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Ballot Closes on ISO/IEC DIS 29500, the OOXML Standard

New York, Sep 06, 2007

National member bodies from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have cast their votes on ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats. After a five-month ballot process which came to a close on September 2, 2007, the fast track Draft International Standard (DIS) did not achieve the required number of votes for approval as an International Standard.

One hundred four countries participated in the vote, including forty one participating (P) members of the joint ISO/IEC technical committee, JTC 1, Information technology, for which ANSI holds the secretariat.

About ISO/IEC DIS 29500

ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is a proposed standard for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets that is intended to be used by multiple applications on multiple platforms. Originally developed by Microsoft Corporation as the Office Open XML Specification, Ecma International submitted the standard in December 2006 to JTC 1 for fast track adoption as an International Standard.

The JTC 1 Fast Track Process

The fast track procedure allows a standard developed within the IT industry to be presented to JTC 1 as a Draft International Standard (DIS). After a one-month review by JTC 1 P members, a five-month ballot opens to all national member bodies of ISO and IEC.

For a DIS to gain approval, at least two-thirds of the JTC 1 P member votes must be positive, and no more than one-quarter of the national member body votes can be negative. ISO/IEC DIS 29500 met neither of these conditions, with 53% of the JTC 1 P member votes being positive and 26% of the national member body votes being negative.

A ballot resolution meeting (BRM) is being organized by JTC 1 Subcommittee 34, Document description and processing languages. To be held in February 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland, the BRM will give participants an opportunity to review and discuss the comments that accompanied their votes, as well as possible modifications to the DIS. If these modifications sufficiently address the concerns that led to a negative vote, then the negative vote may be withdrawn.

Should the above criteria for approval be met following the BRM deliberations, the standard may proceed to publication. If the criteria are not met, the proposal will have failed and the fast track procedure will be terminated. The standard may be re-submitted under the normal ISO/IEC standards development rules.

View the ISO/IEC press release here.

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel