Microsoft Office: Coming to a Ballot Box Near You?

by Preston Gralla

In Massachusetts, where I live, politics is a contact sport. And Microsoft finds itself in the middle of the fray --- it could even become an issue in the next gubernatorial campaign.

Recently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced that as of January 1, 2007, the state government would have to use applications that work with the OpenDocument format. This has big implications for Microsoft, because Office doesn't handle it, but other suites like StarOffice,, KOffice and IBM Workplace do. The move would mean a big migration away from Office.

Microsoft, as you might expect, lashed out at the plan, and called it "inconsistent and discriminatory." It found a friend in the Commonwealth's Secretary of State, Bill Galvin, a Democrat, who says he has "grave concerns" about the switch. He even said his office won't make the switch, and will stay with Microsoft Office. At least one other power Democrat in the State Senate agrees with Galvin.

There's a good chance Galvin will be running for governor. The state has a Republican incumbent, Mitt Romney, whose administration backs the OpenDoc plan. To make matters more confusing, Romney may try to run for President.

Confused yet? If you're not, you're not following things.

In any event, don't be surprised if it all becomes an issue in the next gubernatorial campaign. Who ever would have thought the day would come when document formats would become a political hot button?

What do you think about the Massachusetts decisiona about OpenDoc?


2005-10-27 10:40:27
Playing politics IS a dangerous game
When people get the feeling that Microsoft is buying the American government, people both inside and outside the USA will associate Microsoft with their US government.

I wonder if this is such a great idea from a marketing perspective.