Donate your copy of Microsoft Office to Katrina relief!

From Good Morning, Silicon Valley

On Friday, [Massachussetts] state officials approved a proposal to standardize desktop applications on the OpenDocument format — a move that will strip some 50,000 state computers of Microsoft’s Office and effectively eliminate Microsoft, which has chosen not to support Open Document, from the state’s procurement process. Microsoft, it should be noted, could add native support for Open Document to Office, but won’t, no doubt because doing so could encourage the spread of non-Microsoft formats. In an interview with, Massachusetts’ chief information officer, Peter Quinn, said the shift to open formats was inevitable. The state runs a “vast majority” of its office and system computers on Windows — “only a very small percentage of them run Linux and other open source software at this time,” Quinn said. “This is in tune with the general market in the U.S. But we like to ‘eat our own cooking,’ in that we are using and Linux more and more as time goes along, because it produces open format documents. Microsoft has remade the desktop world. But if you’ve watched history, there’s a slag heap of proprietary companies who have fallen by the wayside because they were stuck in their ways. Just look at the minicomputer business, for example. The world is about open standards and open source. I can’t understand why anybody would want to continue making closed-format documents anymore.”

Good stuff. Lots more coming in the same vein.