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Re: OT: Massachusetts Verdict: MS Office Formats Out



Guy Fraser wrote:
On Wed, 2005-28-09 at 11:14 -0500, Mike McCarty wrote:

Fajar Priyanto wrote:

The future is forming up....

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1863060,00.asp

The state of Massachusetts Friday made it official: It will use only nonproprietary document formats in state-affiliated offices effective Jan. 1, 2007. Although state CIO Peter Quinn has said repeatedly that this issue does not represent "the state versus Microsoft Corp. —or any one company," adoption of the long-debated plan may result in all versions of Microsoft's Office productivity suite being phased out of use throughout the state's executive branch agencies.

Or MS could "open" its document format...

[snip]

Mike

If you read the articles on this, that is not an option.

I did read the articles.

Massachusetts has adopted the Open Document Format and expects the vendors to support that format. All documents

Yes, but if MicroSoft opened up their formats, then they
could push to get them adopted as well.

used by the state must use ODF or PDF format, so that they are "future safe". The Open Document Format was developed by an international committee, and was intended to be openly defined and available for use without restriction or royalty.

Even if MS opened their formats, it is unlikely they would have given up all legal claims and patents to anyone who wanted to use it for their own products. Besides there

Only time will tell on this one. If MS sniffs out money to
be made by putting their formats in the public domain, they
might do it. I'm inclined to agree that it does not seem
very likely.

is already an available set of formats that provide the features and requirements desired. If MS supports the format they will be able to contend for software contracts, if they don't then they will not be allowed.

The notion that features are tied to the document format hold little value. Most features are just designed to make

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. When I use
OpenOffice, and want to save something that I created using
MS Office, I find that it frequently wants to warn me that
I may be losing some special features. For this reason,
I have abandoned using OO for editing stuff created with MSO.

I don't know enough about these things to know whether anything
in the files are actually at risk, but rather than lose them,
I re-boot to Windows and do the editing there. A friend of mine
helped me do my resume, using MSO, and recently I needed to
update it. OO warned me that it might be discarding some information,
so I rebooted Windows, and edited with more confidence.

Are you arguing against tying the feature to a file format,
or are you arguing that the feature is not tied to the
file format? If the latter, then why does OO warn?

manual tasks simpler, but do not affect the well known and defined methods for typesetting and laying out documents. Having not read the ODF specs I can not comment on how it deals with linked data from other documents, but it would be fair to presume that considerations were made for linked and embedded data.

I can only hope that all levels of Government everywhere do the same thing. Contrary to Microsofts spin, this will improve competition and be good for all effected economies.

I suppose that just about anyone here who cares shares your
hopes.

Mike
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