Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Nov 2005 18:48 UTC, submitted by jayson.knight
Features, Office In a reversal, the state government of Massachusetts has thrown its support to Microsoft in an ongoing battle over office software formats and has launched an investigation into the state's former IT chief, who had been championing open-source software. "The Commonwealth is very pleased with Microsoft's progress in creating an open document format," said the state's Administration and Finance Secretary Tom Trimarco in a short statement on Thanksgiving eve. "If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats."
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Obvious conclusion?
by markjensen on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:40 UTC
markjensen
Member since:
2005-07-26

This has been an obvious conclusion to anyone following this news item.

And with Larry Rosen apparenly quite pleased [1] with Microsoft's current direction, it seems that there is little to argue about (though Sun seems inclined to argue, anyway) ;)

[1] http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=2192

Reply Score: 2

RE: Obvious conclusion?
by dylansmrjones on Tue 29th Nov 2005 21:05 UTC in reply to "Obvious conclusion?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well... it's a fake.

The state government of Massachusetts hasn't switched sides. There is however a battle going externally and internally.

This is a part of that battle.

As can be seen from the statement "If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats."

So basically, nothing new here. MS-supporters within Massachusetts are happy that MS are apparently doing something in order to become acceptable open (if not truly open).

It's a battle of war - it's politics - it's right out dirty.

Reply Score: 2

What are they smoking?
by animus on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:41 UTC
animus
Member since:
2005-11-29

I wonder when government officials are ever going to grow some balls.

"Supporters of Microsoft maintain that that stance would unfairly shut out Microsoft from state business."

Because out of Microsoft's thousands of programmers they can't muster up enough resources to support a completely open format? And choosing to go with MS's probably half-opened format, encumbered with lord only knows what kind of outrageous legalese, they're not shutting out everyone else that's trying to make office software?

If it's too hard for MS to support an open format, then this is most certainly going to be a stake through the heart of their much smaller competitors.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What are they smoking?
by Ronald Vos on Tue 29th Nov 2005 20:09 UTC in reply to "What are they smoking?"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

They don't have to grow balls, they have to grow integrity.

And voters need to actively care and do their own research into the subject so that in the next election, the most meritocrous decision will be rewarded.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What are they smoking?
by r_a_trip on Tue 29th Nov 2005 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE: What are they smoking?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

You seem to believe in Democracy ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: What are they smoking?
by dylansmrjones on Wed 30th Nov 2005 04:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What are they smoking?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

He's not the only one. If voters were less lame, the world would be a better place. They actually do have power. They just throw it away.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What are they smoking?
by vlado on Wed 30th Nov 2005 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE: What are they smoking?"
vlado Member since:
2005-10-26

Agree, That is exactly the point.

Reply Score: 1

hmmmm
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:41 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

me wounders how much they got in terms of reduction on their bill..
Yes that`s true. I am making an alligation.
I hope MS responds...

Reply Score: 0

Mass vs. Closed Standards - Round XXIX
by mini-me on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:45 UTC
mini-me
Member since:
2005-07-06

Man, being in IT, for a public institution in MA, I thought this would be easy - someone makes a decision - we go out and do it - heck maybe even throw in our two cents. I am just waiting for the next round of this saga. What started as a technology issue has become a sopa opera...

Reply Score: 3

Some day
by sbenitezb on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:48 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

when the world is really eager to adopt open source and open formats, they will be stuck with that MS crap because of all those government monkeys.

Reply Score: 1

Conflict of interest ...
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:55 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The proponent of the open file format is caught up in a conflict of interest investigation, yet the government appears to be perfectly willing to give Microsoft a wink and a pat on the back. Very interesting.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Conflict of interest ...
by Ronald Vos on Tue 29th Nov 2005 20:12 UTC in reply to "Conflict of interest ..."
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

The proponent of the open file format is caught up in a conflict of interest investigation, yet the government appears to be perfectly willing to give Microsoft a wink and a pat on the back. Very interesting.

