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Microsoft's Anti-ODF Battle Continues

Microsoft Helps Form Open XML Group; Jim Thatcher Joins Committee Responsible For Shepherding ODF Through ISO Certification Proc

In its latest moves against ODF, Microsoft's Bill Gates speaking at the Microsoft Office System Developers Conference announced that the company had joined with 39 other organizations to form the Open XML Formats Developer Group.

According to Gates, this group is for organizations that are committed to supporting the Office Open XML format. The Microsoft-owned site is run by Doug Mahugh, a Microsoft "technical evangelist." Microsoft claims that Apple, Intel, and numerous Microsoft partners and resellers, such as InterKnowlogy LLC and The Computer Solution Company, have joined the Open XML group.

In another significant move, Microsoft's Jim Thatcher has just joined the U.S. national body responsible for the JTC1 SC34 "V1 Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface," which, in turn, is the group responsible for shepherding the ODF (OpenDocument Format) through the ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) certification process.

Specifically, as Andy Updegrove, a partner with the Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP and the editor of ConsortiumInfo.org, explained, "it just so happens that this small subcommittee (six companies, including Microsoft) is the entity charged with reconciling the votes that are being cast in the ISO vote to adopt the OASIS OpenDocument Format."

While ODF is already an OASIS-approved standard, becoming an ISO standard would give it more sales traction in numerous international organizations and companies. Microsoft will eventually also be trying to make its Open XML an ISO standard.

Microsoft refuted claims that Microsoft was on the committee to slow down or block the ODF's path to becoming an ISO standard. A Microsoft representative explained, "Jim Thatcher is part of Microsoft's team working on the Office Open XML File Format standardization process. That process involves working closely with TC-45 of the ECMA standards body as well as JTC1 SC 34 for the ISO standardization process."

"In order for Jim to participate in the future Open XML File Format work he needs to have standing in JTC1 SC 34 which mandates participation over time. His presence in this group will have no impact upon the voting process for the ODF standard. Just as we have a seat on the board of OASIS and have not participated in the ODF process there, we will not participate in the JTC1 process. We are focused on our customers and working with them on the Open XML File Formats."

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Sys-Con Australia News Desk 03/24/06 10:28:11 AM EST

In what are seen as its latest moves against ODF, Microsoft has joined thrity nine other organizations to form the Open XML Formats Developer Group and Microsoft's Jim Thatcher has joined the committee responsible for shepherding ODF through the ISO certification process.

Enterprise Open Source News Desk 03/24/06 09:45:20 AM EST

In what are seen as its latest moves against ODF, Microsoft has joined thrity nine other organizations to form the Open XML Formats Developer Group and Microsoft?s Jim Thatcher has joined the committee responsible for shepherding ODF through the ISO certification process.

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