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[Nettime-nl] Dutch gov blows open standards
Geert Lovink on Wed, 19 Dec 2007 21:16:13 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] Dutch gov blows open standards

Dutch gov blows open standards raspberry at Microsoft
Sweeps software monopoly off the board
By Kelly Fiveash
Published Monday 17th December 2007 11:19 GMT

The Dutch government has pushed through a new open source and open
standards policy which will leave Redmond with smoke coming out of its

The Netherlands economic affairs ministry said last week that
parliament had approved a plan that will mandate the use of open
standards and open source software government-wide.

It has also set an ambitious May 2008 target by which time all
national agencies will be expected to use open software. State and
local government organisations will be required to adopt the same
rules by 2009.

Despite bitter protests from Microsoft against the Labour-led Dutch
government's plans, in which it argued that the ruling would put a
dent in the market economy, the policy was agreed in parliament
without any opposition.

The decision was made to cut costs as well as put a halt to heavy
dependence on the software giant's products, particularly its Office

Labour Party member of parliament Martijn van Dam said: "The storm of
protest that Microsoft has attempted to stir up is one of the greatest
endorsements of this plan."

Under the new open standards and open source policy, agencies will
need to justify their use of propriety software where there is no
obvious alternative. The new rules will be enforced by an "open source
police" unit and an open source hotline. ®

Michelle Childs
Head of European Affairs
Knowledge Ecology International
michelle.childs {AT} cptech.org
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