10 May 2006

Anti-ODF Stuff Turns Nasty

With his customary sharpness, Andy Updegrove skewers a particularly nasty piece of lobbyist punditry. The statement in question manages to twist the news that Massachusetts is calling for an ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office - an eminently sensible thing to do, which the open source world is keen to support - into some kind of act of desperation.

It then goes on:

the Massachusetts ODF policy ... is a biased, open source only preference policy. We believe such preference policies exclude choice, needlessly marginalize successful marketplace options, and curtail merit-based selections for state procurements. In short, they disserve citizens who demand cost-effective solutions for their hard-earned tax dollars.

This is rich. It is factually incorrect - there is no open source only preference policy; it is hyperbolic - the idea of Microsoft Office being "marginalised" is droll, to say the least, as is the idea that "successful marketplace options" deserve to have their near-monopolies preserved; and ultimately (wilfully) misses the point, which is that a truly open standard is the only way to guarantee future access to files, the only way to allow competition among software manufacturers, and so the only way to provide "choice" and the "merit-based", "cost-effective" solution the statement purports to espouse.

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