Standards New Zealand has cast a ‘no’ vote on the proposal to adopt the Open XML draft Standard as an international Standard.
“After considerable discussion and input from key New Zealand stakeholders, a large number of whom opposed publication of the document as an international Standard in its current form, the Standards Council have concluded that the best vote for New Zealand is ‘no’,” says Grant Thomas, chief operating officer at Standards New Zealand.
Under International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) directives, a ‘no’ vote allows New Zealand to submit technical comments and recommendations, which are required to be addressed.
“Voting ‘no’ with comments provides an opportunity for any technical issues to be resolved. It also facilitates consideration of merging the document with the existing ISO/IEC Standard. If the comments are resolved we will have an opportunity to change New Zealand’s vote to ‘yes’ at a ballot resolution meeting in February 2008,” Thomas says.
“The Council has also made a recommendation the document be considered for publication as an ISO/IEC Type 2 Technical Report. This is an alternative path should the comments submitted with the ‘no’ vote be unable to be resolved. Publication as a Technical Report would elevate the status of the document, and bring it into the ISO/IEC family,” Thomas says.
Standards New Zealand received a large number of written submissions, comments and suggestions on the proposed standard. Workshops were also held to capture the views of stakeholders, including government agencies.
“Stakeholders raised several philosophical concerns, and identified technical omissions, errors and inconsistencies within the draft Standard. We believe that voting ‘no’ with comments allows these issues to be addressed,” Thomas says.
Microsoft ran an advertising campaign in major newspapers over the past few days urging a 'yes' vote.