“The state of Massachusetts has laid out a plan to switch all its workers away from Microsoft’s Word, Excel and other desktop software applications, delivering what would be one of the most significant setbacks to the software company’s battle against open source software in its home market,” Richard Waters reports for The Financial Times. “The state said on Wednesday that all electronic documents ‘created and saved’ by state employees would have to be based on open formats, with the switch to start at the beginning of 2007.”
“Documents created using Microsoft’s Office software are produced in formats that are controlled by the Microsoft, making them inelligible. In a paper laying out its future technology strategy on Wednesday, the state also specified only two document types that could be used in the future – OpenDocument, which is used in open source applications like Open Office, and PDF, a widely used standard for electronic documents,” Waters reports. “‘I think it would be pretty risky for the state of Massachusetts to go in a direction like this without a clear look at the costs first,’ said Alan Yates, general manager of the Office division at Microsoft.”
“The decision by one of the most populous states in the country could influence others which have yet to weigh the issue, said Sam Hiser, an open source consultant and author… The Office suite of software, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, produces roughly 40 per cent of Microsoft’s revenues and earnings,” Waters reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Starting in 2007?! Microsoft is so entrenched, it’s sad.
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