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Tuesday, September 27th, 2005, 7:04 am

Massachusetts Goes OpenDocument, More to Follow Suit?

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

As previously discussed, the admirable state of Massachusetts is able to recognise problems with closed applications and proprietary formats. It is now confirmed that Massachusetts will carry on and dispose of Office in a staged migration to OpenDocument, culminating in 2007.

With Microsoft’s OpenOffice XML the loser to OpenDocument in Massachusetts, the war of desktop formats is likely to spread to other governmental bodies, says one participant in the deliberations who sees the decision as a tipping point.

“In many ways it becomes circular,” said Doug Heintzman of IBM in an interview Friday. “It emboldens other entities. We are on the cusp of a big change.”

Immense perseverance at Microsoft did not help avoid this key loss of the Massachusetts ‘flagship’. Awakened interest in Linux recently emerged among African governments as well. Only last week, South Africa wished to ditch proprietary and get rid of hundreds of millions (USD) worth of licences. All the same, it is still worth reading the open letter from the KDE team to Microsoft.

Penguin animation
Is this the beginning of the end for Office proprietary?

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