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KingBahamut
October 10th, 2005, 04:41 PM
Massachusetts' plan to standardize desktop applications on OpenDocument, an open standard not supported by Microsoft Office, essentially comes down to a matter of control, according Stephen O'Grady. O'Grady has been following the story closely and explains that as a sovereign entity, Massachusetts feels the need to be in complete control of its desktop technology, rather than relying on a single company for its office productivity needs.

External Links
http://searchopensource.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid39_gci1132351,00.html


Bits of the article I found inspiring....

(Speaking on whether or not the descision is purely anti-MS)
That doesn't really work for me simply because the OpenDocument format is a standard that anybody can participate in. If Microsoft chooses to participate in it, it certainly can at anytime. [Microsoft] has not, to date, felt that its own Office Open XML formats are superior technically, which is certainly their right to believe. My contention has been all along that if Microsoft wants to cater to customers like Massachusetts that make this decision, all it has to do is implement the OpenDocument format within its product. It already does so for a number of other formats, including WordPerfect and RTF [Rich Text Format]. There are a number of different 'save as' options within Microsoft Word, so all it has to do is add the OpenDocument format to that list and all of the sudden they're competing alongside Sun and IBM and anybody who wants the business of the state of Massachusetts.

I have to aggree. I wouldnt be so hard for MS to include OpenDocument as a support format in its build of Office. I think this is more a sign of exclusionary right to stay away from anything open and remain as utterly propreitary as possible. Just another reason for MS as a company to place itself in a corner.


(Speaking on wether or not other states will do as Mass has done.)
Whether or not other states look to what Massachusetts has done and follow their lead, I think remains to be determined. I have heard some rumbling that there are a couple of other states that want to make some noise in that regard, but I haven't been able to confirm them.

It would seem logical to me that Mass. isnt the only state considering this. It wouldnt seem feasible, specially in an economy where numerous municipal and state level governments are trying to save money.

matthew
October 10th, 2005, 05:32 PM
I've been following this story and have been especially impressed by the officials in Massachusetts. Their decision (if you read it from them, not the news agencies' or MS' versions) comes across as very well thought out and absolutely not reactionary nor specifically anti-microsoft at all. I have recommended it to several people I know in charge of corporate-type structures for reading and consideration when it comes time to either upgrade licenses or migrate to new office suite software. They really have a good grasp of the issues at hand as well as the economics involved.

KingBahamut
October 10th, 2005, 05:38 PM
Ultimately it comes down to a matter of document control. Who do you want to have that control-ability. One company alone? I think not. I feel not. But thats just my thought.

Ubunted
October 10th, 2005, 05:40 PM
On a slightly different note, will .odf now replace the default .sxw option in 2.0? If they want to promote the.odf standard, that would be a good way to start.

Besides, .sxw has to be the most useless format out there. MS Office cannot read it, so why use it? Whenever I install OO.o for someone, I switch the default save format to .rtf or .doc.

imagine
October 10th, 2005, 06:13 PM
On a slightly different note, will .odf now replace the default .sxw option in 2.0?Yes. To be more precise it already did.

Cirkus
October 10th, 2005, 06:24 PM
It's a nice gesture; but that's all I'm going to take it as. Nothing speaks louder in US politics than money; and MS has no shortage of that.

kayas80
October 10th, 2005, 06:54 PM
I think it's great the open document standard is getting some recognition. :cool:

I'm a doctoral researcher using Ubuntu at home and MS Office at my universities work station. I've had all sorts of issues with this situation until today. I finally persuaded the university to let me install the windows version of Open Office because of the open document movement. It's going to make my life so much easier - I'm going to try and persuade the University to change over to Open Office, but I'm not getting my hopes up to much!

Ubunted
October 10th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Yes. To be more precise it already did.
Schweet. Good move.

M7S
October 10th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Why OpenDocument Won (and Microsoft Office Open XML Didnít) (http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/why-opendocument-won.html) by David A. Wheeler

Reading this text really cheered me up big time (which I needed since the new Finnish copyright law made me feel so down). The text is quite long though.


On a slightly different note, will .odf now replace the default .sxw option in 2.0? If they want to promote the.odf standard, that would be a good way to start.Afaik, ODF is built upon SXW, which techically always was superior to doc.

GeneralZod
October 10th, 2005, 07:40 PM
Why OpenDocument Won (and Microsoft Office Open XML Didnít) (http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/why-opendocument-won.html) by David A. Wheeler

Reading this text really cheered me up big time (which I needed since the new Finnish copyright law made me feel so down).

You'll probably love this one, too :) It's a little old now, but one of the classics. And it's written by a Congressman, no less!

http://www.opensource.org/docs/peru_and_ms.php

Treat yourselves; give it a read :)

weasel fierce
October 10th, 2005, 07:44 PM
Afaik, ODF is built upon SXW, which techically always was superior to doc.

What are the technical differences between the two ?

M7S
October 10th, 2005, 10:23 PM
What are the technical differences between the two ?I'm not an expert on this and don't take what I say as undebatable facts. The biggest difference is that doc is binary while sxw is xml. XML are easier to extend and less vournable to read or write errors. Sxw takes less space than doc (maybe 50%), even if it contains the same amount of information. Doc is an old format and it was absolutely about time that microsoft decided to kick it out. If only their new format would be open in more aspects than just as a part of the name... :p

blastus
October 11th, 2005, 01:18 AM
MS Office file formats should have been kicked to the curb a long time ago.