Massachusetts ditches Office

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Blue Velvet, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    Are these the signs of things to come? Adobe will be pleased — Metro, stalled at the gate in Massachusetts.



    http://news.com.com/Massachusetts+moves+ahead+sans+Microsoft/2100-1012_3-5878869.html
     
  2. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #2
    Color me shocked. The Soviet Socialist Republic of Massachusetts has had it in for Microsoft for years... even with the anti-trust trial over, Massachusetts steadfastly refused to settle with Microsoft, even though ALL of the other states that sued Microsoft (there were 19, IIRC, + D.C.) had settled.

    I doubt seriously that anyone at Microsoft is too concerned about this.
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    interesting, wonder if any other state governments will follow suit, or if this will be isolated.
     
  4. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    #4
    What is wrong with .doc? Doesn't every text editor work with .doc? :confused:
     
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    sarcasm there?

    no .doc wont work with MS Works for example, or WordPerfect, dont even think Notepad can open it, but i could be wrong there.
     
  6. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    Not to get too political but... that's a joke, right?
     
  7. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #7
    Im glad Mass is starting to move away from Microsoft's crap software. Let's hope other states follow.
     
  8. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    #8
    So Apple's standard text editor can open Microsoft proprietary format, but Microsoft's own standard text editor cannot open their own format? Wierd... :rolleyes:
     
  9. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #9
    I am glad too, that means state colleges will also be changing over ^_^ and i go to state school here.

    YAY
     
  10. y0zza macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #10
    One of the issues here is document retention and archival.

    It's difficult to guarantee that in 20+ years, you'll still be able to open all those .doc files given that it is a proprietary and closed format.

    OpenDocument and OASIS is a completely open spec that is unencumbered by any potential IP/patent issues, and free for anyone to implement in their software.

    The same can't be said for Microsoft's XML schemas which they call 'open'.
     
  11. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #11
    Yes.

    We used to call Washington, DC "The People's New Republic of Columbia." :D
     
  12. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #12
    Actually Microsoft was very vocal about this and had representatives on hand for most of the public meetings (and were often speaking the most of any interested party).

    No... and more to the point, Microsoft is changing the format using their proprietary XML which is going to break compatibility (actually this started with Office 2003) with other word processors that are trying to be compatible. It also breaks compatibility with earlier versions of Word.

    The main point is that Microsoft's .doc is not a published file format. Just about every application that can read .doc is based on a reverse engineered version (which is why nothing is as compatible with Word as Word).

    Both the Open Document format and the PDF format are completely open for anyone to use without restriction, which is why the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has chosen them over Microsoft's offerings.

    Microsoft Office itself has not been ruled out... except by Microsoft themselves. They have said that they will not support the Open Document format (as it is open, there is no one stopping Microsoft from supporting it). Which means any office suite (like OpenOffice and StarOffice) which supports the format are in the running.

    Plus, Office 12 is not going to run on Windows 2000 (which is what most of the systems in the Massachusetts government are running), so that is another reason why they are considering moving away from Office.

    The other factor that weighed heavily in this was the cost to the people of Massachusetts to read their own documents. OpenOffice is free and available for almost all platforms, where as Microsoft Office is only available for Windows and Mac... and the Mac version currently doesn't support the XML file format. People shouldn't have to pay several hundred dollars to some third party software company to be able to read the documents of their state government.

    One of the examples sited in the hearings was the FEMA web site which only worked with Internet Explorer on Windows. The fact that Mac, Linux and Unix users were locked out of a Federal Government web site was sited as something that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would not like to emulate.

    :rolleyes:

    This has been going on for two years now. I'm surprised that the Mac community wasn't aware of this.
     
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #13
    Well, I tend to ignore anything in Massachusetts, aside from the Sox and sometimes Bruins.
     
  14. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #14
    What about the Celtics? ;)
     
  15. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #15
    Yes, our two Senators, House of Representatives and the majority at the State House.

    We have an awesome Governor, one of the best in the country. Mitt Romney, he is the one that save the Utah Winter Olympics in 2000. A brilliant and thoughtful man. Could be the next president if the United States. I'm very proud of him. This is an example of his awesome leadership here in the Commonwealth.
     
  16. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #16
    I had a link to this story in my sig like 2 weeks ago
     
  17. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #17
    Sigs are turned off by default for me. Sorry.
     
  18. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #18
    Heck, you can't open them NOW. Word isn't compatible with itself. Coming from the publishing industry, I can tell you that you never know what sort of weird glitches you're going to get. And speaking from a software engineering perspective, there is absolutely no excuse for that sort of thing, except for a deliberate desire to obfuscate as much as possible. I mean, hello, this isn't the early 80's anymore....

    --Eric
     
  19. amholl macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    They just suck, but the Pats?
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #20

    Much like the open standard from Adobe and the DNG format for digital images. It is now time for us as a society to ensure that digital files are readable for future generations. Corporations can not IMO be relied upon to provide that future support.
     
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #21

    Much like I ignore anything from Texas or Utah.....
     
  22. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #22
    That's a cool feature. Thanks for pointing that out ;)
     
  23. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #23
    We were using PDF, PSD, PNG formats back in 1997/8 in our graphic design studio.

    Glad to see that one state has opened it's eyes and adopting open standards. :)

    Hope few others follow. :D
     
  24. colocolo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    #24

    According to my experience, you are correct on everything except for this. I've developed some php applications that generate XML Excel files that can be read by Office on either Windows or OS X, that include almost any Excel function. Maybe the Word version of XML has some special commands that the Mac version can't read?
     
  25. watcher2001 macrumors 6502a

    watcher2001

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    38° 12'47.72" N 85° 31'54.63" W
    #25
    Ok, here is a question, may be a stupid one?? ... What is going to happen when another state or the federal government sends them a document that is in word format? are they going to have one machine with office that can "Translate it" to a text editor level?
     

Share This Page