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ODF Bill in New York State

While Microsoft fiercely resists each and every state’s attempt to adopt free and open data formats, that doesn’t stop lawmakers from making efforts to do the right thing. Most recently, Infoworld reports on New York State’s open data formats bill in New York becomes latest state to ponder ODF.

New York State Bill A08961, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito, proposes the state study how government documents are created, exchanged, and preserved and how these documents can be used in a way that “encourages appropriate government control, access, choice, interoperability, and vendor neutrality,” according to the text of the bill.”

While it’s exciting to see states start this process, simply introducing the bill is a long way from successful implementation. Other states that have trod this path haven’t completed the journey yet:

Bills that would have required state agencies to use freely available document formats in Texas, Connecticut, Florida, and Oregon were shot down mainly due to the pro-Microsoft lobby, while a bill in Minnesota was passed only to study the possibility of using open document formats, not to actually mandate them…

“So far, Massachusetts is the only U.S. state that has officially adopted an open documents policy that will include ODF support, though governments in other countries such as Belgium, Denmark, and France are ahead of the U.S. in mandating their agencies use open document formats.

Nevertheless, this is an important step in the nation’s third most-populous state.

While Microsoft chases back and forth across the country trying to stamp out these grassroots efforts, they’ll have that much less attention to focus on other countries moving to ODF, schools and corporations adopting ODF, new software applications implementing ODF, and on and on. Pretty soon the dam will burst and ODF will become as ubiquitous as HTML, with all the benefits a single, open standard can bring to a (soon to be) competitive marketplace!

One Response to “ODF Bill in New York State”

  1. jza Says:
    June 8th, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Awesome news, I will definetly sparse this great news just before ending the week.