Lxer Story on Massachusetts Move to Open Doc Format Scoops Major News Outlets

Posted by tadelste on Sep 1, 2005 11:05 AM EDT
Lxer; By Tom Adelstein
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Yesterday, Sam Hiser called to let me know he placed an article in the pending queue at Lxer. "It's a scoop," he said. Turns out he was right. The article made the major media wires shortly after hitting Google News at 3 PM on Wednesdy.

Beta News' headline Mass. to Dump Microsoft Office by 2007 is just the latest in a massive surge of major media attention on this story, first published at Lxer.com. See MassGov Declares OpenDocument the Standard File Format for the Commonwealth. Slashdot pointed to the Financial Times instead of Lxer, but that should change. Eventually, consistently good reporting will allow Lxer to become THE source of news for Linux and open-source software in the not too distant future.



Sam kept pace and followed this story for almost two years. He's covered hearings, spoke on panels and worked closely with the key people in the Massachusetts CIO's office. He deserved this one. Do not act surprised when you see more like this in the future.

Sam and I first met at Boston University in the fall of 2003 at the Desktop Linux Conference. I spoke on Linux in Government attempting to explain the need for states to adopt open standards in the aftermath of 9/11. I attended Sam's presentation on openoffice.org and we began working together the next week.



In late January 2004, we agreed to co-author a book on the Linux desktop for O'Reilly and Associates. Sam was still the marketing lead for openoffice.org. As time passed we began a consulting practice based in Sam's hometown of New York City. We've written articles for numerous publications and we really like to write for Lxer. We may have our headquarters in NYC, but our hearts belong here.



Like many of you, we see the comments saying this or that article should hit the main street press instead of just addressing the "choir". Consider Sam's article the start. In fact consider this a breakthrough. Here's Microsoft's Brian's Jones response to the Massachusett's announcement:



I'm a bit stunned by the overall proposal that was brought forward to the State though as it seems to be a bit short sighted and unnecessarily exclusive. I question why the proposal has this exclusivity given the fact that there has been no thorough research into the open XML formats for Office 12. The reason I say that there hasn't been thorough research is that we won't have our first Beta for another couple months, so I doubt they could have looked into it much. If they had, I can't imagine that they would have made this decision as it actually provides the easiest path of moving from proprietary binary formats into open XML formats.


Here's a sample of the publications that picked up the story. If you click the links, notice how many of the articles mention Sam Hiser:



US state plans to ditch Microsoft software - report Forbes



Massachusetts to Ditch Microsoft Software AFX Syndication



Microsoft blogger draws fire for criticising Massachusetts OpenDoc policy ZDNet



Massachusetts to adopt 'open' desktop ZDNet



Massachusetts dumps Microsoft Office The Inquirer



Massachusetts software switch set to hit Microsoft Financial Times Web and Print Editions



The Massachusetts Office Party Slashdot



Massachusetts set to switch off Microsoft MSN Money



Massachusetts Plans To Ditch Microsoft Software CIO Today



I can only speak for myself, but I bet a lot of you may feel like me. News from Lxer.com can bubble up to the top. I personally invite to to submit articles and news. We'll even help.



Respectfully submitted



Tom Adelstein

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