We should have kids follow the Open XML votes as it would do more for their understanding of geography than Where Is Carmen Sandiego. Kids, today we are traveling to Germany.
The working group NIA 34 of the DIN (Deutsche Institut für Normung ) - the German National Body - has voted Yes with comments for Open XML to become an ISO standard. Here is web link in German about this.
Gerd Schürman, Director eGovernment, Fraunhofer FOKUS, and Head of the DIN task force ‘Translation of Document Formats’ said this about the vote.
The standardization process of Open XML as an ISO standard will start now and result in the technological advancement of both standards – Open XML and ODF 1.0. The comments that were expressed by leading experts from the industry, science, public sector and politics together with the recommendation of the DIN committee, guide the way to interoperability. We will sustainably support this process in the Fraunhofer FOKUS eGovernment Laboratory and, as a member of ECMA International, provide our laboratory partner Microsoft assistance and know-how in implementing the recommendations.
So, this gets at the really important question that is being asked about what the implications are of yes with comments. I wrote yesterday about this given Ecma's public statement that they will consider all comments - no matter if they come in as yes, no, or abstain. I will write a longer piece on this as it is really important question.
Focus on the long term though...
Keep in mind, September 2 is a really important milestone in the process but the BRM sometime in early 2008 is out there, and then there is another 30 days after that where national bodies may reconsider their votes. So - we are still a ways out on any final outcome.