A fine distinction on the OPenDoc but an important one in that it's not as widely accepted as IEEE.
I was unaware about Microsoft submitting to ECMA> I'll follow up on that.
How's the Heart of Gold holding up?
Tom indicated that the Open Office format was developed in an "open" standards organization like IEEE. This is an inaccurate comparison. The Open Office format was based upon Sun's Star Office product and was further developed at OASIS. While OASIS is a standards organization it lacks the credibility or track record of IEEE. Further, OASIS is not a "globally sanctioned" organization like the United Nations Center for Facilitation of Commerce and Trade (UN/CEFACT), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Microsoft's Office XML format was contributed to ECMA (European association for standardizing information and communication systems). ECMA provides "fast tracking" of specifications drafted in international standards format through the process in Global Standards Bodies like the ISO. Industry leaders like Apple, Intel, and Toshiba have agreed to work with Microsoft to accelerate the standardization and submission to ISO, making the Office XML format an open, globally sanctioned standard.
One other interesting thing - take a look at the licensing terms:
"Microsoft irrevocably covenants that it will not seek to enforce any of its patent claims necessary to conform to the technical specifications for the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas posted at http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/xmloffice/default.aspx (the ?Specifications?) against those conforming parts of software products."