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Office Open XML, a.k.a. IS 29500

As everyone who has followed this blog already knows, we introduced a new file format with Office 2007 (and Excel 2007) with the extension .xlsx called Office Open XML (OOXML).  Microsoft submitted the new file format to Ecma International, and in December 2006, that file format was approved as ECMA-376, and Ecma submitted the standard to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for fast-track processing to become an ISO standard.  Over the last 15 months, many conversations have taken place between Ecma and the National Bodies that make up ISO, and comments from those National Bodies were addressed at a Ballot Resolution Meeting during the last week of February 2008.  Through the month of March, the National Bodies then had the opportunity to consider the changes made to OOXML at the meeting, and today ISO officially announced the results of the voting.

As stated on the ISO web site:

Approval required at least 2/3 (i.e. 66.66 %) of the votes cast by national bodies participating in the joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, to be positive; and no more than 1/4 (i.e. 25 %) of the total number of ISO/IEC national body votes cast to be negative. These criteria have now been met with 75 % of the JTC 1 participating member votes cast positive and 14 % of the total of national member body votes cast negative.

The Excel team views this as a very positive development, and is committed working with both Ecma and ISO to continually evolve and develop OOXML as an international standard.

More information is available for those interested: