Press Release: Microsoft pulls tricks to produce Swedish support for the standardisation of its Office format

Please check the original version in Swedish for links and details on the vote

Second update: see also David Vuorio's blog for the exact vote results and further inside information

28 August 2007: about 20 Microsoft partners appeared in the final minutes of yesterday's working meeting at SIS (Swedish Standards Institute) and pushed through a majority for a SIS approval of Microsoft's new OOXML file format as an ISO standard.

In meeting at SIS yesterday on the standardisation of Microsoft's OOXML file format (i.e. in principle the file format used in Office 2007) 23 new companies suddenly appeared that had not previously participated in the working group, a majority of these companies are Microsoft partners (see enclosed).

From a clear NO-majority among the members, the result in the course of just one day became a YES. The final result was 25 in favour, 6 against; 4 members left the meeting. This also means that the work with hundreds of suggested corrections have been made void in one day; they will not be forwarded to ISO in any form -- despite strong criticism against the proposal from several significant parties. Among these, most had been active since before, e.g. National Archives, The Royal Library and Sun, all of which had submitted criticism on several points.

Jonas Bosson, Chairman of FFII in Sweden, comments: "SIS handling of this is deficient to say the least -- despite knowing a great deal about this problem already on Thursday they did not take any action. The standardisation process is built on the principle of consensus, which was very difficult to conceive of yesterday. It had been possible and desirable for SIS to draw a clear line against these types of scenarios, but regrettably they have chosen to support the recommendation of the working group even under these circumstances."

The voting in the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) member countries ends on 2 September.