Microsoft Doesn’t Get ISO Label

Looks like it is Microsoft day here on the CA blog. Just heard that Microsoft did not get ISO certification for Office file formats.

This is great news for and other free and open source “office” applications.

From the Market Place story above:

Microsoft has suffered an embarrassing rebuff. The company has tried for two years to win the prized “ISO” label for its Office file format.
ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. When applied to software, the label certifies that this is an open system that will always be available.

There have been some recent campaigns to get governments to require open file formats and as the referenced story quoted Maija Palmer of the Financial Times, “They don’t want to be dependent solely on one company, like Microsoft, to be able to access their, you know, citizens’ records in the future. So they would like to use software that would be open, accessible, usable in the future.”

And this is at the heart of the Free Software movement. Should people be held hostage to a single software vendor? Or should they be free to take their hardware and their data and go elsewhere?

Obviously at CivicActions we believe in the latter scenario where open standards and free software allow individuals, organizations and governments the most freedom.

To learn more about free software, visit The Free Software Foundation. They are currently running a campaign called Free Software Free Society to call attention to the threat Microsoft Vista, in particular, poses to computer users, the environment and society writ large.