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Not Playing Nicely

IBM is considering a full withdrawal of its membership in numerous tech standards organizations responsible for maintaining hardware and software compatibility across vendors worldwide, reports the Wall Street Journal. Although IBM reps have stated that the move is partly motivated by complex IP laws, arcane procedures, and pricey membership fees, industry insiders say that Big Blue is reacting to what it views as Microsoft's unfair advantage in the governing bodies. In particular, IBM seems aggrieved about the recent move by the International Organization for Standardization to allow Microsoft to use its own Open XML format for the Microsoft Office suite. IBM and other software makers say that the move is unfair because Microsoft is sure to gain the biggest foothold in the marketplace because it wrote the book on Open XML.