CyberTech Rambler

August 25, 2006

My take on Massachusett’s update on ODF deployment

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 1:34 pm

Finally, we get to see Massachusett’s hotly speculated letter on its ODF deployment. Basically it says that it is committed to ensure accessibility by the blind, at present, the plan is to use Microsoft Office with a ODF plugin and that the deadline for ODF deployment is push back to July 2007 from Jan 2007.

As for the content of the letter, there is nothing unexpected. Accessibility to the blind continues to be an issue with ODF-enabled application. A ODF plugin into Microsoft Office can remedial accessibility issue. The same approach being a short term solution to achieve ODF compliant is only to be expected as it makes sense financially since there are existing commitment to Microsoft Office. Finally, a lot of people, including me, already thinks that Jan 2007 deadline is too agressive. Overall, it is a run-of-the-mill type of letter on project progress update.

However, both ODF supporter and opponent can put a spin on it and call it a victory. I call it a sensible strategy for Massachusett. If there is one thing it achieve, it is a concrete step forward  to dispell the FUD that use of ODF disadvantages Closed Source vendor. At the very least, it shows that Microsoft Office is, at the bare minimum, still in contention for new contract on Office software. Depending on the roll out of ODF plugin strategy, Microsoft may yet enjoy the benefit of being the incumbant when the new contract is up for negotiation if it plays its card right.

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