Microsoft's Office Open XML document format could be dead in the water. The Redmond company lost a preliminary ballot by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) committee to have the format adopted as an industry standard.
Microsoft's Office Open XML format is already the default file type used in Office 2007, but Microsoft was hoping it would be adopted by the international community for wider use. A rival format, the Open Document Format (ODF), has already been accepted by the ISO.
"We believe that the final tally in early 2008 will result in the ratification of Open XML as an ISO standard," Tom Robertson, head of interoperability and standards at Microsoft, told journalists.
Supporters of ODF say that Microsoft's Open XML format is not as open as it is claimed, and is harder to translate into other formats due to its more complex structure.
"Microsoft has every right to seek the ISO label for OOXML, but, as the ballot results show, it has a long way to go before it earns it and can be considered a truly open, interoperable document format," said the ODF in a statement.