Andy Updegrove writes "A bill has been introduced in Minnesota that would require all Executive branch agencies to 'use open standards in situations where the other requirements of a project do not make it technically impossible to do this.' The text of the bill is focused specifically on 'open data formats.' While the amendment does not refer to open source software, the definition of 'open standards' that it contains would be conducive to open source implementations of open standards. The fact that such a bill has been introduced is significant in a number of respects. First, the debate over open formats will now be ongoing in two U.S. states rather than one. Second, if the bill is successful, the Minnesota CIO will be required to enforce a law requiring the use of open formats, rather than be forced to justify his or her authority to do so. Third, the size of the market share that can be won (or lost) depending upon a vendor's compliance with open standards will increase. And finally, if two states successfully adopt and implement open data format policies, other states will be more inclined to follow."
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