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Friday, April 29, 2005

IDC confirms the expansion of OSS in EU

There were two thought-provoking findings in a recent IDC report based on a survey conducted on 625 western European companies. The first one is that open source software is eating into the market share of proprietary software products and gaining ground in mid-to-large sized companies in Europe. The second one is that these companies perceive software to be very important for their ability to succeed and compete.

If you combine the two findings you conclude that open source is becoming mature enough for these companies to trust it and use it to build software that is a key component of their success. The study talks specifically about database open source.

Some European countries are even are moving to legislate preferences for open source over proprietary software. The proposals range in strength from mild boosts to complete mandates. France has issued a government order which says that “we should implement open source whenever possible”. Four years ago French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin established an Agency for Technologies of Information and Communication in Administration (ATICA now called ADAE), which seeks, among other things to encourage the use of free software and open standards. Three years ago, German Interior Minister Otto Schilly announced that his department has signed a major contract with IBM to install Linux and other open source programs across a broad portion of his ministry's IT infrastructure. Last year Munich decided to switch to Linux, similar stories with Bergen in Norway and the city of Paris. The list goes on and on…

Note that most of these stories are limited to infrastructure software (operating system and database).

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