An associated press story is reporting that Massachusetts will adopt a broad-based strategy of moving its computer systems toward open standards, including Linux. Massachusetts is the lone hold-out in the multi-lateral State Attorney General lawsuit against Microsoft.
State Administration and Finance Secretary Eric Kriss said Thursday that the decision, adopted at a meeting of state information officers, was made on "technical grounds" and had nothing to do with Attorney General Thomas Reilly's pursuit of Microsoft. Kriss said the state's decision was driven by a desire to reduce licensing fees but also "by a philosophy that what the state has is a public good and should be open to all," Kriss told The Associated Press. He characterized the decision as the "most visible concrete action by a state government" to move toward open standards.
I've heard rumors that Microsoft is moving to protect Office file formats under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to protect them against reverse-engineering. That kind of move would push more states in this direction, I think.