The Open Standards (always upper case) fanatics that are always inaccurately touting Massachusetts as a bastion of openness will love this one. On Wednesday March 31:
"Governor Deval Patrick joined Microsoft (MSFT) to announce Elevate America, a major public-private partnership between the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts) and Microsoft to provide 26,000 free vouchers for technology training and certification to residents... (Patrick said:) "This public-private partnership is exactly the kind of innovative program we need to help our workforce advance. Massachusetts residents will benefit from the opportunity to strengthen their computer skills as we continue lead the way in businesses that rely heavily upon technology."
This works on so many levels
- It has the government saying that if you want a job you better learn Microsoft technology. The lobbyists at Open Source for America should take a page out of this playbook, which would be good for everyone.
- It further puts the lie to the "Open Standards" propaganda that Massachusetts is anti-Microsoft. I haven't done complete due diligence on this factoid but in addition to Mass. support for OOXML, I've seen indications that the state of Mass. might be one of the biggest Sharepoint users there is.
- I think--but do not know for sure--that these vouchers the press release talks about is how Microsoft "settled" the anti-trust law suit years ago with Massachusetts. This ties in with the way Microsoft "lost" its law suit to the U.S. government (by "being forced" to train millions of school kids around the U.S. in Microsoft products and giving their schools the products for free). Seeding technology all throughout academia is also how IBM gained its market dominance.
-- Dennis Byron
(no financial interest in companies mentioned except the $12 a year I pay Microsoft for Office 2003)