IBM draws an IT standards line

IBM Corp. said it would consider dropping out of information technology standards organizations unless they establish rules that prevent vendors from abusing the groups' decision-making processes, reports Computerworld.

A new set of participatory guidelines developed by IBM encourages standards bodies to take action to avoid "undue influence" -- a clear reference to rival Microsoft Corp., which got its Office Open XML file format accepted as an ISO standard earlier this year.

But withdrawing from a standards organization would be a "last resort," said Bob Sutor, IBM's vice president of open source and standards. "We see this very much as a positive, constructive policy for how we hope to engage," he added.

Should IBM take that path, it would be giving up the ability "to push its favored standards through the system," said Andrew Updegrove, an attorney at Gesmer Updegrove LLP.

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