Regarding the 'conflict of interest':
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/8566

MICROSOFT was sponsor to several of the conventions he took trips to in his own spare time, so any allegations of conflicts of interest kinda fall flat on their face.

Reply Score: 1

engmar Member since:
2005-11-14

Hehe. Not that I don't agree with you GreatBunzinni, but where exactly is this magical land - free of corruption and graft - that you hail from?

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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the EU of course!! man our commission is the greatest!

Reply Score: 0

Mass. is a Microsoft kind of place
by engmar on Tue 29th Nov 2005 19:59 UTC
engmar
Member since:
2005-11-14

It is not exactly a secret that the Mass. state government is one of the most corrupt bureaucracies in the nation. When you have that many people on the take, it is a very simple matter for a corporate behemoth like Microsoft to get whatever they want. A little payola here, a smear campaign there, and pretty soon all the suits are sipping martinis and shaking hands in front of the press corps.

So, the next time you hear something like "The Commonwealth is very pleased with Microsoft’s progress in creating an open document format," don't be angry and confused. The speaker isn't trying to be truthful or logical. He is merely reading from a prepared, massaged, and thoroughly paid for press release.

Reply Score: 3

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Or maybe they are actually pleased since Microsoft made some recent decisions about their XML format, submitting it as an ECMA standard, to make it more open? Microsoft HAS made progress in regards to open formats, and that is a fact.

Naw, couldn't be...

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Embrace and extend.

It will remain the nightmare they've always made standards. It's standard, we follow it, and extend it.

Frankly, I just won't trust Microsoft until they show a real track record of working for their customers (and not developers).

Don't get too excited and think Microsoft has suddenly become a champion of consumer rights.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Um.. I never even implied they're a champion of consumer rights. In fact, this has little to do with consumer rights.

The fact is, Microsoft is taking action and making progress towards satisfying the requirements put forth by the Massachusettes government for an open standard. If Microsoft does end up meeting these requirements, and Mass. stays with Microsoft, why the outcry?

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

The outcry is because they're doing the bare minimum to keep a customer who really ought to leave....

The outcry is because after snickering at open document standards and refusing to implement one they're "embracing" them by publishing their own. It's very fishy, and consumers should be aware.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Not again sappy... this is so obvious this time.

Look at it. Microsoft is playing dirty in order to extinguish all kind of competition, so Office XML can be the one to bind us all, the one to rule us all.

Microsoft has NOT taken any steps to make Office XML an open standard. They have taken steps to make Office XML an openly documented closed proprietary and patent encumbered standard. Most ECMA standards are encumbered by patents, so they are basically no good in the end.

You've claimed you're not automagically supportive of Microsoft, but you always protect them, no matter how unethical they are.

What do you think on the character assasination of Peter Quinn committed by Boston Globe and Microsoft? Isn't that one unethical?

Reply Score: 0

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Have they actually submitted anything yet?
(just asking)

Reply Score: 1

engmar Member since:
2005-11-14

Dear "Anonymous,"

"When they change their minds and go with Microsoft's increasingly open format (still not perfect though), they're all of a sudden corrupt, beaurocratic and evil."

Increasingly open? That is double speak. That would be like claiming an oppressive regime became more democratic because they imprisoned %10 fewer disidents this year.

Microsoft has changed 1 (one) thing in their liscense. Check this link; http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1894039,00.asp
That change? The "Will Not Sue Covenant." The formats and the software are still closed; not subject to public review.

I do not deal in "double standards," as you have accused me of doing, Mr. "Anonymous." I apply the same high standards accross the board. It is my duty as a citizen in a democracy to do so. How about you? Are you consitent in your ideals? Do you have any, or do you merely react? Good day.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Democracy? What country do you live in?

Reply Score: 1

Bryan Member since:
2005-07-11

I'm sorry, but Steven Vaughan-Nichols is a hack a best. The Office XML formats are being submitted to the ECMA, an international standards consortium where multiple vendors will have the oppurtunity to review the specification before finalisation. Microsoft's convenant permits open source projects to create conforming implementations and distribute them without having to go through Microsoft for any type of license. Even Larry Rosen, former legal counsel of the FSF, has lauded this as a significant step forward in Microsoft's dealings with open source and the increasing mandate of open standards. There's certainly progress to be made, but to compare the company to an oppressive regime is simply childish.

