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Give us liberty or give us Office, EU lobbyists cry

PCWorld - The European Commission and European Parliament are doing nothing to rid themselves of their dependance on Microsoft, two lobby groups said Wednesday, Document Freedom Day.

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and Open Forum Europe urged EU institutions to support open standards in an open letter to Giancarlo Vilella, president of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Innovation and Technological Support. He also chairs the body that coordinates IT activities for government agencies including Parliament, the Commission and the Council of the E.U.

The letter highlights several problems, including that video streams of Parliament and Council hearings are still only available in the proprietary Microsoft Windows Media Player and Silverlight formats. This prevents EU citizens who wish to participate in the legislative process from watching without being forced to use the products of a single company, the groups wrote.

The groups said they have been asking the Commission to adopt a more open or cross-platform video format since 2008.

Though they were told at the time that Parliament was working on a new system for streaming that would be built on open standards that would be accessible to all, nothing seems to have happened since. “We would be interested to know if this project is still in development,” they wrote.