A standards committee will next week begin the next stage of the process that could see Microsoft’s new Open XML formats formally adopted as a global standard – or not. A vote by standards bodies from 87 countries last September went against the immediate adoption of Open XML as an ISO standard. This gave an immediate boost to the Open Document Format (ODF), which is already an ISO standard, but it did not rule out the Microsoft formats.
Microsoft Corp. on Thursday responded to continued regulatory scrutiny by reiterating promises to make information about its products more easily available to software programmers, while vowing not to sue those who use such information for noncommercial purposes. The move underscores an ongoing shift for the tech behemoth, as it has sought recently to present its technology as increasingly open to outside developers and compatible with competing products. It also comes only days before delegates from an international standards body are scheduled to convene in Geneva to discuss Microsoft’s Open XML file format, which has been derided by critics as insufficiently accessible.