Tectonic is reporting that Microsoft SA was defeated in a vote to have it’s proprietary Office OpenXML (OOXML) document format accepted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on Wednesday. The vote count was 13-4 against. See the full story here.

While it is excellent news considering that there already is an internationally ratified document standard, Open Document Format (ODF), it’s still only a small battle in the overall war. Microsoft will not give up its monopoly easily because it stands to lose billions in revenue by no longer being able to force users of its office productivity suite to “upgrade” simply by creating a new and incompatible document format.

Fortunately, Redmond has also hit a snag in the US. Arstechnica reports that the company’s plan to have its its format fast-tracked for approval as an ISO standard hit a snag recently it lost a vote by the V1technical committee which advises the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS). Indeed, Microsoft failed by two votes to gain the necessary two-thirds majority to give OOXML the “Approval, with comments” rating. This is despite the software giant using its influence to pack the committee with sycophants. Read the full story here.

Here’s hoping efforts to thwart Microsoft’s dominance continue to succeed. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

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