State Sponsored Open Source

The decision by the state of Massachusetts to standardize on PDF and OpenDocument has huge ramifications for the open-source world. It is the first time that OpenDocument, an already-agreed open standard, has been specified in this way. What it means is that anyone who wants to do business with the state government must use OpenDocument-based file formats, and not the proprietary formats in use by Microsoft. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it does not have support for OpenDocument in any of its applications, making them useless to anyone wanting to work with the state government. This is despite Microsoft being a founding member of OASIS, who developed and ratified the OpenDocument standard!

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