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Microsoft Government Politics

Microsoft's Lobbying In Massachusetts 148 148

Andy Updegrove writes "Carol Sliwa at ComputerWorld has posted two excellent stories just now on ODF in Massachusetts, based on over 300 emails secured under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (the local analogue of the Federal Freedom of Information Act). The longer and more intriguing article focuses on Microsoft's lobbying efforts in Massachusetts, and confirms, as I reported last week, that Microsoft lobbyist Brian Burke was spearheading an effort to bring pressure on the state's Information Technology Division (ITD) by promoting an amendment that would have taken away much of the ITD's power to make technology policy. The article goes on to describe the back-channel negotiations between State CIO Louis Gutierrez and Microsoft's Alan Yates, and the way that Microsoft played the lobbying card throughout those discussions in an effort to protect its wildly profitable Office software franchise against potential erosion by competing products that support ODF." Andy has a blog entry on the lobbying effort.
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Microsoft's Lobbying In Massachusetts

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  • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Monday December 04, 2006 @02:57PM (#17102440)
    I am more interested to see if the ODF have addressed the usability issues which were raised.

    ODF (Open Document) does not have usability issues. Period. It is a document format, nothing more. Now if you are talking about OpenOffice.org, AbiWord, KOffice, the next version of Wordperfect or any of the word processes/document systems that support ODF, then you might have a point. All the talk of ODF having usability issues is just the sound of FUD smacking the media around. Accessibility for the disabled should ultimately be superior with the ODF format because it is a completely open, machine readable format and therefore should be easily transformed into what ever media is required for disabled access (Large Print, audio - speech and speech recognition, braille, etc.).

    Cheers,
    Toby Haynes

  • by tbradshaw (569563) on Monday December 04, 2006 @04:33PM (#17103882) Homepage
    So perhaps it's futile, but I have to mention that this isn't capitalism. It's corporatism or "crony capitalism". Capitalism doesn't involve lobbying for government assistance. Lobbying could be seen as a "short cut" to avoid having to deal with the market pressures of capitalism.

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