As for accusations that ECMA -- and he -- are too cozy with Microsoft, Van Den Beld said he has never consulted with or worked at Microsoft. And he pointed out that ECMA has occasionally antagonized Microsoft -- most famously in 1996, when it led the successful charge to force Microsoft to make the application programming interface to Windows 3.1 a public standard.
ECMA has already agreed to help ISO address the official "comments," or objections, to Open XML, Van Den Beld said. He acknowledged that while there are many objections, he believes, based on past experience, that if all parties "work like mad in the next four months," a sufficiently refined Open XML specification can be created by ISO's ballot resolution meeting in February, during which JTC-1 members can change the votes they cast in September. A final result would likely be known within one or two months after that, he said.