A lot of people, including me, has come out to say that Microsoft abused the fast track system for approval of OOXML.
If we take a reality check, we can only say Microsoft is attempting to “abuse” the fast track system. Why? We can only show abuse if ISO adopt OOXML as it stands without a good reason. Only if it did adopt OOXML, we have evidence of “abuse”. If it did not, we cannot conclude that the process is abused.
In this and many other case, it takes two to tango. Abuse of “fast track” requires the cooperation of ISO. At any time, ISO can stop the process and we will have the nagging doubt on whether the process is abused. Detractor could simply paint a picture that ISO is simply giving both parties a chance to voice their opinion till then. What transpire till then are not abuse, but due process. If ISO finally decided (via NBs votes or otherwise) to reject OOXML, detractor can raise the reasonable argument that the Fast Track Procedure withstood the “abuse”.
If ISO approved OOXML without giving a good reason, ISO will have to shoulder the majority of the blame for this abuse. Not Microsoft. Why? Microsoft would not be able to do it without ISO’s collusion.
Can we say ECMA abused ISO process? Yes. To even get a toe in the fast track process, Microsoft need the cooperation of ECMA. In fact, the majority of the blame lay on ECMA. It is ECMA who approve Microsoft’s substandard OOXML as ECMA standard. It is under ECMA’s name that the said substandard OOXML goes into the fast track process. Hence, right now, ECMA should shoulder the main blame for the abuse of fast track process since without ECMA, this will not happen.
Therefore, at present: the blame on abusing Fast Track is “80%” ECMA, “20%” Microsoft.
If ISO approves OOXML without giving a good reason: 70% ISO, 20% ECMA and 10% Microsoft. I hope it does not come to this.