Microsoft is trying to gets its OOXML (Open Office XML) certified by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). Google instead wants Microsoft to comply to the same standards as everyone else with Open Source. OOXML is not a truly “open” technology, and still allows Microsoft some restrictions on its users, while Open Source is just that: completely open.
While some may make the argument that Google wants market dominance, I don’t think that applies in this case. In fact, the opposite is true – Microsoft has a long history of refusing to comply with internet and industry standards, leaving its users locked out of many capabilities that other computer users enjoy. Refusing to use Open Source in favor of its own technology is just another example of Microsoft’s narrow minded proprietary mind set, more interested in gouging its loyal customers than innovating.
In keeping with Microsoft’s refusal to comply with accepted standards, Open Office XML already failed a standards compliance test in September. In addition, it’s “new release” of its proprietary, operating system hobbled Internet Explorer is also expected to continue failing the litmus tests of compliance, again leaving Microsoft users out in the cold.
The Open Source complaint technology that Google (an pretty much everyone else except Microsoft) wants Microsoft to turn to instead of OOXML is Open Document format, or ODF. Microsoft’s OOXML has also been accused of having poor quality and of relying too much on having Microsoft Office installed to use, similar to Internet Explorer’s ties to Windows. The committee, meeting in Geneva this week, is expected to reach some sort of answer in a few days.