Reply Score: 2

zodiac_ames Member since:
2005-11-06

Double standards eh... doncha just love 'em...

Typical rhetorical drek. Just assume that everybody who says something you find disagreeable is really just one person so that you can attribute anything said by one as having been said by all and... Presto! The entire pariah group is instantly discredited. In reality it is no kind of challenge to find firmly held, conflicting views within any group, no matter how like-minded.

But wait! Don't get your thong in a knot. Practically everybody does it. Intellectual honesty is so rare that it's like a cool, refreshing oasis in the midst of a vast ontological wasteland.

Reply Score: 1

Midnightbrewer Member since:
2005-08-02

Actually, no, it's pretty much a single standard. At first they were against Microsoft for trying to lock them into a single, proprietary format, and were looking for a format that they could guarantee would give them the ability for future compatibility through an open format. Microsoft has so far made a few promises but very little action, and now suddenly Massachussetts likes them. Since people here know how evil Microsoft tends to be on a regular basis, we pretty much think something smells fishy. That's not hypocritical, that's well-informed.

Reply Score: 1

sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

Mmmm... what about Finland, Sweden. I think they are almost free from corruption (not completely, though).

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Mmmm... what about Finland, Sweden. I think they are almost free from corruption (not completely, though).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_perception_of_corruption

Reply Score: 5

Example of unethical Government negotiating
by tyrione on Tue 29th Nov 2005 20:08 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Unfortunately, it seems that the opendocument format was the bait for a strongarm tactic and Microsoft compromised enough for Massachusetts needs. This shows the lack of honest intentions by the state. They only wanted Microsoft to meet their needs and they used the Oasis Groups new standard as their tool to get it done.

Seems they met Microsoft at their own game.

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous
Member since:
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If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats."

Reply Score: 0

That's all fine
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 20:09 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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But - will MS adhere to its own standards? I wouldn't be surprised if they manage to sneak in a few non-standard features that break competing products. To be sure you don't use competing products. Compare IE - Firefox.

Reply Score: 0

American Politics
by Sphinx on Tue 29th Nov 2005 20:47 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Sounds like the commonwealth is very pleased with Microsoft's progress in maintaining a choke-hold on the consumer and can't wait to pitch in and help now that they're no longer weighed down by an IT chief with a conscience. Let's all think back warmly on those days when we almost had a chance.

Reply Score: 1

By the people, for the people.
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 20:53 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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>> ...and has launched an investigation into the state’s former IT chief, who had been championing open-source software.

How dare he try and save the taxpayers millions. Whatever happened to By the people, for the people?
Our government is morally bankrupt.

Reply Score: 0

Deeper problem
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 21:20 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

There is a deeper problem that only hurts consumers. The message being sent is "You can screw with us as much as you want, and if we get mad, THEN you fix the problem and all is good". Consumers should hold grudges so stuff like this never happens, but unfortunately big companies know they can bully you people around, and as soon as you complain, they can fix something real quick and get your loyalty back. Some times they don't even have to do anything to get your loyalty back, they just have to release a new wiz-bang product, and off you go to buy it.

Maybe once people learn how to value themselves more then products we won't have all these problems. I'm pretty sure that'll never happen though.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Deeper problem
by ma_d on Tue 29th Nov 2005 22:04 UTC in reply to "Deeper problem"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I know that in my schoolsystem they made us take a home economics class (and called it, wrongly, micro economics).
The trouble with it was that the majority of the class was how to not pay as much money for things. Well, that's all well and good (not really, it's actually the mother of all economic evil), but they don't bother to tell you the consequences of cheap goods: The people who make them make less money (ie, everyone makes less money), so they don't become cheaper.

What they should be teaching is things like consumer rights, fair use, consumer laws, the consequences of everyone buying cheap, worker rights, etc etc etc.

