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EU's Anti-Open Source Approach to Procurement

ComputerWorldUK - Glyn Moody - In recent posts, I've looked at the increasing use of open source software by governments in countries as diverse as China, Russia, India and Germany. Here I want to contrast those moves with the continuing failure of the European Commission to embrace free software - with huge costs for European citizens as a result, to say nothing of lost sovereignty.

The Free Software Foundation Europe has just put out an excellent post on this topic:

The European Commission has recently renewed its commitment to a proprietary desktop and secret file formats. The Commission is refusing to get serious about breaking free from vendor lock-in, and is ignoring all available alternatives. In doing so, the EU's civil service fails to practice what it preaches.

In April, the Commission signed two contracts with Microsoft: An agreement for "high-level services" worth 44 million Euro, and a framework agreement on software licensing conditions. The actual licenses are provided by Hewlett-Packard under a separate contract from 2012, worth 50 million euro. The contracts cover the Commission itself, and 54 other EU organisations.

It's well-worth reading the whole thing, but the really important nugget is found in the following paragraph: