Microsoft is planning to submit file formats for its new Office 12 applications to the European ECMA International standards body.
Microsoft, which dominates the market for desktop productivity software, plans to provide the specifications of Office 12 file formats to ECMA early next month. In addition to Microsoft, the technical committee is being sponsored by Intel, Apple Computer, NextPage and some European customers, including British Petroleum and the British Library.
The creation of a fully documented standard derived from the formats, called Microsoft Office Open XML, will likely take about a year, Microsoft executives said. Once Microsoft Office Open XML is recognized as an ECMA standard, the group of companies then intends to pursue standardization at ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, which is particularly influential among government customers.