The website may be unstable

As a result of an update to our systems the website may be unstable from 4 pm Friday January 31. through 7 am Monday February 3. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for you.


Representatives from 32 countries discussed OOXML in ISO/IEC

A total of 120 representatives participated at the BRM – ISO/IEC DIS 29500 on the file format Office Open XML (OOXML) in Geneva 25th – 29th February. 3600 comments from member countries were sorted in over 1000 comment groups. The Editor of the standard brought suggestions for solutions on all comment groups, and 200 of these where discussed and thoroughly addressed in the Plenary.

The national member organizations, like Standard Norway, will now spend the time until March 29th, which is the ISO/IEC deadline, to see if they will change their votes according to the resolutions at the meeting. The Norwegian committee SN/K 185 has a meeting on March 28th and will discuss the outcome of the BRM and what will become the final Norwegian vote. During the voting last fall Norway voted “no with comments” to the proposal on OOXML becoming an ISO/IEC standard or not.

The Norwegian delegation
The Norwegian delegation to the meeting in Geneva had a mandate to work on getting as much accommodation as possible on the Norwegian comments, but did not have a mandate to change the Norwegian vote.

The Norwegian delegation consisted of:

  • Bjørnhild Sæterøy (HoD) - Standard Norway
  • Shahzad Rana – Microsoft Norway
  • Knut Tungland – StatoilHydro
  • Erlend Øverby – Hypatia AS
  • (Steve Pepper – Independent consultant who could not participate)

Good run-through of the Norwegian comments
Every country had the opportunity to put forward their most important comments at the meeting, and most of the Norwegian comments got a good run-through. This goes for instance to the Norwegian proposal on multi-part and “scope” of the separate parts. The meeting was also conducted in an efficient and proper manner according to the instructions and rules for ISO/IEC BRM-meetings. The standards proposal for ISO/IEC 29500 will now be changed by the Editor according to the instructions given during the BRM-meeting.

Statements from the Norwegian delegation
- The fact that the criteria for accessibility for user with special needs got a thorough discussion and was considerably improved during the meeting, is particularly positive and will have a great impact for many user groups, says Erlend Øverby, who also manages a working group in ISO/IEC JTC 1 who also develops standards for accessibility.

- We have had five really long work days. We all had big expectations for the BRM and these where met. The Norwegian delegation was well prepared and Bjørnhild Sæterøy in Standard Norway did an excellent job in expressing the Norwegian delegation’s common views, says Shahzad Rana in Microsoft Norway.

- Considering the complexity and attention around the meeting there is nothing to point at regarding the execution of the meeting. Now, the ISO/IEC secretariat will ensure that all proposals for improvement from the BRM will be included, says Bjørnhild Sæterøy from Standard Norway.

- We hope that all the attention around the standardization of OOXML will lead the ICT-sector in Norway to see the importance of participating in future standardization work. Most of our comments got a thorough run-trough during the meeting in Geneva, says Knut Sebastian Tungland in StatoilHydro.

ISO press release

Last updated: 2013-12-06