Did you know Microsoft is trying to get their proprietary Office format passed as an ISO standard? Neither did I until I ran across this. Below are reasons that this should NOT be accepted as a standard. There is also a link where you can go and sign the petition… do the right thing!
I ask the national members of ISO to vote “NO” in the ballot of ISO DIS 29500 (Office OpenXML or OOXML format) for the following reasons:
- There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government and citizens;
- There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which complies with the OOXML specification;
- There is information missing from the specification document, for example how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;
- More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not validate as XML;
- There is no guarantee that anybody can write software that fully or partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent lawsuits or patent license fees by Microsoft;
- This format conflicts with existing ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
- There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids any date before the year 1900: such bugs affect the OOXML specification as well as software applications like Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007.
- This standard proposal was not created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.