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Standards institute annuls Microsoft vote

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10:58 CEST+02:00
The controversy surrounding Microsoft's comprehensive victory in a ballot held earlier this week has taken a new twist with the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) now deciding to nullify the vote.

But SIS says its decision is unconnected to allegations that Micosoft offered benefits to partner companies agreeing to support its bid to have the Office Open XML (OOXML) format accepted as the international standard for electronic documents.

"The board's decision is based on the fact that SIS has received information that one of the participants in the working group placed more than one vote," said SIS in a statement.

The institute added that there is unlikely to be a revote before September 2nd, when the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) convenes to vote on whether or not to endorse OOXML.

If, as expected, the deadline proves too tight, Sweden's ISO member body has said it will simply abstain from voting.

At the beginning of this week a decision was taken by SIS to back Microsoft's bid. Many commentators however reacted angrily to the fact that more than 20 new companies - many of which were Microsoft partners - joined the working group just in time to vote, tilting the vote in the software giant's favour.

It later emerged that Microsoft wrote an e-mail to selected partner companies offering "market assistance" to those pledging their support.

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