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Office Open XML reaches next step in ISO/IEC process

ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (ECMA-376 Office Open XML of Ecma International) ballot starts for a period of 5 months


Geneva, 2 April 2007


The JTC 1 Secretariat informed Ecma International today that Office Open XML will move immediately to the next phase of the ISO/IEC’s review of the Ecma standard. The ISO/IEC Information Technology Task Force (ITTF) issued the
5-month DIS 29500 (Office Open XML) ballot on Monday, April 2, 2007; the ballot will close on Sept 2, 2007. This action came after the closure of the one-month “perceived contradiction” period, and after Ecma had provided a review of the National Body comments which had been received.

Ecma International welcomes the continuation of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 process for ECMA-376: Office Open XML File Formats with the 5-month ballot by the national members of ISO and IEC” said Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, new Secretary General of Ecma International. ”We look forward to working with ISO/IEC and their Member Bodies and National Committees to address any technical issues that they may have about Office Open XML and look forward to ECMA-376 Office Open XML becoming an ISO/IEC standard”.

The work to standardise OpenXML has been carried out by Ecma International as part of an open, cross-industry collaboration via Technical Committee 45 (Ecma TC45), which includes representatives from Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress. On December 7, 2006, the Ecma General Assembly approved both adopting Office Open XML as an Ecma standard (ECMA-376) and submitting it for adoption under the ISO/IEC JTC 1 fast-track process.

With more and more organizations around the world interested in achieving document processing interoperability, and creating digital archives using open formats, the Office Open XML formats provide an international open standard for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that can be freely implemented across multiple applications and platforms, both today and in the future. The new open standard enables the continued use of billions of existing documents and promotes document processing interoperability. Multiple vendors such as Corel, Microsoft and Novell already announced implementations of the Open XML standard in very popular applications such as WordPerfect, Open Office and Microsoft Office 2007. An Office Open XML overview is available on the Ecma website.


About Ecma International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Ecma is a non-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Experts from industry and other organizations work together at Ecma to develop standards. Ecma submits its work for approval as ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards and is the inventor and main practitioner of "fast tracking" of specifications through the standardisation process in International Standards Organisations (ISOs) such as the ISO and the IEC. Publications can be downloaded free of charge from .

For more information: please contact Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. Email:

Istvan Sebestyen
Ecma Secretary General




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