Feeds

Open document man resigns from Mass CTO post

Tired of being a lightning rod

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The main cheerleader behind Massachusetts' embrace of the OpenDocument format (ODF) has resigned, saying his role as the state's IT chief has been undermined by controversy surrounding the document battle.

Peter Quinn, the chief information officer for Massachusetts since 2002, notified his staff of the decision to move on last week. The resignation becomes effective on Jan. 12 and raises some questions as to how the OpenDocument push will be embraced without its major backer. That said, the state is still on course to use the ODF standard by 2007.

"I have become a lightning rod with regard to any IT initiative," Quinn wrote in an e-mail to his staff. "Even the smallest initiatives are being mitigated or stopped by some of the most unlikely and often uninformed parties.

''I view these circumstances as quite troubling because the good work laid out by the IT Commission is slowly being strangled and brought to a halt. And the last thing I can let happen is my presence be the major contributing factor marginalizing the good work of ITD and the entire IT community."

ODF has been backed by the likes of IBM and Sun Microsystems who wouldn't mind seeing Microsoft lose its grip on the office suite market. Meanwhile, Microsoft has claimed that banning non-ODF compliant software unfairly limits competition.

Beyond this vendor controversy, some Massachusetts politicians have complained that moving away from Microsoft Office will be costly and that requiring ODF in all instances is too broad of a move.

In addition, the squabble over ODF has turned into a personal affair for Quinn.

The Boston Globe requested that Governor Mitt Romney's administration investigate Quinn's expenses and jaunts to trade shows. A review of the matter revealed that "Quinn had authorization to make the trips and had not violated any conflict of interest provisions," the Globe noted in its report today about Quinn's resignation. The paper failed to mention that it had requested the investigation in the first place - an oversight that Groklaw deemed cowardly.

The director of communication for Governor Romney told the Globe that the shift to ODF remains on track. "We are moving steadily towards that deadline and we expect no changes in those rules," said the spokesman. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.