There is a cowardly report in The Boston Globe today about Peter Quinn's resignation, in which the same journalist who stirred up the bogus accusations against Peter Quinn reports on his resignation without once mentioning the Globe's involvement. (For a more complete report, try ZDNET.)
The article does mention that Quinn was completely exonerated after an investigation, but it doesn't mention that it was the Globe that made it all happen in the first place. I will quote a snip from the report, however, because you'd want to know about this part:
Eric Fehrnstrom, director of communications for Governor Mitt Romney, yesterday confirmed that Quinn had submitted his resignation, effective Jan. 12. Fehrnstrom, however, rebutted Quinn's strong implication that the administration was backing away from the recommendations, issued on Aug. 31 and announced by former Administration and Finance Secretary Eric Kriss, that the executive branch was moving toward open format software.
''We are moving steadily towards that deadline and we expect no changes in those rules," Fehrnstrom said. Under the Aug. 31 initiative, the state would require all documents produced by the state's executive branch to be stored in a new, universal computer format, called OpenDocument.
Since this statement comes from Romney's spokesman, I'd say it is meaningful. If Massachusetts backed away now from its decision, not only would many reputations in the Commonwealth be sullied, and in this case rightly so, but the stain on Microsoft would be unerasable. All this happened, after all, because Microsoft refused to do the right thing and support ODF like everybody else. And because it has some heavy-handed backers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who played hard ball in a particularly ugly way, and unjustly smeared the good name of a decent and honest man, who understood technology better than they do and who wanted nothing but good for the citizens he served. He found a way to ensure that their documents would belong to them and their children and grandchildren in perpetuity, that no one would have to pay a single vendor or be forced into expensive upgrades just to read their own documents someday. That is all he did. And look what happened next.
If the friends of Microsoft in the Commonwealth thought they were helping Microsoft by attacking Peter Quinn, I'd say they miscalculated. The Peter Quinn story makes Microsoft look bad, and the Commonwealth even worse. Haven't you heard, fellows? This is the Internet age. Every dirty trick gets to be known and reported, with the light firmly shining on it, not by mainstream media folks perhaps, some of whom will print any old dirt you send them without even verifying if it's true or not, but by bloggers, by citizen journalists. And there are millions of us.