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Katie Kearns wrote:
> If people don't like proprietary file formats, then they should choose a
> tool that doesn't use them. Don't legislate how people should make things.
Uhh, there's no market-interfering legislation involved. The EU has
shown leadership in requiring that business with government be done
using open file formats. By extension that means -- to the greatest
extent possible -- internal government business will also be done in
open formats, which in turn means that European government(s) will
not be a purchaser of desktop applications engineered to work best
with proprietary formats.
WRT file formats, then, you've described what the EU is doing:
expressing a preference for open ones, and choosing tools that use
them. Massachusetts has done the same.
In order to retain these large government customers (and their
satellite contractors), companies like MS and Adobe should set out
to make their products into the best OpenDocument and SVG tools
available, ones that are well worth paying for. They don't want to,
because proprietary formats protect their market share.
The EU and Massachusetts are saying, "We know your game, and we're
not playing any more." Doesn't mean that MS and Adobe can't compete
for EU business, just not with Office and Frame and Photoshop as
OpenDocument and SVG (as examples) are sufficiently rich to deliver
the proprietary-formats' functionality, and sufficiently big to be
included in the long list of import/export formats the proprietary
applications already support (though not with full functionality).
It's a fairly small step to say, "Fine, we give up, those will now
be our native formats. Let the competition begin!"
Or MS and Adobe (again, as examples) can walk away from these
government customers and the others that are sure to follow. That,
as they say, is a business decision.
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