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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 8-7 in favor of approval with one abstention. 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," says PC World.
Open XML is the default file format used by Microsoft's Office 2007. ODF was approved as an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard last year.
Recently, Microsoft has been pushing to get Open XML blessed by the ISO -- seeking to have it approved by the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC-1), which sets technical standards for both the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
INCITS representatives from Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Sony, EMC, Hewlett-Packard , the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Electronic Industries Alliance supported Microsoft's standard. Against it were IBM, Oracle, Lexmark, the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, GS1 US, and Farance. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) abstained due to "the divergent viewpoints of key IEEE members."