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Microsoft Blasts Massachusetts' New XML Policy

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Microsoft is lashing out against a revised IT policy planned by Massachusetts that would kill the use of Office in state agencies unless the company adopts the OpenDocument file format.

According to a proposed plan distributed by the state's Information Technology Division on Wednesday, only two document formats – Open Document and Adobe's PDF – will be acceptable for state use in the future.

The OpenDocument format, which was ratified in May by Oasis, is supported by OpenOffice, an open source Office suite, and in Sun's StarOffice, which is owned by Sun Microsystems.

"Desktop software that supports OpenDocument and PDF in the future is acceptable; Microsoft's proprietary XML formats are not," Eric Kriss, Secretary of Administration & Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, told CRN during an telephone interview Friday.

Microsoft Office does not support OpenDocument and company executives said this week they have no plans to support that format in future versions of Office.

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