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Open-source Proponents Blast Proprietary Software in Dutch Schools

PCW - Dutch education authorities have decided to throw out their government's open standards policy and instead lock in to Microsoft proprietary software for years to come, according to open-source advocates.

Marja Bijsterveldt, the Netherlands' secretary of education, said that she was unwilling to force open standards on educational institutions, sparking an outcry from open-source advocates who say that Dutch students using free software or devices without Silverlight-support will find themselves locked out of schools' online systems.

The open standards policy was approved by the Dutch Parliament in 2007, but has not been fully implemented. Now, free software advocates are starting a new battle to make the use of open standards mandatory for all publicly funded institutions.