The Open XML format of Microsoft Office has been accepted as a standard by most of the companies that make up Ecma Internacional. Ecma Internacional is an industry association founded in 1961 dedicated to the standardization of information and Communication Technologies (TCI) as well as Consumer Electronics. Its members include Apple, Adobe, IBM, The British Library, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Toshiba and the US Library of the United States Congress.
The move to accept Office’s new Open XML as a standard means Ecma will now submit the format to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for consideration as an ISO standard.
This is the step that follows a year of testing carried out by the members of the organization in order to “Ensure that the Office Open XML formats are truly useful and operational in a wide variety of scenarios”, as reported by the ECMA in a press release.
Open XML formats will be usable between Windows, Linux and (in 2007) the Macintosh platform. About 750 developers have so far joined the Open XML Formats Developer Group.
Microsoft’s Mac business unit has promised to fix its software compatibility by releasing a series of file format converters to allow older versions of Office for Mac to read the new file format, probably towards the end. of March.