Battle Over Mass. Anti-Microsoft Software Policy Widens

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Established only last month, a Massachusetts state policy on software formats is gaining opponents and supporters as the matter continues to be debated, placing its future implementation in doubt.

The open-format policy is controversial because the proposed format could lock out some Microsoft software.

The Massachusetts senate is considering legislation that could eventually trump action on formats. At the same time, IBM and Sun Microsystems are rounding up supporters of open formats for a proposed foundation to support the OpenDocument standard set by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Standards (OASIS).

"It's a moveable feast," said Michael Wendy, spokesman for COMPtia, which along with Microsoft, opposes the state policy. "There's a lot of interest from all over and it's growing."

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