But they won't teach that because it requires intelligent qualified teachers who could make a lot more money doing something with realestate, or brokering, or a number of other economic fields.

There's a root of your problem: People are trained to buy low, and nothing more.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Deeper problem
by bytecoder on Tue 29th Nov 2005 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Deeper problem"
bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27

Don't worry. There are still plenty of people that like to buy extravagantly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Deeper problem
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 04:20 UTC in reply to "Deeper problem"
Anonymous Member since:
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"learn how to value themselves more then products"

Very well said.

Reply Score: 0

Better than Colorado
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 21:31 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Browser: Links (2.1pre15; Linux 2.4.31-6tr i686; 126x45)

In Colorado, the End User Standards Model requires State employees to use Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and other Microsoft products.

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
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"The committee therefore recommends that Microsoft Office 2000 be established as the minimum Statewide standard."

End User Computing Standard, 2004

http://www.oit.state.co.us/resources/docs/End_User_Standards_04-27-...

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
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I'm tired. Sorry, the Microsoft requirement is a 2005 standard actually.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Mass. is a Microsoft kind of place
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 22:00 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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"When they change their minds and go with Microsoft's increasingly open format (still not perfect though), they're all of a sudden corrupt, beaurocratic and evil."

Is that what happened or did they accept a few healthy campaign contributions in the right places and changed some key people's minds?

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
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It's not that; it's the double-standards -- praising Mass. one minute for being so open minded, then suddenly deciding they're all a bunch of corrupt beaurocrats when they make another decision.

If Red Hat pushed a lot of money for them to use OpenDoc, we'd hear nothing about back-handers etc. (Yeah, OpenDoc is more open, but the principle would still be the same about coercing politicians.)

Reply Score: 0

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

The reality is that before they were praising a bunch of corrupt beaurocrats who were acting open minded. I don't know Kriss, but it seemed like he was one the right path; he's no longer a part of MA government though...

I sincerely doubt RedHat would expend its scarce resources on lobbying for OpenDocument. If they wanted to lobby, it'd be more funding for projects which actually benefit RedHat. RedHat seems to be clear that they've given up on desktop linux, for a while. And when they tried, they didn't try very hard at all.

I'd look harder for Sun to be pushing things like this. They stand to gain more, at least in a PR sense. But I don't think it'd even be financially worth it for them either.

But the article did say, they haven't made a decision. They just said they'd keep Office if Microsoft does what it said it'd do on opening their standard.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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It's not that; it's the double-standards -- praising Mass. one minute for being so open minded, then suddenly deciding they're all a bunch of corrupt beaurocrats when they make another decision.

If Red Hat pushed a lot of money for them to use OpenDoc, we'd hear nothing about back-handers etc. (Yeah, OpenDoc is more open, but the principle would still be the same about coercing politicians.)

Reply Score: 0

Simply Amazing
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 22:06 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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That they not only reverse direction at a moment's notice but then "investigate" the guy who dared to suggest open source.

Reply Score: 1

Now we can finally kill Microsoft !
by pauls101 on Tue 29th Nov 2005 22:55 UTC
pauls101
Member since:
2005-07-07

They must have spent a fortune on this one. They had to hire significant numbers of legislators and state officials, to work very obviously against the public interest.

So, the plan is to get every city / state / etc. there is to do the same thing. They'll be well paid for their trouble (even the lowly taxpayers could benefit, if the deal includes an Office discount.) It won't take too many times for the "revolt" to become a goldrush. And then it's only a matter of time before even MS runs out of money.

Reply Score: 1

bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27

Or you could just wait for
1) the people to get fed up and use something other than microsoft products or
2) the people to get fed up and pressure micrsoft into releasing products to their liking

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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Or, they could have spent absolutely nothing, because Mass. realized on their own, that using MS formats would be better.

