Saturday, August 25, 2007

Media coverage of OOXML issue

The media seems to have taken great interest in the OOXML issue. The Economic Times, which is the world's second largest financial newspaper had an article titled, India throws MS open format out of the window. The article said:

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday gave Microsoft a thumbs-down in the war of standards for office documents.

In a tense meeting at Delhi’s Manak Bhawan, the 21-member technical committee decided that India will vote a ‘no’ against Microsoft’s Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in Geneva on September 2.

“We unanimously agree on the disapproval of OOXML with comments. The same will be submitted to ISO,” National Informatics Centre head and BIS technical committee chairperson Nita Verma said after a marathon meeting that lasted over six hours. There was no need for a voting as only Infosys Technologies and CSI supported Microsoft.

The Open Document Format (ODF) alliance, enjoying widespread support from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Google, were in a jubilant mood having succeeded in stalling OOXML from being accepted as a standard in India.

Business Standard, had an article titled, "BIS stumps Microsoft for new language"

Leslie D'Monte / Mumbai August 24, 2007

Microsoft today suffered an initial setback when the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)-appointed technical committee did not approve of its Open Office eXtensible Mark-up Language (OOXML) as an alternative standard for electronic office documents to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

It qualified its disapproval with comments. The BIS can review the decision till September 2, when the same has to be submitted to the ISO along with 123 other country-specific standards bodies.

This article quotes a Microsoft spokesperson saying, "We respect the decision taken by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)-appointed committee. At the same time, it is important to note that all the BIS members unanimously support the need for multiple standards. Going forward, we will work with the BIS and the committee members on the comments noted during the ballot resolution process.”

Well, I attended almost all the meetings of BIS and certainly do not agree with this viewpoint. My submission to BIS is that vendors should collaborate on standards and compete on their implementations. Who in the world wants two different HTML standards? I certainly don't.

Hindustan Times
had an article titled, A New Duel.

Friday August 17, 12:54 AM

The biggest IT giants are at war. A war so huge that its magnitude spans almost the entire planet. The bone of contention is who will control your office documents - to be precise, the underlying document formats that run on your computers. It is a bit like what language a national anthem will be written in. It involves pride, sentiments and high stakes.

The rivals in this high pitched battle are Microsoft on the one hand and an influential axis of IBM and Sun Microsystems on the other. The IBM-Sun axis is backing the Open Document Format (ODF) alliance. A veritable who's who of the industry is lined up, taking sides.