Massachusetts Chief Information Officer (CIO) Peter Quinn finalized a proposal in September that called for state agencies to develop phased plans for migration to OpenDocument beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Since then, there has been some opposition by state officials and citizens to the plan, dissent that has led to a widely publicized debate within both the state senate and the governor's office.
In the meantime, supporters of OpenDocument led by Microsoft rivals Sun and IBM began mobilizing a global effort to push OpenDocument as a global standard format for documents. The companies hosted a meeting at IBM's campus on Nov. 4 -- attended by Quinn as well as representatives from Apple Computer Inc., CA Inc., Intel Corp., Google Inc., Red Hat Inc., Corel Corp., Oracle Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., OpenOffice.org, Nokia Corp. and other technology companies -- to formalize those efforts.
Microsoft faces pressure from governments and agencies as they increasingly insist on standards compliance for the software they use. Microsoft executives said the move to submit Open XML to standards bodies would help the company win contracts from public authorities that want software based on open standards.