Back from Austin

I just got back from Austin, Texas, where I testified yesterday before both Senate and House committees considering the Texas legislation on open document formats. It was both a pleasure and a privilege to do so, and something I’ll remember for a long, long time.

Those of you who have been reading this blog can guess the sorts of things I said regarding the need for open formats and documents. Indeed, I and many others have been talking about this topic for more than two years. If I get around to it, I’ll clean up and publish the text of what I was supposed to say (in both cases I varied from what I had prepared).

Update: I’ve now published the text.


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3 Responses to Back from Austin

  1. Kudos for your testimony, Bob. I look forward to reading the text of your remarks.

    Any update re: the future of related legislation?

  2. Chris Ward says:

    OK, so let me guess.

    Texas summoned what they thought was an IBM salesman, to ask for advice on what they needed to run Texas.
    They were expecting the IBM salesman to recommend
    IBM Personal Computer
    IBM Hard Disks
    IBM OS/2
    IBM Global Network (for Internet service)
    IBM Lotus Smartsuite (for ‘office productivity’)

    However, the IBM guy wasn’t a salesman, he was a research scientist. And he pointed that IBM doesn’t actually sell any of those things. The market got a bit competitive, and IBM sold them all off.
    Lenovo now own the Personal Computer business, and IBM recommends you keep your old ones until they fall to bits.
    Hitachi now own the Hard Disk business, and IBM recommends you shop around for the best deal when you want one.
    Serenity Systems now own the OS/2 business, we think there are a few on a shop shelf somewhere in Florida, but IBM recommends that you look at Linux.
    AT&T now own the Global Networking business, whenever IBM needs networking service then IBM buys it from AT&T if they quote a decent price.
    Lotus SmartSuite is still on the IBM books, but if you actually try to buy one then your IBM salesman has to think very hard about what to say; selling one is more trouble than it’s worth and he/she recommends you look at OpenOffice.org and ISO26300 standards.

    So what is IBM selling nowadays ? Certainly some money is coming in; salaries and dividends are being paid.
    IBM Lotus Notes
    IBM Websphere
    IBM Global Business Services
    IBM Business Consulting Services
    IBM ‘zSeries’ Mainframe Computers, they weigh two tons and run very fast.
    and a huge array of other high-growth high-innovation lines. With IBM warranties.

    Now, what Texas do is up to Texas to choose; and what IBM’s competitors are up to is their business (even if IBM doesn’t understand it, becuase it looks rather like ‘selling typewriters’).

    But the IBM recommendations are clear.

  3. Bob Sutor says:

    No, no, Chris, the folks in Texas knew who they were getting both for and against the bill.

    Michael, we’ll have to wait and see.

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