According to Computerworld, the CIO of the state of Massachusetts has resigned, effective early January. Peter Quinn had been working to move all state computers off of Microsoft Office and into an open source-based XML format called OpenDocument format (ODF). The move to ODF, which was approved in September, would prevent state computers from storing documents in proprietary formats. Massachusetts is the first step to make the move into the open standards format. Using ODF storage for data storage would allow records to be easily read and modified. State executive offices are expected to begin storing their data in ODF in early 2007.
The national public attention Quinn received for his open source advocacy was part of the reason for his resignation, but he was not forced out. His resignation was largely influenced by his desire to avoid being the focus of the open source controversy.
Earlier this year, fellow Massachusetts open source supporter Eric Kriss, Administration and Finance Secretary for the governor’s administration, left his job. His replacement said Massachusetts is looking into using a Microsoft format called Office Open XML, which is expected to meet the state’s standards.
Despite Quinn’s resignation, ODF plans will continue. He hopes his resignation will make it easier for the staff to continue the initiative. No announcement regarding who might replace Quinn has been made.