Rejoice, rejoice! Microsoft’s supposed open document formats under the name OOXML was disapproved based on the actual votes cast by participating members of the International Standard Organization (ISO). There’s more reason to rejoice because the Philippines is one of the No-OOXML countries, thanks to the participation of the DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards. (Which, actually, caught me by surprise. Does this mean that DTI is for open document standards? Great, if that’s true. Paging Microsoft Philippines. You’ve got a work to do here.)
If the population of the countries who voted No is to be factored in, it shows that almost half (3.2 billion) of the world’s population is against OOXML. Big countries such as China and India voted No. Powerful countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan, France, and Canada voted No. Cuba voted No, although its sister nation–Venezuela–known for its anti-American stance surprisingly voted Yes. The Philippines and Thailand are only two Southeast Asian countries that voted No. Malaysia and Vietnam abstained while Singapore voted Yes.
But Microsoft is just in the stage of scraping through yet. The final stage for the approval or disapproval will happen in February next year. Between now and that month, Microsoft can muster all its wherewithal to convince more voting country members to vote for OOXML as well as those who voted No to change their minds favorably for the proposed standard. A right way to do that is to modify OOXML based on the comments made by the voting countries. The other yet ignoble ways are to bribe and sow FUD (fear, uncertainty, deception) among these countries.
Actually, ICT activists were surprised at the turnout of the OOXML votation. As Groklaw said, money can’t buy love. Still, the fear remains given that Microsoft is given another chance to recover from the “tactical” loss. It’s still a tight battle because Microsoft will not simply give in to the ODF.