There’s been a lot of fuzz lately in Norway about the whole OOXML vote process. Standard Norge has, despite the opposition’s majority vote against OOXML, voted yes to OOXML. In response to this, Håkon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software and the rest of the opposition won’t stop fighting against the decision. Last week, comittee chairman Steve Pepper sent ISO a formal letter where he protested against the decision, and asked that Norway’s vote be suspended. Standard Norge dismissed this and claimed that the majority voted yes to OOXML! In response to this, Håkon Wium Lie and the rest of the opposition wrote a new letter to ISO to state that Norway voted NO to OOXML. The whole letter:

Reference is made to a letter from Steve Pepper of March 31st 2008.

Steve Pepper is the chairman of the Norwegian mirror committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34. Steve has served ISO as a volunteer for 13 years at his own expense. In addition to chairing the Norwegian committee, he has acted as Head of Delegation at every SC34 plenary since 1995 and as Convenor of the SC34 working group responsible for ISO 13250 Topic Maps since its formation in 1998.

In his letter, he reported how most members of the Norwegian committee are against changing Norway’s vote on OOXML from No with comments to Yes, and that in spite of this, employees of Standard Norway have decided to unilaterally change Norway’s vote.

We, the undersigned, are members of the Norwegian Committee SN/K185. We write to confirm Steve Pepper’s description of this matter. The technical arguments made against standardizing OOXML based on the BRM results were compelling to a solid majority of the committee, representing a wide range of IT competence; we find that according to ISO’s processes and the processes of Standard Norway, these technical arguments should have carried greater weight than the arguments brought by OOXML’s proponents.

We recognize that ISO already has approved OOXML. Still, we request that ISO records the Norwegian vote in accordance with the vast majority and the technical arguments of the Norwegian committee:

Norway voted No on OOXML!

Kind regards,


Bjørn Venn, Per-Arne Aas, Petter Reinholdtsen, Per Inge Østmoen, Harald T. Alvestrand, Keld J. Simonsen, Knut Yrvin, Axel Bojer, Martin Bekkelund, Knut Olav Bøhmer, Geir Isene, Tom Wahlgren, Anthony Lærdahl, Trond Heier, Thomas Gramstad, Thomas Malt, Arne S. Nielsen, Erlend Øverby, Håkon Wium Lie

Now, the next step is for our government to eiter decline OOXML fully, or accept it fully as an open standard together with ODF.

Source: Anders Brenna.