Friday, January 16, 2004

Massachusetts Backs Off OSS Pledge

Massachusetts Backs Off OSS Pledge "After talking big about dropping proprietary software and moving to open-source software (OSS) solutions, the state of Massachusetts finalized its IT acquisition policy this week and says it will concentrate on open standards rather than OSS. The difference is hardly subtle: A move to OSS would have been extremely damaging to the state's current software suppliers, most notably Microsoft, which has set up itself as the poster child for proprietary software. Now, because the company has been pushing its move to open standards for years, Microsoft will likely continue to be the primary benefactor of Massachusetts' software purchases.
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So how did the Massachusetts fiasco begin? Last fall, Eric Kriss, secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance, wrote a memo arguing that the state should abandon its "disjointed and proprietary" IT methods. And although reports about Massachusetts abandoning proprietary software were widespread, not everyone in the state felt that such a decision was inevitable or even advisable. Massachusetts Senator Marc Pacheco argued that giving preferential treatment to OSS over proprietary software was, in fact, illegal."

I think this is an important leading indicator; definitely worth reading the entire column
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