Tim Bray, XML guru has this to say about the BRM. At the end he says:-
" Con: Standards Process Abuse
Microsoft decided, rather than working to produce a harmonized standard by enhancing ODF to add MS-Office-specific features, to re-invent the world from scratch. This seems wrong.
ECMA, which claims to be a serious standards organization, blessed the process of generating a XML dump of the internal data format and publishing it in six thousand poorly-edited pages, in well under a year. This seems wrong.
ISO allowed ECMA to submit this on their fast-track process with breathtaking obliviousness to the existence of other standards and lack of concern for harmonization. This seems wrong.
ISO allowed the draft to be substantially edited and enhanced after the initial ballot. This seems wrong.
It tried to repair the damage by stuffing 120 people in a room in Geneva for five days to address a thousand changes to the spec. This seems wrong.
Thus, there’s an argument that this kind of process abuse shouldn’t be allowed to go unpunished. If Microsoft gets their standard, it’ll be a signal to other big players to try to do the same thing. If ISO gets away with doing this, it’ll have two negative effects. First, respect for International Standards in general will be diminished. Second, other people will start trying the same thing.
Well, my mind is still open. Locking Microsoft into a set of XML-based document-structure rules they have to play by (even if they wrote the rules), well, there’s probably an upside to that. But on the other hand, I dislike OOXML at an engineering level and I really dislike the cynical, abusive standards process it came with.
At the moment, it looks like we get the benefits (covenant not to sue, stable spec), without the downsides (Microsoft marketing club, rewarding ISO malfeasance) even if the ISO process fails.
What am I missing?"
You can read the full blog at http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2008/03/02/On-OOXML
PS: If you want to quote this post please note this little warning at the top of Tim's blog- "Excerpts from this essay may not be republished in any form unless they are accompanied by a link to the original essay and the following notice: “This is excerpted from Tim Bray’s On OOXML, which discusses both sides of the issue and which should be read in full for context.” There is one exception: the material in the first paragraph, appearing before this notice, may be freely excerpted by anyone for any purpose. ¶
I’m serious. Anyone who cherry-picks content from this piece without playing by the rule above can count on hearing from an attorney PDQ."