CyberTech Rambler

December 9, 2005

ECMA approve MS Office XML Technical Committee

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 1:55 pm

It is not a surprise, as Andy Updegrove reported, ECMA approved the MS Office XML Technical Committee.

Mr Updegrove and others are right, it seems that the first duty of the Technical Committee is to rubberstamp the current MS Office XML Standard. As I mentioned before in a previous post, I do not think this is extremely bad given the advanced stage of development of MS Office XML Standard. My problem is that I cannot see how others in the committee brings their expertise in in later stages.

For developers of complementary technologies to MS Office XML, this is comforting news. It is also not a big departure from MS goals of getting the MS Office application integrated into the server end. In fact, I believe what MS knew that they have to submit the Office XML to a standard committee one day to get others to complementary technologies. They simply brought forward the process in the light of development in Massachusetts.

For developers of office productivity software, the Terms of Reference is blatantly unacceptable because it gives them no say in future development of the Office Data Standard. Why? Put it this way. Because of the goal to create a standard that fully conform to MS Office XML standard, any proposal from third party cannot be accepted by the Technical Committee unless MS says OK.

This step is a brilliant move by MS. It took away a lot of uncertainty with MS Office XML format and for the majority of people, especially decision-makers who are not well-versed in technologies, MS can pull wool over their eyes when it says it is openning up.

As far as Massachusett is concerned, I do not think this meet the Terms of Reference meet one important criteria set out by Peter Quinn: That the standard must be modifiable by peers.

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