George Ou: Is Word open enough for government?

Summary:George Ou thinks Massachusetts is in a no-win situation, in requiring government applications to support OpenDoc. "Mandating the adoption of the Oasis Open Document format is kind of like mandating the conversion of all public documents from English to Esperanto. Even though English was a second language for me, I'm perfectly happy with it being the de facto standard and I suspect that most people are in no mood to learn another language because some State bureaucrat mandates it."

George Ou thinks Massachusetts is in a no-win situation, in requiring government applications to support  OpenDoc.

Mandating the adoption of the Oasis Open Document format is kind of like mandating the conversion of all public documents from English to Esperanto.  Even though English was a second language for me, I'm perfectly happy with it being the de facto standard and I suspect that most people are in no mood to learn another language because some State bureaucrat mandates it.

On the other hand, he points out:

Since Microsoft is already opening up its Office 12 XML formats (with some restrictions) and the existing Microsoft formats are already semi-open, why not officially open up their existing file formats and be a hero.  Most people don't stick with Microsoft Office because they're locked in to the file format, they use it because that is the tool they learned and it works well.  There is nothing to be gained by anyone from a file format war.

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Topics: Government : US, Government, Microsoft, Software

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