More OOXML trouble as Norwegians quit

Over half of Norway's ISO body, Standard Norway, have resigned over the country's approval for OOXML, citing Microsoft influence.

Thirteen members of Norway's International Standards Organisation (ISO) body, Standard Norway, have resigned over the country's approval for the controversial Microsoft OOXML document format.

Only two of the body's 23-member commit voted for the adoption - Microsoft itself, and Norwegian oil giant Statoil - but the Standard Norge management proceeded to recommended it against its member's wishes.

Confusion abounds about the reasons behind Standard Norway's adoption of OOXML (open office XML) against the wishes of the majority of its members, but the effect is to underline the global swell of opposition to the ISO's OOXML decision from earlier this year.

The resigning members left a parting shot in the form of a letter, made public in translated form last week.

"Standard Norway chose to defy their own technical committee and vote yes to a specification that is immature, useless, and unworthy of being called an ISO standard," wrote the objectors. "Standard Norway has lost its credibility in the IT area from the way it has administered the process. Standard Norway has set its own commercial interests ahead of what is best for society, most feasible technologically, and what is professionally advisable," the letter reads.

The resigning members further claimed that Standard Norway had been unduly influenced by a clutch of submissions from Microsoft, and was in breach of its own rules.

The ISO's fast-tracking and subsequent approval of OOXML will go down as one of the most contentious in its recent history, with allegations being made that Microsoft brought pressure to bear on the ISO for commercial reasons.

As the XML-based document standard that underlies Microsoft's Office suite, OOXML is at a deeper level another battle line in the software confrontation between open and proprietary standards. Its detractors argue that open source document standards such as the already-approved ODF (open document format) are more in the interests of government software buyers, for whom ISO approval is essential.

The OOXML adoption have already upset a variety of countries from the developing world, including South Africa, Venezuela, Brazil and India, and at least one large software rival to Microsoft, IBM.

Join the newsletter!


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.

Tags ooxml

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?