Andy Updegrove writes "Earlier this month Ecma, a Europe-based standard setting consortium, approved Microsoft's OOXML formats. When Microsoft submitted the formats to Ecma a year ago, ODF proponents called Ecma a "rubber stamp" organization that would do as it was told. Was that fair? Ecma's press releases for the past year may provide a clue: during that time period, it issued three press releases announcing the general adoption of a total of 32 standards at General Assemblies, and twelve press releases on individual standards projects — all but one of which were dedicated to Microsoft's OOXML specification. It would appear that either Ecma doesn't think much of what it's doing these days is very important, or that there is a great deal it can gain from being associated with the OOXML project — or both. This may be why it agreed to charter a Technical Committee with an unusually specific charge for a standards organization: to produce a standard that is "fully compatible" with the formats used by a single vendor.