For those who don't know, PRWire is a great service that lets you get your press releases published fairly widely at no great expense. Microsoft has used the PRWire service to put out a puff piece entitled Strong Global Support for Open XML as It Enters Final Phase of ISO Standards Process
, which, for those of you not well versed in political newspeak, means that they were unable to manipulate the ISO Fast Track process to get what they wanted. Yup, they failed, so they have to trumpet "strong global support", meaning the committees they stacked and the countries they strong armed.
Of course, this doesn't mean that Open XML is dead, which would not even necessarily be a good thing. It simply means that there will have to be a ballot resolution meeting - Microsoft can't simply cancel it and claim that there were no significant comments. With any luck, and it seems frightfully unlikely at this time, ISO, ECMA and Microsoft will actually work together to make a better Open XML standard. Unfortunately, what seems more likely is that Microsoft will try to game the system some more, ignoring even their own well being in an attempt to "win" at all costs. I really wish that they could focus on winning by being better, rather than win by spending more resources, but that seems to be the Microsoft of a bygone era. It is sad to see a great company lose its direction and moral compass.
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