Massachusetts Disses Microsoft and Proprietary Data Formats

Microsoft’s anger knows no bounds in the wake of an announcement from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that state offices will phase out Microsoft Office in favor of a software application suite(s) that store files in an open-document format, rather than the proprietary format currently implemented by Microsoft.

The Commonwealth’s Open Document Format for Office Applications — a.k.a. OpenDocument — will facilitate the long-term distribution and access flexibility for documents, state-wide. Rather than storing documents in proprietary formats, such as WordPerfect and Word, memos and reports will be stored in an XML-compliant format that will be accessible decades from now, using software tools that have yet to be developed.

Application suites such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Office, and Corel WordPerfect will be shunned in favor of suites such as OpenOffice, StarOffice, and KOffice. The preferred application suites offer similar functionality to those application that store data in proprietary format.

Dave’s Opinion
Microsoft’s war dance in the face of losing a significant customer will be a sight to behold. There should be plenty of New England ballyhooing and fireworks over Boston this autumn.

Call for Comments
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Massachusetts Open Standards


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