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12.21.07

OpenDocument Format vs. Microsoft Lobbyists (and Money)

Posted in America, Formats, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Videos at 12:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Consumer meets company servants

As we recently stated, New York is poised to decide on document formats (proprietary versus open). If you live in this area (like my co-editor, Shane Coyle), then you have a week left to send feedback and make a difference.

As this new article stresses, other states have been on the same boat and there appear to be no hard decisions yet.

In addition to New York, other states, including Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, have eyed mandating one document file format across their IT systems.

The states above were victims of Microsoft lobbying. This was once covered in ComputerWorld by Eric Lai. We have also told the horrible story from Massachusetts.

New York is said to be easier for IBM to set straight owing to the company’s location, but the outcome remains to be seen. Be aware that Microsoft was caught lobbying viciously against open source voting systems in New York. It happened just months ago. [Note: it 'magically' vanished from its old address since it had been initially published, which ought to make one even more suspicious]

Microsoft Muscles the NYS Legislature

[...]

Microsoft’s proposed change to state law would effectively render our current requirements for escrow and the ability for independent review of source code in the event of disputes completely meaningless – and with it the protections the public fought so hard for.

Just like in open source voting systems (Brazil and California spring to mind), controversies and confrontations are here to stay. Do remember that other states have already considered ODF and possibly continue to consider it (open source and open format legislation in the United States tends to lag behind the rest of the world mainly for political reasons).

You can watch this nice old video from Oregon as well, just in case you want further (and living) evidence that American states fight for change internally. Here is another newer one (embedded below) of James Love, the Director of CPTech. He talks about standards more generally (not ODF specifically).

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