Reply Score: 0

open?
by viator on Wed 30th Nov 2005 00:23 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Almost all politicians are corrupt sadly even here in mass. Ask yourself this if microsofts standard is open will anyone be able to impliment it without paying ms.
Will it be able to be freely distributed.
In other words will competing software companies have to charge more so you can read/write in this format? And if so that will leave users of Free as in speech and free as in beer out. What about all the low income people who cant pay $400 for office but need to download a file from the states website. Alot of handicapped people are low income and use free products like openoffice koffice etc. So the state will discriminate against them by forcing them to either pay MORE for a product or to by ms software.
This will also cost the taxpayers more money. which is par for the course politicians LOVE to waste our money.

Reply Score: 1

Can't close Pandora's box
by elsewhere on Wed 30th Nov 2005 02:53 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Even if MA decides that MS fits the bill after all and OpenDoc isn't the only game in town, it isn't the end of OpenDoc.

Far from it, the whole issue:

a) Raised the profile of OpenDoc more than any publicity campaign could ever have hoped to

b) Brought awareness and legitimacy to the concerns of proprietary closed-source formats beyond the OSS community

c) Produced a substantial amount of intelligent research that led to the original decision, and is available to other jurisdictions/organizations weighing similar alternatives

For those reasons I wouldn't necessarily call it a victory for MS, because even if they extinguished this fire the embers are still burning and can be carried in the wind to reignite somewhere else. It does remain to see exactly how "open" the format will truly be, and whether people will see through any smokescreens. No doubt MS is just hoping that this issue will blow over, and sadly I think there's a good chance that it can.

Besides, it's always a bit of a comfort to see MS forced to publically yield, no matter how slight the degree. MS makes concessions to business all the time, they just prefer doing it behind closed doors and hidden behind NDA's. Each time MS has to bow to pressure to any extent, it starts to give other people ideas that they may not be so omnipentent after all. That scares them more than anything else. Force it enough, and they have to start changing their behavior.

I'm not an anti-MS zealot, though I'm certainly not their biggest fan. I think they've got some brilliant talent and vast resources, it would just be nice to see them face some of the business realities other companies in the industry do. Faced with serious competition, MS can be a pretty innovative company. But comfortable in dominance, they're just blah.

Reply Score: 1

Think Free Office.
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 05:28 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Has anyone tried out the new version of Think Free Office? The online version at online.thinkfree.com is great!

It actually works better with Windows files then any other office suite I have used so far. Files are almost 100 percent the same! (Even the online version does!)

I got it for Linspire and now I am using the online version (Which is free right now for 30 MB of space) on a regular!

Reply Score: 0

How much money?
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 06:09 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I really wonder how much money must have changed hands for such a decision. may be $1000.......

Reply Score: 0

Geee, are we all bad loosers?
by Haicube on Wed 30th Nov 2005 08:09 UTC
Haicube
Member since:
2005-08-06

Let's try to realize some facts here.

1. MS Office is the better product
2. MS Office is the better product
3. MS Office is the better product

Cost of the Office software in relation to cost of all other things which cost in the state of massachussets is small time money.

Retraining for instance or the fact that OOo needs heavier hardware to run (startup times are simply horrible).

Take this for instance... someone calls in to talk to someone in Massachussetts.... the guy who replies need to open a document. So it takes 45 seconds instead of 15. This happens often... with many people... now how much does that half minute cost each time? Well probably more than the entire cost of MS Office.

and then add retraining + HW.

MS Office is a bargain I'm afraid... now let's face that and START seeing how to IMPROVE on OOo so it is a REAL option.

Reply Score: 1

Mass confusion
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 13:58 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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i can say that the reason the IT guy was able to initially send out the original directive concerning open document was that Mass. legislators are not necessarily the most technically inclined on software matters, and this flew in under their radar.

Once the situation was made obvious to them, they reacted and took their power back. Although the decision may have been technically sound by the IT director, the manner in which it was set about, and the obvious fear that it invoked in Microsoft, made plain that this was a decision that had political and financial ramifications far above the IT director's pay grade, and thus he was probably foolish to have done it.

