"Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats"

MA reverses itself on adopting Microsoft Office Open XML format.

You can get a sneak peek at Office Open XML format here.

Update: Sun's Carl Cargill urges MA to rethink its opinion.

Cargill raises a rather interesting point (according to ComputerWorld) - (emphasis mine):

  • Cargill said it would be a "mistake" for Massachusetts to support Open XML based on "a single vendor's promise to submit a new product to a standards body at some point in the future." Instead, the state should move forward with its support of OpenDocument as the standard format for state documents, because not only has it already been approved by a standards body, but it also allows any vendor to build upon the standard, something an ISO or Ecma standard wouldn't allow, he wrote.

XML is just text with pointy brackets and is totally extensible. I have yet to see any "schema police" prevent anyone from extending any XML schema. 

BTW - I'm not too keen on the name "Open XML" - it appears to have been invented by the Department of Redundancy Department....