There is no question that all over the world the competing interests in the Open XML standardization process are going to use all tactics available to them within the rules. - Microsoft's Director of Corporate Standards Jason Matusow
Well, here's a chance for you to make your own judgment, based upon a primary source rather than a subjective call-out. That primary source is a statement posted by Microsoft SA (as in South Africa) at a PR site called MyPressportal, urging the South African National Body to vote "yes" on OOXML. The version below is complete and unaltered.
Other players in the IT industry are far from supportive of this Microsoft initiative. “The standardisation of the document format will increase consumer choice, Microsoft have relinquished control of the standard to the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA)”, says Ferreira
ECMA is a well respected international standards organization. The standard, now ECMA OpenXML, was developed as part of a cross-industry/cross-organization collaboration that included Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the U.S. Library of Congress.
However, companies that rely heavily on IT consultancy fear losses should this standardised file format from the ECMA be approved. “Call-outs for file incompatibility issues would be greatly reduced, work downtime would be reduced and productivity would be increased”, says Ferreira.
Companies that are not in support of the standardisation of the ECMA OpenXml file format would appear to be supportive of the fragmentation of the industry; this in itself would inevitably lead to consumers moving away from their products due to incompatibility issues.
“We feel that when the SABS considers its vote for standardisation, its decision should be based solely on the technical merit of the file format. The fact that we have relinquished control of the standard goes to show that Microsoft’s intention is to promote consumer choice and to provide a continued competitive platform for all players in our industry”, ends Ferreira.
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