Microsoft Takes OOXML Back to the Table

Microsoft Corporation has taking its Open Office XML format back to the International Standards Organization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in hopes of swaying some members to back it as an international document standard. The week-long talks won’t involve any voting, but the Redmond software giant hopes it can convince members that OOXMl is the only realistic way towards a universal document format that retains backward compatibility with the billions of Microsoft Office documents already in existence.

Microsoft would need two thirds of the memers to vote in favor of the draft proposal for it to advance on the standards track. The proposal only got support from 53 percent of voting members in September, amid accusations that Microsoft attempted to manipulate the vote in its favor.

Open Office XML competes with OpenDocument Format (ODF), another XML-based document format that leverages other standards already adopted by the W3C. Critics have noted that Microsoft’s OOXML is far more complex than ODF, and with over 6,000 pages of documentation (compared to ODF’s 860 pages) is still inadequately documented—a charge which echoes U.S. and EU antitrust officials’ concerns over Microsoft technology, which the company is attempting to address with a new interoperability pledge. Microsoft argues ODF doesn’t offer capabilities needed by spreadsheet applications, and isn’t capable of supporting several key elements of existing Microsoft Office documents.

In an open letter (PDF) that may have more to do with realism than personal preference, co-editor of the ODF specification Patrick Durusau has called for “co-evolution” of the OOXML and ODF formats: rather than attempting to unify them and produce a single, coherent document format, he believes the two standards could benefit from each other. “If we had a co-evolutionary environment, one where the proponents of OpenXML and OpenDocument, their respective organizations, national bodies and others interested groups could meet to discuss the future of those proposals, the future revisions of both would likely be quite different,” Durusau wrote. “Co-evolution means that the standards will evolve based on the influence of each other and their respective user communities. Both remain completely independent and neither is subordinate to the other.” Durusau has expressed support for OOXML, saying that he believes the format is ready for development by the ISO standards body.

ISO/IEC members who voted in September have 30 days in which they can change their votes.


HP drops killer deals on laptops with up to $1,300 off for Memorial Day Weekend

HP is currently dropping prices on Spectre x360, Envy, Pavilion, and Omen laptops during its Memorial Day event. So if you're in dire need of a new laptop, the latest holiday savings may be exactly what you're looking for.

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Keep your kids safe online with these great parental control tools

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and MacOS, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.

These external drives have speed, durability, and storage space to spare

Whether you want an external storage drive that is fast, portable, or comes with a ton of storage, these are the best external hard drives available today. They all come with great features and competitive pricing.

The 2019 ThinkPad lineup is robust. Here's how to pick the right one for you

Be it the X series, the T series, E series, it can be tough to find the best Lenovo laptop that is right for you. To help, we'll break down all the options available to make your choice a more informed one.

Here’s how to watch AMD reveal its new Ryzen chips at Computex

AMD will be holding a pre-Computex keynote on May 27 to announce its new line of 3rd-generation Ryzen processors and accompanying Radeon Navi graphics cards. Here's how to watch the keynote live wherever you are in the world.

Microsoft might finally embrace USB-C on next-gen Surface Pro 7

USB-C could finally come to Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. According to a Microsoft patent filing, the port was shown in an illustration, suggesting that the company is working to support this feature in the future.

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.

AMD's latest Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Ryzen 3000 chips will pack a punch, and could launch as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.

Walmart Memorial Day sale: 4K TVs, laptops, and Apple iPads get price cuts

The Walmart Memorial Day sale has begun. With some pretty nice savings on Apple iPads, Samsung and Vizio 4K TVs, laptops, and Google Home devices, now is a great time to snag some electronics for cheap.

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.