National Bodies to learn more
That stance was "certainly consistent with the notion of standards, and standards support, and a number of things articulated in the principles...So, yes, we are continuing through the standardization process with a variety of industry participants," he said. But that approach has been sharply criticized by some in the open-source community, like Red Hat's General Counsel Michael Cunningham.While Andy Updegrove, a partner with Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove, says Microsoft's latest moves appear to indicate a greater willingness to be both open and cooperative, it was no coincidence that this announcement came just two business days before the Ballot Resolution Meeting convened in Geneva Feb. 25. "This will effectively give those participating in the discussions of Microsoft's document format no opportunity to fully understand what Microsoft has actually promised to do. But there will be greater time for the National Bodies to learn more during the one-month voting period that will follow the resolution meeting, providing that further details are rapidly made available," he said in his ConsortiumInfo.org standards blog . When recently asked by eWEEK what the impact would be on adoption if the Office file format is not ratified, Microsoft's Robertson said it was already an open Ecma International standard that was available to the community and being rapidly adopted. "We would expect that to continue. The question is whether the global community wants to have a voice in its evolution, and that is what the ISO ratification process will do," he said at that time.
He believes that if Microsoft was really committed to greater interoperability and openness, it would commit to open standards and stop pushing forward its proprietary, Windows-based Office file format for document processing, and rather embrace the existing ISO-approved, cross-platform Open Document Format.