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Massachusetts has finalized its IT acquisition policy for its $80 million IT budget, moving away from what originally appeared to be an open-source mandate.

The administration of Gov. Mitt Romney last week finalized a new open-standards policy for IT acquisitions, basing the criteria for government IT procurements on “best value” and setting guidelines to help reduce the total cost of ownership of systems “while enhancing flexibility and performance,” the administration said.

The lone holdout among states that sued Microsoft Corp. and later sought more stringent penalties against Microsoft, the state caused anxiety among software vendors last fall when officials denounced proprietary software as disjointed and leading to lock-in. While not exactly an about-face, the state’s final policy has softened that earlier rhetoric.

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