IT guys don't make policy in the Commonwealth and that should come as no surprise.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Mass confusion
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 18:33 UTC in reply to "Mass confusion"
Anonymous Member since:
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"IT guys don't make policy in the Commonwealth and that should come as no surprise."

IT guys "believe" they make decisions, set policy, and control things. In reality IT guys follow directions provided by others, who really set policy and control things.

Untold numbers of IT guys are unemployed because they failed to understand differences between the two.

It does however provide them free time to debate the issues on places like /. and OSNews.

Reply Score: 0

WHAT a Freaking SHIT
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:35 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I can't believe. Why this drama when they didn't mean anything. Hypocrites would be a understatement for such filthy creatures.

No Mattar what they want to justify, they have completely nullified the benefits they were to gain; besides the govenrment siding with one business is one of the most outragious things i have seen in recent times. Aren't they supposed to make best use of money of the people & not for the cause of a monopoly.

Reply Score: 0

Geee, are we all bad loosers?
by ScottFree on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:42 UTC
ScottFree
Member since:
2005-11-15

Repeat after me, "This is a comparison of document standards, not software packages." The fact that you prefer Microsoft Office is not the issue. The issue is that a goverment has a duty to provide documents that can be read for decades, even centuries. Unless the document format is well understood (in a documented standard), it becomes hard to read. Word 3.0 for Macintosh is my example of this, its hard to read these files today. So, Mass. specified the only openly specified 'Office' format. The fact that OpenOffice.org uses this format is nice, but is secondary to the format decision. If Mass. makes ODF a requirement, I'm sure that many will choose to use Microsoft Office. (Either MS will support ODF directly or state workers will need to submit the archive copy with something like OpenOpenOffice.)

Microsoft responded with the smallest step needed to open its format so that Mass. would accept it. We are left to decide if this is good news (Microsoft is finally opening up) or another in a long line of 'embrace and extend' maneuvers by Microsoft. I know how I'm betting, but only time will tell.

By the way, OOo start up times are not that bad if you preload it. That strikes me as 'fair' since Microsoft also preloads major Office components. I do agree that the time to load bix XML documents is painful in OOo. There are ways to address this technically. Since the Mass. laws go into effect in 2007, I'm guessing that OOo can includes some performance improvements by then. Hopefully, it can also include some improved accessability for handicapped users.

Reply Score: 1

protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

If MS truly opens the XML format then I have no problem with the decision. If, on the other hand, the move turns out to be more slight of hand then this is just another example of the politicians selling out to the highest bidder. And given the track record of their politicians I would suspect the latter.

Bill

Reply Score: 1

Re: Geee, are we all bad loosers?
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 18:03 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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"Cost of the Office software in relation to cost of all other things which cost in the state of massachussets is small time money."

It's still MY tax money.

"Retraining for instance or the fact that OOo needs heavier hardware to run (startup times are simply horrible)."

So will the NEW version of office since their "open" xml format is entirely incompatible with existing versions of office. And, OOPS, that only runs on XP so we need to buy all that new hardware too. No difference in cost there...

"Take this for instance... someone calls in to talk to someone in Massachussetts.... the guy who replies need to open a document. So it takes 45 seconds instead of 15. This happens often... with many people... now how much does that half minute cost each time? Well probably more than the entire cost of MS Office."

Um, so you preload open office or whatever other program. This is the same thing MS Office does, so this is another moot point.

"and then add retraining + HW."

OOPS. The new office looks NOTHING like the old one. Guess we need retraining here too. AND we've already mentioned that it'll need new hardware and such.

There's another hidden cost no one talks about. Since we have to upgrade all of the hardware and go to XP, what about the programs that aren't necessarily MS, but now have to be upgraded so that it works on XP. More money...

Reply Score: 0

let me get this straight
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 18:30 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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So now ma is not only not going to give other open formats a chance. they are suddenly not supporting the open format policy because Microsoft "promises" to release an open format product.
If it was true that ms did release an open format product why not still support the open format policy? if ms stuck with their promise, then they wouldn't lose anything.

This smacks of political buy-offs.

Reply Score: 0