European Governments adopting Open Source and Open Format

Some while back already apparently the French Gendarmerie took up Open Office ( on their, though still, Windows systems, that is to say, desktops and such. Then reports mentioned that the City of Vienna – must check on how they are doing – that the municipality was adopting Open Source, e.g. Linux, on servers and desktops. As fas as I understand some German local governments also have gone over to Linux on the desktop and other Open Source applications.

Also in the UK some local governments are taking up Open Source Office suites, for instance, Open Office and the commercial version, Star Office.

Now the Netherlands had gone and really upset Microsoft – don't you just love the Dutch – by talking, and I think it is more than just talking, of implementing Open Source and Open (Document) Format all throughout the government and semi-government agencies in that country.

Norway too is going a similar route and this, hopefully, together with what other countries, local governments, schools, and agencies, are doing around the world as regards to using Open Source throughout will soon bring about the time for Open Office and especially Open Standard to be the standard.

This can only be good for all of us, especially if Open Source Operating Systems, such as the various Linux distros, and other Open Source applications remain free; free as in freedom and free as in free beer (make mine a pint of Guinness please).

Several PC manufacturers are now going the route of providing computers, PCs as well as Laptops, pre-installed with Linux operating software and open source applications. A Dell PC at £300 with Linux and Open Office is not bad going though I have done that cheaper still myself. I have a second-hand Compac Evo that I loaded with Ubunto. The PC was £75 but, OK, it needed an FST monitor for just over £100. But then the operating system cost me nothing and came with everything: Thank you Ubuntu.

We can only hope that open source operating systems, especially Linux, and open source applications – free – will become the norm. That way the Internet will also become much more Firefox friendly and all websites will then be full accessible to the Linux man, woman or child.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), December 2007