One of the leading State Governments in the USA is set to dump Microsoft Office in favour of Open Office. The move could save them millions.
In what could be a big blow to Microsoft the state of Massachusetts in the USA which takes in Boston is proposing to make all its workers stop using Microsoft’s Word, Excel and other desktop software applications and switch to open source software.
It is reported that the US state said yesterday that at the beginning of 2007 it is planning to order all state employees to create and save documents using only open format software. Microsoft’s Office software is a closed format software.
The report said OpenDocument, which is used in open source applications like OpenOffice, and PDF, a widely used standard for electronic documents, would be the only software permitted. The proposal, which is open for comment until the end of next week before it takes effect, would give open source software like OpenOffice a huge boost. OpenOffice is created by volunteer programmers and made available free of charge.
Open source consultant Sam Hiser said OpenOffice is widely used in some emerging countries but as yet has very limited use in the US. He added the decision to switch to open software could influences others to also change. The newspaper said Microsoft’s Office software, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, produces roughly 40 pct of the firm’s revenues and earnings. The report cited a senior Microsoft executive as saying last night that the proposal could force state agencies in Massachusetts to make an expensive and time-consuming switch to new PC software.