Open Source gains at Microsoft's Expense in Massachusetts

Massachusetts' yearly technology budget of $80 million does not make it a top tier software buyer. But analysts say the state's decision to favor open source technology may be a signpost that has major implications for the software industry -- particularly for Microsoft. Massachusetts Administration and Finance Secretary Eric Kriss issued a memo to the state's chief technology officer instructing him to adopt a policy of open source and open standards for all future spending on information technology.

However, Microsoft will not be completely eliminated from Massachusetts' technology expenditures. The state has said it will continue to opt for Microsoft software if cost effective open source options are not available for some applications. The trend toward governmental purchases of Linux is significant, Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio told NewsFactor. "Shoul

Limiting Choice?

The Massachusetts mandate is a bad idea, said Mike Wendy, PR and policy consul for the Computing Technology Industry Association, a software trade group of which Microsoft is a leading member. "Without the mandate, the state of Massachusetts has a bountiful selection of software options that they can easily chose from without having to preordain or bias a choice," he told NewsFactor. This limiting of choice is "bad for taxpayers and it's bad for the Massachuetts IT industry, which is still largely proprietary in nature," he said. Massachusetts state officials were not immediately available for comment.

News source: NewsFactor

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