In its latest moves against ODF, Microsofts Bill Gates, speaking at the Microsoft Office System Developers Conference, announced that the company has joined with 39 other organizations to form the Open XML Formats Developer Group.
According to Gates, this group is for organizations that are committed to supporting the Office OpenXML format. The Microsoft-owned site is run by Doug Mahugh, a Microsoft "technical evangelist."
Perhaps a more significant move than this public relations announcement is that Microsofts Jim Thatcher has just joined the U.S. national body responsible for the JTC1 SC34 "V1 Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface," which, in turn, is the group responsible for sheparding the ODF through the International Organization for Standardization certification process.
Specifically, as Andy Updegrove, a partner with the Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP and the editor of ConsortiumInfo.org, explained, "It just so happens that this small subcommittee (six companies, including Microsoft) is the entity charged with reconciling the votes that are being cast in the ISO vote to adopt the OASIS OpenDocument Format."