International technology standards organization Ecma voted Thursday to approve the creation of a technical committee to begin looking into standardization of Microsoft Office’s Open XML document format. The effort has been backed by Apple, Intel and Toshiba. The vote to create the committee would have been unanimous, however OpenDocument supporter IBM voted against the proposal while HP abstained. Critics outside of Ecma questioned the organization’s move to standardize what they consider to be a proprietary format. Micorsoft submitted its new Office format to Ecma a few weeks ago.