Open for Business

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Microsoft? Nor Way!

Yesterday I wrote about the growing open source wave in developing countries and how using OSS helped some of them realize much needed savings.

How about other governments who can afford to buy software, why are they encouraging, and sometimes even enforcing the use of OSS?

I mentioned in a few blog entries that several European governments (including the U.K., Italy and Germany) were encouraging the use of open source. Today I read this article on InfoWorld that talks about a country with a much stronger stance against proprietary software. It's a rather wealthy country: Norway.

Norwegian officials are quoted saying things like: proprietary formats will no longer be acceptable in communication between citizens and government… and adding that this would be the last time they make a presentation available on the Net with proprietary media software (talking about PowerPoint and Excel). Even though they tend not to name Microsoft specifically it’s pretty obvious. It's funny to see that despite all this, the Norwegian government works closely with Bill Gates on worthy charitable projects.

Why do you think all these countries are on a crusade to destroy Microsoft? Is it really about savings? Or freedom? Are they jealous of Microsoft's (and to a larger extent American software vendors) dominance and want to break free from America’s lock on the global software industry? Do they believe OSS is much safer and offers better quality software?

The cool image used in this post was borrowed from


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