Massachusetts-Microsoft Standoff: The Latest Chapter
Massachusetts and Microsoft have apparently called a cease-fire
in their battle over file formats -- at least for now.
The icy relationship between the Commonwealth and the software
to be thawing rapidly following Microsoft’s recent
announcement that it will submit its Office Open XML schemas
to Ecma International, an important European standards body.
“If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic
that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable
open formats," Thomas Trimarco, secretary of the Commonwealth's
Executive Office for Administration and Finance, said in a prepared
statement this week. Microsoft General Manager Alan Yates responded
that company officials look forward to “continuing positive
dialog around open standards and Microsoft Office."
The exchange is by far the warmest in the dispute, which started
earlier this year with Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn’s proposal
to require that all state-government applications support open standards-based
file formats. Quinn and other proponents said switching to the Open
Document Format would help ensure future generations’ access
to important records despite technological changes over time, while
staying with closed file formats -- such as those in Office -- would
provide no such guarantee.
Microsoft fired back. On Sept. 8, Microsoft General Manager Alan
Yates formally urged state officials to reconsider the “costly
and unnecessary” plan. “[T]here is no principled basis
for the Commonwealth to adopt these unprecedented revisions, which
would … prescribe an immature and untested open format as
a complete replacement for well-established open formats, such as
Microsoft Office’s XML-based formats,” Yates wrote in
a 15-page letter.
However, Massachusetts officials continued moving forward with
the plan, scheduled to take effect in January 2007. Meanwhile, the
worldwide IT and vendor communities will continue watching to see
what happens next.
Microsoft Revamps the Security Solutions Competency
As part of ongoing efforts to help customers stay secure, Microsoft
Corp. has overhauled
its Security Solutions competency.
Microsoft says it has taken divided the competency into two specializations,
one addressing technical issues and the other looking at security
policy and risk management, governance and auditing.
The Infrastructure Security track focuses on a partner’s
ability to implement and administer security measures, while the
less-technical Security Management track is targeted to partners
focused on providing security-management services to Microsoft customers.
IDC: Server Shipments Up, Unix Down
sales kept accelerating during the third quarter of 2005, while
Linux and Windows servers further eroded Unix's high-end turf, according
to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker.
column was originally published in our weekly
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IDC, the Framingham, Mass.-based research organization, said server
sales were driven partly by customers' increasing deployments of
Factory revenues grew at 8.1 percent year-over-year to $12.5 billion,
making it the tenth consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Volume
server revenue growth of 14.8 percent year-over-year continues to
drive the market, demonstrating continued end-user investment in
a robust server infrastructure, IDC said.
Posted by Anne Stuart on November 30, 2005 at 11:53 AM