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Microsoft, Massachusetts, and IT 233

Andy Updegrove writes "A big story in Massachusetts last week was the announcement by Microsoft that it would give $30 million in software to Bay State high schools and universities. Less noticed was the fact that an important economic stimulus bill adopted by the legislature lacked the amendment that sought to gut the power of the State CIO to set any new IT policies that might require compliance with certain standards (like ODF) or favor open source software. Should these two dots be connected, and if so, how? After all, why would Microsoft reward Massachusetts for taking no action to curtail an IT policy that favored ODF and rejected Microsoft's own XML format, especially after Microsoft has by all accounts lobbied so aggressively to bring about a change? As it happens, the fact is that the game isn't over yet: I've learned that the IT policy language hasn't been permanently defeated — its just been shifted out of sight to an 'outside section' of the current budget bill."

I've got a bad feeling about this.