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Microsoft file format approved as ISO standard

GENEVA (AP) _ The format used by Microsoft Corp.’s Office 2007 programs to save documents will become an international standard after appeals against the move failed to gather sufficient support, the International Organization for Standardization said Friday.

The decision ends months of wrangling over whether Microsoft’s Office Open XML format should be considered an open standard – a requirement for many lucrative government contracts.

Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela had complained that an international ballot held in April was poorly conducted and rushed them into a decision based on incomplete information.

Technical panels at the Geneva-based ISO and its sister organization, the International Electrotechnical Commission, considered the appeals but concluded that they lacked the necessary support of two-thirds of their membership.

The two bodies said it will take several weeks before OOXML officially becomes an international standard.

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