by the rival groups IBM and Sun Microsystems.

"Open XML would now stand alongside ODF, HTML and PDF as internationally recognised open standards for electronic documents," Microsoft said in a statement.

According to analysts, the move is unlikely to impact Microsoft's commercial sale but is likely to influence the decision of government users, who are often required to use standards-based, rather than proprietary, softwares. Microsoft had been pushing hard to get global ratification of Office Open XML to improve its chances of winning government orders.

ODF was the first interchangeable document format to get ISO approval in 2006, and its backers used the exclusive ISO endorsement to pitch the technology.

However, Indian players like Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys, had voted for Open XML, but the Bureau of Indian Standards had voted against the Open XML.

"With 86 per cent of voting national bodies supporting ratification, there is overwhelming support for Open XML, said Tom Robertson, general manager of Interoperability and Standards at Microsoft Corp.

The open standard has gained broad adoption for use on a variety of platforms including Linux, Windows, and Palm OS.