After a year of wrangling, it seems that Microsoft has won an international standard approval for its open-document format.

Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) a format for interchangeable web documents, was approved by 24 of 32 countries in a ballot by the International Organization for Standardization, the ISO.

Supporters of rival Open Document Format (ODF), which is already an ISO standard and widely used, said multiple formats defeated the purpose of having standards and warned the result would help Microsoft "tighten its grip" on computer users.

This means the document format could be adopted as a global standard, although there are more hurdles and approvals for Microsoft to get through before it all becomes a reality.