I just came across this article by David A. Utter called “Massachusetts, Microsoft Could Fight Again.” He quotes a passage from a new statement by The Initiative for Software Choice, an effort sponsored by CompTIA.
Regardless, the Massachusetts ODF policy – not ODF, the format – is a biased, open source only preference policy. We believe such preference policies exclude choice, needlessly marginalize successful marketplace options, and curtail merit-based selections for state procurements.
Ok, so here are two quick problems with that statement:
- IBM Workplace Managed Client version 2.6 – a commercial product supporting ODF
- Sun Microsystems StarOffice 8 – a commercial product supporting ODF
Trust me when I tell you that both Sun and IBM would be happy to sell the State of Massachusetts as many copies of these products as they would like to purchase. Really. For money. So you have two traditional commercial software choices for products supporting ODF.
Of course there are open source software choices as well that support ODF. Wikipedia has a nice big list of such software choices. Seems to me that we have an abundance of software choices. Could that be the problem?
Update: InformationWeek picked up the story in “Trade Group Blasts Massachusetts Call For Office Plug-In” but failed to note the irony of there being commercial implementations supporting ODF.
Update #2: Andy Updegrove delves into all of this over in his blog.