Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Paul Thurott thinks OpenXML is A-OK. After noting that Massachusetts has deemed it an acceptable document format, he says this about the overwhelmingly negative comments the Commonwealth received about OOXML:
Before arriving at this conclusion, the state reviewed almost 500 comments from individuals and organizations, most of whom complained about Massachusetts adopting the Microsoft formats....
It should be noted that while Microsoft originally developed the Open XML in-house, these file formats are now controlled by a standards community that answers to Ecma International. It's likely that most of those in Massachusetts who complained about Open XML adoption there were unaware of this relationship.
Actually, if you read the letters, you will see that they mostly show a very high level of factual information. The impression one gets is that they know perfectly well all about ECMA. They consider it a rubber stamp organization which has no such goal as control of OOXML. Even if it did have that goal, since it allows proprietary extensions in a "standard", the question becomes: will ECMA control those proprietary extensions? Obviously not. Therein lies the problem.