Would you like to know what the Microsoft side was saying about Massachusetts' choice of open formats? I knew you would. So, here you go, Tim Bray at Sun gives us a peek behind the curtain by sharing with us some Microsoft talking points he got hold of. I'll share with you here just one, my favorite:
However, limiting the document formats to the OpenOffice format is unnecessary, unfair and gives preferential treatment for specific vendor products, and prohibits others.
It's always wise, when listening to Microsoft talking points to ask yourself: Is this true?
Sun Microsystem's CEO Scott McNealy's letter to Peter Quinn, ITD Director & Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, helps us to answer that question:
Some may contend that the decision is unfairly dictating a software preference. This is entirely wrong; the guidelines make it clear that any applications need only support an open, unencumbered document format. Your guidelines do not limit any vendorís ability to compete for state business because the required open formats are available equally to all, and participation in their development is equally open to all.
There is nothing stopping Microsoft from joining this party. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But since that appears unlikely, Bray answers their talking points, one by one. You may wish to do the same here in your comments.