Gates goes to Washington as US OOXML decision nears

Question from US state rep leads to impromptu lobbying moment

Microsoft's last-minute lobbying in the US on behalf of its Office Open XML document format included a visit by outgoing chairman Bill Gates to a US Congressional committee last week.

The executive board of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards, or INCITS, is expected to tally the results of a letter ballot whether or not to maintain its position in favor of OOXML's ratification in ISO.

Most of INCITS' 19 members are large high-tech vendors, including Microsoft, HP, EMC, Intel, Sony Electronics, and Apple, all of whom supported OOXML last September, as well as opponents such as IBM and Oracle.

But more than a third of INCITS' members are federal groups, such as the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), or industry trade groups with close ties to Washington DC. The industry contingent includes the IEEE, the Electronic Industries Alliance, GS1 US, and a new member, RFID and barcode standards consortium AIM Global.

Gates spoke ( YouTube video) Wednesday in front of the US House of Representatives' committee on science and technology. Though most of his talk was devoted to his own predictions concerning the future of IT, he answered a question from Washington state congressman Brian Baird, who said he was "particularly interested in the issue of Open XML and the broader question about standards."

Gates answered that Microsoft wants to see OOXML become an ISO standard, in part, "so that families and researchers and archivists will be able to access information from the past and use it to interact in the future. And it's by mining data like this that I think a lot of the advances in understanding how education is best done, or understanding what should be in the medical field. So it's both an important thing for innovation and an important thing for citizens to have access to information."

Baird, who represents Washington's capitol (Olympia) and other towns south of the Seattle metropolitan area in the US, where most of Microsoft's employees live and work, replied that he "appreciated" and "applauded Microsoft for its leadership in this area and the whole issue of standards."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?