Govt open document standards

Christian Science Monitor (CSM) commented today Monday on Massachusetts' policy to adopt open document standard by 2007. Though the policy is opposed by proprietary software companies such as Microsoft, CSM writes:
An open-documents world can ensure that hundreds of years in the future people will still know the code to read mankind's records. And it will spur price and quality competition. Just look at the telecom industry, whose intense rivalries have brought price cuts and innovative services.
Massachusetts' open-document system would "require vendors to sign on to a technological standard whereby documents could be transferred and read using any open-document software," thus allowing electronic records to be readable into the future since they were not dependent on any one company's proprietary product. "Among products already compliant with the open-document system are OpenOffice, Sun Microsystems' StarOffice, and IBM's Workplace," CSM reports.

Massachusetts Enterprise Open Standards Policy
Policy #: ITD-APP-01, Effective Date: January 13, 2004
(available in PDF, 20KB, from Mass.gov)

See also,
CIO Peter Quinn's Testimony to (MA) Senate Committee on Open Document Format
, October 31, 2005

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