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Microsoft Unimpressed With Massachusetts Policy

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The company behind the ubiquitous Office productivity suite has no intention of supporting the Open Document format.

A decision by the state of Massachusetts to require its agencies to “create and save” electronic documents in the non-proprietary Open Document format has led to an angry exchange of words between the state and Microsoft.

“Desktop software that supports OpenDocument and PDF in the future is acceptable; Microsoft’s proprietary XML formats are not,” Eric Kriss, Secretary of Administration & Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, told CRN during an telephone interview Friday.

Microsoft does not support the format and has no plans to do so, citing issues with supporting older Office document formats when the next version of Office emerges. The company has spent two years battling with the state over document formats.

The problem has come to a crossroads, as Massachusetts released its Enterprise Technical Reference Model for comments and included the requirement that its agencies begin planning for a transition, scheduled to start on January 1, 2007. It would be a big shift, and a big financial change. An undisclosed portion of the $100 million the state spends annually on info technology goes toward software, according to InformationWeek.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Microsoft Unimpressed With Massachusetts Policy
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