Microsoft Corp. has lost a key vote in its quest to develop an alternative to the Open Document Format standard, backed by the open-source community.
The executive committee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) fell one vote shy of the nine required to approve Microsoft’s Open XML standard. It voted 8 to 7 in favor of approval with one abstention, the group announced last week.
The vote is a setback in a long-running battle between Microsoft and those who are seeking to dislodge Microsoft’s monopoly hold on the desktop with internationally approved standards for office documents. The battle has pitted Microsoft against open-source backers such as Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp., whose rival Open Document Format for XML (ODF) has gained some support among government users.