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Microsoft Attacking Massachusetts

Consortium Info’s Standards Blog covers two stories about Microsoft’s attempts to steamroll democratic decision-making in Massachusetts.

First, Andy Updegrove covers Microsoft’s donation of “$30 million” worth of software to MA schools. (Of course, MS is measuring the value based on sticker price of the software boxes in stores, not on the marginal cost for the production of each additional unit, which would be about $0.25 per CD delivered.) MS’ obvious bribe attempt was accompanied by a large ad next to the opinion pieces in the Boston Globe, in which convoluted and irrational arguments were made that MS’ new XML format allows for great interoperability! (Nothing but irony and satire!)

Secondly, Updegrove discusses the RFI responses received by Massachusetts with regard to an ODF-reading and -writing plugin for Microsoft Office. Microsoft responded and used the opportunity to soapbox, but didn’t provide any information of value. Sun also responded with a detailed proposal and a workable solution to Massachusetts’ request.

In general, it appears that MS is responding to the ODF situation in Massachusetts with a series of uncoordinated actions that will probably not move the Commonwealth to accept its so-called logic. All that is needed now, to really throw the monopolist into disarray, is for one or two more states to announce their imminent adoption of ODF.

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