[This post will just have to be improved very soon. More links have to be added, and maybe a few images, too. But Sir Francis beckons now for brews and grub at 219 No Tran Long, yet again. :D Please pardon the inevitable typos and awkwardness.]
According to GesmerUpdegrove LLP's ConsortiumInfo Standards Blog, Microsoft's OOXML just lost the vote for acceptance by International Standards Organization (ISO) as an international standard, leaving the OASIS/OpenOffice ODF standard as the world's sole globally-approved office-document standard.
The near-term implication, assuming no reversal of the vote, seems to be that digital office documents will now enjoy a single, open standard under which any company, anywhere competitively build information-systems applications.
The ODF standard could thus provide a common global standard for working with office documents just as HTML has long so successfully provided the same for pages in the Internet's World Wide Web. (See comments by Canonical, Ubuntu Linux' Mark Shuttleworth in a Vietnam video-conference transcript about the same, near here.)
Of this hardly insignificant event, Andrew Updegrove wrote on the Standard Blog, PDT.05:31.Tue.04.Sep.2007.AD, 'The actual numbers for the final tally are now what you could rightly call "encouraging." All 41 P members voted, with the following breakdown: 17 yes, 15 no, and 9 abstain. Or, as the ISO press release more neutrally described the result':
Approval requires at least 2/3 (i.e. 66.66 %) of the votes cast by national bodies participating in ISO/IEC JTC 1 to be positive; and no more than 1/4 (i.e. 25 %) of the total number of national body votes cast negative. Neither of these criteria were achieved, with 53 % of votes cast by national bodies participating in ISO/IEC JTC 1 being positive and 26 % of national votes cast being negative.
As Updegrove notes in the outset of his post, the New York Times conspicuously just ran an piece by Kevin J O'brien headlined, "Microsoft Favored to Win Open Document Vote ", 04.Sep.2007, New York (03.Sep, Berlin) -- which now erases most of the doubts i at least had about the NYT's neocon establishment slant since i read a recent interview with Seymour Hersh following Bush Jr's recent self-serving comparison of the USA's invasion of Iraq to its regrettable invasion of Vietnam.
Another highly informative, if potentially biased piece on the MS OOXML ISO approval bid can be found at the Boycott Novell blog, " Has Microsoft 'Bought' the Vote for OOXML in Vietnam?", 27.Aug.2007. The post's question-veiled proposition is supported by a lot of apparently credible links and what looks at first glance to be a fairly well-rounded argument.
In fact, it was via a post at the Boycott Novell blog, "It's Final and Official: ODF is the Only ISO Standard", 04.Sep.2007, that Updegrove's post was first found.