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December 02, 2005

Open Document, Insert Foot III: with Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Redmond, WA)

So, we found out who's the Senator-mouthpiece for Microsoft in the lege's debate over the state moving to document types that aren't owned by a single, monopolistic company. It's Marc Pacheco, ostensibly of Taunton, but he's doing a better job of representing Redmond, WA.


The policy adopted by the state contains a standard within a standard, asserted Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), chairman of the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight.

"It sets forth under its wording language that would essentially still preclude Microsoft," he told TechNewsWorld.

"One has to question if this is about open document standards or is it about an exclusionary policy so that some people can't play in the system," he said.

Now there's an argument for you. Using document formats whose source code is open to the public -- "free, as in speech", as they say -- would somehow preclude Microsoft?

Horsehockey. It would prevent Mr. Softie from monopolizing the state's software purchase decisions, like they do most of the world. It would actually make them compete with other companies -- some of which actually are based in Massachusetts.

Now, Mr. Softie has supposedly offered to open up its formats (MS Open Office XML) for their next version of MS Office, but there's a problem... no one's seen what they're offering.

You smell a bluff?

No matter: RomneyCo's folding like origami masters! Let's listen to Massachusetts Secretary for Administration and Finance Tom Trimarco:

"The Commonwealth is very pleased with Microsoft's progress in creating an open document format. If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats."

Optimistic that Mr. Softie will play fair? Based on their past behavior?

Anyway, if you're in Sen. Pacheco's district, I'm sure he'd welcome your comments on how he's shilling for a monopolist at the expense of your taxpayer bucks and Bay State businesses. (617) 722-1551.

(Update: Well, background, really. Old news, but news to me, here and here.)

(My open-source disclosure.)

Posted by Charley on the MTA at 03:08 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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The entire Microsoft debate aside. Mr. Pacheco een barking about htis for a while and I don't think. You are missing the entire point. Romney, Kriss, and Bain Capitol have serious financial investment in the Open community. They are using government to change policy to help their financial interests.

They are up to old school patronage around new school language that usual folk do not understand. A switch to Open does not equal free necessarily. Systems still must be supported. Poeple must be trained. It sounds nice, but it is naiscent. Not to mention that someone will make a ton of money off the switch.

Just ask Ben over at Romney is a Fraud.

Posted by: anon | Dec 2, 2005 3:46:57 PM

anon -- Don't know about Bain's alleged investments in Open Source companies. Do tell.

You're right, the changeover will cost money, and be a cash bonanza for someone. "Free software" is "free as in speech", not necessarily "free as in beer".

Let's not forget that MS costs money, and is a cash bonanza for them. Is it because they offer a demonstrably superior product, or because they have monopoly power?

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Dec 2, 2005 4:13:07 PM

anon- Also... if RomneyCo were so "invested" in open-source companies, and that were motivating them to switch to open-source, then why is Trimarco slobbering over MS's mirage open formats, and why did they throw Quinn under the bus? These things don't go together.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Dec 2, 2005 4:15:04 PM

Microsoft can bite me. Seriously. My husband went for an MCSE - paid (Microsoft) an arm and a leg and two extra fingers for THEIR books, then an arm and a leg and another leg for their courses, then another arm for each goddamned test (how many arms does that add up to?). To Microsoft.

Then, the education "loan" (more like a credit card) has an insane interest rate. Payable, of course, to Microsoft.

Posted by: Lynne | Dec 2, 2005 8:32:16 PM

I don't really care who or what is used, as long as it is the best choice. Open, MS, the next great thing...It doesn't matter, someone will make a ton of loot.


Is a list of a few of the companies Bain works with/has major interests and investments in. Look it over, many are IT, most are developing in Open standards.

Romney won't hand the first contract to his "former" shop who I belive Kriss is one of the fund owners now (not sure on that though). Giving the first contract to a Bain investment, well, that'd be too easy and stupid for the long term (e.g. the Trimerco choice).

Nope, Romney and Kriss know the sector is a high growth sector. The point is to invest heavily into many small shops, then, when the sector grows and is opened up, they are well positioned to have strong and leading investments in some of the biggest players. Make the pie bigger, don't go get the first slice.

The point is to use your Executive powers to open up the sector to Government in general -- Governement is one of the largest potential clients in the couhnty for Open -- knowing that no one company can handle all the work (yet that is) and that you have an army of companies who can. Massachusetts is a bulk head.

So who cares if it is MS or Open? It's all business in the end.

Posted by: anon | Dec 3, 2005 11:00:58 AM

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