case_igl writes "The Seattle Times is reporting 'that in an apparent showdown over price, Israel's government has suspended purchases of Microsoft Office software and is encouraging the development of an open-source alternative.' The Finance Ministry has cooperated with Sun Microsystems and IBM in designing the Hebrew-language version of OpenOffice software, a freely distributed open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. The spokeswoman said the government was unhappy with Microsoft's refusal to sell individual programs from its standard Office package, which includes e-mail, spreadsheet and word-processing applications. Microsoft representatives in Israel did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment." The Associated Press article is carried on many other sites as well.