Massachusetts open source CIO resigns


Massachusetts open source CIO resigns

Antony Savvas

The Massachusetts government chief information officer who chose to move away from proprietary Microsoft document formats in favour of an open source solution has resigned.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn is quitting his post on 9 January, citing pressure on his personal and family life following the huge worldwide publicity generated by his decision to use an open source alternative to Microsoft.

Microsoft itself was angered by his decision and put pressure on the state to change it. Quinn was also the subject of a state inquiry into his business travel to out-of-state technology conferences, which is not believed to have unearthed anything inappropriate.

Quin planned to move parts of the state’s document system to the OpenDocument file format, which is an open source, XML-based format used by a variety of products, including IBM’s Workplace business applications system and Sun Microsystems’ StarOffice workplace collaboration suite.

Quin is believed to have told staff on Christmas Eve of his plan to leave, saying he didn’t want the close attention on him and his decisions affecting the work of the overall department.

Microsoft has claimed that its new Office Open XML file standard in its forthcoming Office 12 collaboration suite will meet Massachusetts’ open standard document requirements.

Once appointed, Quin’s replacement will quickly have to decide whether to follow through with his open source document decision.



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