Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

[News] Microsoft Threatens Massachusetts - The Full Story is Unveiled

Inside story: How Microsoft & Massachusetts played hardball over open

,----[ Quote ]
| E-mails show that the vendor lobbied for hardball legislation over the
| file format controversy -- and then backed off.
| Less than a week after he became CIO of Massachusetts last February,
| Louis Gutierrez sensed a serious threat to his power -- one that was
| being promoted by a seemingly unlikely source. Within a matter
| of days, Gutierrez confirmed that Brian Burke, Microsoft Corp.'s
| government affairs director for the Northeast, had been backing
| an amendment to an economic stimulus bill that would largely
| strip the Massachusetts Information Technology Division of
| its decision-making authority.



Open Source Foes In Bed With Abramoff

,----[ Quote ]
| "Citizens Against Government Waste has said some highly critical things
| about open source software in the past. They've also pounced on supporters
| of the OpenDocument Format along the way. Alas, it seems their close ties
| to Jack Abramoff have drawn the (unfavorable) attention of Senate staff."


,----[ Quote ]
|    Quinn:  Almost to a person, to anybody involved or who knows about
|    the ODF issue, they attributed the story to Microsoft, right, wrong
|    or otherwise. Senator Pacheco may be a bully but I do not believe he
|    is disingenious and would stoop to such a tactic. Senator Pacheco and
|    Secretary Galvin's office remain very heavily influenced by the
|    Microsoft money and its lobbyist machine, as witnessed by their
|    playbook and words, in my opinion.
|    Quinn:  I believe that the ODF decision will stand. I believe MS
|    will continue to do anything and everything it can to stop it. And I
|    know my seat wasn't even empty and they (MS) took another shot at
|    the title, to no avail. This horse is out of the barn and I see no
|    way for it to go back in. Remember, all we are asking for was and is
|    for Microsoft to commit to open and the standards process; so
|    everyone looks really bad if the plug gets pulled at this juncture. 


Mass ITD Resolved Accessibility Issues, Adjusts ODF Rollout Details

,----[ Quote ]
| Now let's turn to Dana Blankenhorn's bizarre piece.  First of all, Dana
| (who should know better) picks up and repeats the open source confusion,
| titling his piece Blind leading the way from open source.
|     I'm sure this is just a hiccup, but apparently the blind have given
|     Massachusetts' efforts to mandate open source the shaft.  Because Open
|     Document Format (ODF) software (Open Office) does not yet work with 
|     screen magnifiers, which make computer documents usable by those who  
|     are legally blind, the state of Massachusetts is 
| This is an ancient piece of FUD (mandating open source) that has been
| perpetrated by ODF opponents, and it is discouraging to see it continue
| to appear in venues (such as ZDNet and TechWorld) that have credibility. 


Blind leading away from open source

,----[ Quote ]
| I'm sure this is just a hiccup, but apparently the blind have given
| Massachusetts' efforts to mandate open source the shaft.
| Because Open Document Format (ODF) software (Open Office) does not yet
| work with screen magnifiers, which make computer documents usable by
| those who are legally blind, the state of Massachusetts is backing-away
| from its commitment to mandate the format. 


The Formula Issue in Detail (ODF)

,----[ Quote ]
| The concerns that ISO 26300 does not support Spreadsheet Formulas
| was a peculiar one. This commentary will show where this
| misunderstanding originates from***, and will hope to allay the
| fears. It will also go in technical detail in the two examples
| brought about from the Public Comment and TC4 presentation.
| Ultimately this commentary will dispel the myth that ISO 26300
| does not support Spreadsheet Formulas....We can conclude now that
| ISO 26300 does clearly specify a standard in describing formula
| specification, and the specification is not flawed in any way. As
| such we can continue to adopt ISO 26300 as a Malaysian Standard....I
|  would fully recommend Malaysia to adopt this mature standard as a 
| National Standard to increase the interoperability between the many
| office suites to provide more choice and competition for us users.


***I have an idea as to where it might come from.

Microsoft offers schools in Mass. free software

,----[ Quote ]
| Corporate donations to school systems are not unusual, as companies often
| try to gain name recognition by placing their brands with younger
| consumers. State and school officials, though cognizant of companies'
| attempts to use students for branding, said the donation is a boon
| for financially strapped schools trying to update their technology.
| Microsoft's software includes normal applications, such as word
| processing and spreadsheets, as well as more advanced programs.


Microsoft plays Massachusetts Senate card

,----[ Quote ]
| Accusations are rife that the software giant Microsoft has not given up
| on getting rid of the State of Massachusetts's plans to shift all its
| documents to the open source standard OpenDocument (ODF).
| Last week an amendment which would have would have removed the power of
| the State to set state wide IT standards and enabled the ODF project to
| be killed off was dropped. This lead many to believe that the ODF was a
| done deal.
| However, this week Vole gave Massachusetts high schools and universities
| more than splashed out more than $30 million worth of IT gear. This works
| out at $800 per student, and $2,400 per college kid. This is a huge amount
| of dosh, by education donation standards, in what is a very small US
| State.
| [...]
| Nothing wins votes more than being able to cut your budget thanks to a
| hefty donation from a big corporate donor, while at the same time Vole
| gets what it wants by somewhat unpublicised means.


MA Governor-Elect Names MS Anti-ODF Lobbyist to Technology Advisory Group

,----[ Quote ]
| That person is Brian Burke, the Microsoft Regional Director for Public
| Affairs, and if that surprises you, it surprises me as well, given the
| degree of acrimonious debate and disinformation witnessed in Massachusetts
| over the last 15 months involving the Information Technology Division's
| transition to ODF.... it is my understanding that it was Burke who led
| the lobbying effort on Beacon Hill against ODF, and also urged legislators
| to introduce the amendment intended to take away much of the ITD's
| planning power generally, and as regards standards specifically, and hand
| it to a task force made up of political appointees.... Although I'm told
| that Burke announced yesterday at the first meeting of the new working
| group that he will be participating as a private citizen rather than a
| Microsoft employee, I believe that Burke should recuse himself from
| participating in any discussions or recommendations relating to
| document format standards.


Corel Announces "Have it Your Way" Format Strategy

,----[ Quote ]
| Currently, the only ODF compliant product that includes large-vendor
| service is Sun's more recently developed StarOffice office suite.  And
| with the refusal of Microsoft to provide native support for saving to
| ODF, Microsoft customers will need to use plugins that have yet tor
| each the marketplace, and which may not provide completely seamless
| conversion.


Context: http://boycottnovell.com/2006/11/30/corel-linux-odf/

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index