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IBM vs. standards bodies?

Can major vendors buy standards bodies’ approval for specifications that support their products?

One major vendor, IBM, appears less than thrilled with the success another major vendor, Microsoft, had getting OOXML through the Ecma and ISO approval process, which is helpful in global sales of the already ubiqitous Office products. 

Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and standards now tells Financial Times Tech Blog writer Richard Waters that Big Blue is casting a cold eye on ISO and Ecma. “It has exposed how Ecma operates, as basically a standards body for hire,” Sutor is quoted as saying. IBM is backed in its re-thinking of its support for these standards bodies by emerging countries that are protesting the Microsoft victory.

But Waters notes that there is a risk here as he concludes: “…if a big vendor unilaterally starts to abandon some standards bodies, or to end support for the technologies they have recognised, it could lead to a fragmentation that is helpful to no one.”

SOA Talk notes that this protest movement does not appear to have spread to W3C or OASIS, the two bodies responsible for most of the standards for the service-oriented approach to application development. But then again World War I started as a dispute between Austria and Serbia.

What happens is this dispute spreads?

Just asking.

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