OOXML ‘Contradicts’ Existing ISO Standard, May Not Be Approved
IBM's Bob Sutor has a post explaining the process used by ISO to approve standards. He links the ECMA standard for OOXML and a post from OpenDocument Fellowship explaining the ISO procedures to be followed when a proposed standard solves the same problems as an already-approved standard. The following fragment from the second link is instructive.
Having two contradictory and inconsistent standards for the same problem would only cause user confusion and lack of interoperability. It will also drive up both user and developer expenses, frustrating the ISO goal [PDF] of "one standard, one test, and one conformity assessment procedure accepted everywhere."
The second link says that ISO does not generally approve standards that contradict one another, which can be described this way:
To sum up, an ISO contradiction may be based at least on:
* confusion of users;
* damage to ISO reputation;
* lack of consistency with existing standards;
* duplication of existing standards; and
* overlap with existing standards.