In a Center for Digital Government Web conference this afternoon, Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn said that the commonwealth and Microsoft have reached agreement on making public records created with Microsoft Office 2003 readable by any reader, including open-source or GPL-based software, according to Public CIO Magazine.
The heart of the agreement, the magazine said, concerns opening access to Office 2003's patented XML extensions. "That was a great concern to us," Quinn told the magazine. "We were going to create things that would only be accessed by a specific vendor's reader. We've actually worked through that ... Microsoft was very amenable to the conversation, we're very excited about where we hope this is going to take us all as we go forward, yet at the same time it preserved their intellectual property and rights."