Massachusetts Gets the Importance of Open Standards

jzemlin's picture

This weeks Forbes covers how Massachusetts decided that they are planning to move away from Micorsoft Office and is planning to order all state employees to create and save documents using only open format software.

Massachusetts Chief Information Officer Peter Quinn, outlines the plan to shift to open formats. It defines open formats not as those “controlled and supported by just one software developer” but rather as those that are “based on an underlying open standard, developed by an open community, affirmed and maintained by a standards body and are fully documented and publicly available.”

Of note here is a growing awareness that the issue of vendor lock in is not only one of having code, but having an open standard that will allow of effective interoperability with other technology. Clearly Massachusetts does not want to be locked into the “betamax format” of office exchange standards, whether they have the code to that software or not.

The Linux community gets this as well. Other end users of technology should demand similar compliance with the LSB from their Linux vendors.