Published in News
Microsoft Men in Black shutdown Florida
Open Source bid
A move by Florida politicans to look at Open Source software was shut down after a visit from Microsoft's "Men in Black".
Text advocating a shift to open data formats that was slipped into a Florida State Senate bill at the last minute with no fanfare, but within a day Microsoft paid lobbyists wearing black suits and dark glasses paid a visit and demanded the sentence to be removed.
The move was pushed by Rep. Ed Homan, who first got interested in open standards (and open source) when he found out that the state was thinking about spending many millions of dollars to upgrade computers and software for its Department of Health, and started to wonder if using open source might not save taxpayers some cash.
However, the only thing that Homan knew about open source was what he picked up from his son who was a developer. He was a little surprised when the Men in Black showed up.
One of his staff said that by the time the lobbyists were done talking, it sounded like ODF was proprietary and the Microsoft format was the open and free one. They also implied that elected representatives who voted against Microsoft's interests might have a little more trouble raising campaign funds than they would if they helped the IT giant achieve its Florida goals.