UKUUG home


(the UK's Unix & Open Systems User Group)

 UKUUG home






Book Discounts

Other Discounts

Mailing lists






UKUUG appeals the initial court decision on BSI's OOXML action

If you're looking to support UKUUG in it's efforts to examine the BSI's OOXML decision, you can join UKUUG or make a donation

Press release -- Wednesday 21 January 2008

UKUUG has concluded the case for judicial review against BSI which was
brought in connection with the BSI's inexplicable change to "Yes" of their
previous "No" vote to the fast-tracking by ISO of DIS29500 (Microsoft OOXML)
in time for last March's ISO vote.

The sudden change to "Yes" of the fast-tracking of a flawed, incomplete
(despite its 6,000 pages) and extremely controversial standard, unimplemented
by anyone including Microsoft, apparently designed solely be a "spoiler" to the
adoption of the competing ODF standard, had caused consternation in the entire
industry, not least amongst members of BSI's own technical committee. This was
accompanied by an apparent worldwide campaign to "pack" ISO with members newly
enabled to vote and pledged to support the standard and similar mysterious
policy changes amongst existing ISO voting members.

BSI had given no indication, and has never given any satisfactory indication,
of why they suddenly changed their position.

UKUUG had sought judicial review of this matter as it appeared that the decision
was taken contrary to their own rules. Initially the paper application for leave
for judicial review was rejected by the High Court. UKUUG then made a renewed
application for an oral hearing for leave; however this was listed in October -
so late that even if completely successful, it would have been too late to undo
the damage created by BSI's change of position in March. UKUUG saw no alternative
but to withdraw the case at this point.

In December Mr Justice Sullivan rejected two-thirds of BSI's costs demand,
including all of the costs of the oral hearing which he described as
"grotesquely disproportionate".



OOXML is Microsoft's attempt to answer ODF (the OpenDocument Format) that is
becoming ever more widely adopted by organisations and governments around the
world.  The motivation of adoption is that ODF was completely specified in 2006
by ISO (International Standards Organisation).  ODF is supported by 20+
independent software suites; this demonstrates that ODF documents will remain
readable for the foreseeable future - which means hundreds of years.

OOXML is not supported by any software and the current state of DIS29500 is so
poor and incomplete that implementation outside Microsoft is not possible.  We
note that Microsoft has said that it will support ODF before OOXML.

Editor's Notes:

UKUUG is the UK's Open Systems User Group, for people who care about open IT
standards and the systems that implement them.  UKUUG promotes education and
understanding through its newsletter, regular briefings and conferences.  It is
independent of any industry groupings and not-for-profit.  It values
intelligence, thoughtfulness and long-term thinking rather than immediacy and

BSI: Since its foundation in 1901 as the Engineering Standards Committee, 
BSI Group has grown into a leading global independent business services
organisation.  The Group now operates globally through its three divisions: 
BSI British Standards, BSI Management Systems and BSI Product Services.

For further information about UKUUG visit:

Technical objections to OOXML:

Further news:
First press release:
Second press release:
Tel: 01763 273 475
Fax: 01763 273 255
Web: Webmaster
Queries: Ask Here
Join UKUUG Today!

UKUUG Secretariat
More information

Page last modified 21 Jan 2009
Copyright © 1995-2011 UKUUG Ltd.