The commonwealth of Massachusetts’s decision to employ the OpenDocument format has kicked Microsoft out of the scene.
Although Microsoft dominates the office market, it’s product Microsoft Office doesn’t support the OpenDocument format. Not even the new Office 12, announced for next year’s second semester doesn’t natively support this format. Still, the application will support XML but it will rely on “filters”.
The OpenDocument format is being used by some European governments, including Norway, Denmark and Japan, as well as other U.S. state governments.
Since the announcing of its plans the Massachusetts’ received both positive and negative reactions.
This decision seem to be the best way to break Microsoft’s monopolistic control of the PC software market.
Alan Yates, Microsoft general manager of information worker business strategy told on a statement: “We understand that this is not a final decision for the commonwealth and that state lawmakers and the secretary of state have raised some of the same questions and concerns about this proposal that many others have raised”.
State agencies in the executive branch are now supposed to migrate to OpenDocument-compliant applications by Jan. 1, 2007, a change that will affect about 50,000 desktop PCs.
Massachusetts officials defended themselves, saying the decision will save the state money, make sure that state records will be preserved over time, and ensure the state’s “sovereignty.”