EU to member nations: "Use more open source"

The European Union has some sage words of advice for its member states: Open up to open source.

Last week I asked, "Should governments legislate open source?" This week, European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, the European Union's top antitrust official, sidestepped the "legislation" part and went for advocacy instead.

No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first....We need to be aware of the long-term costs of lock-in: you are often locked-in to subsequent generations of that technology. There can also be spillover effects where you get locked in to other products and services provided by that vendor.

Open source and open standards may be smart politics as Ms. Kroes dukes it out with Microsoft, but I prefer her summation that open standards are "a very smart business decision."

Indeed. Why would a sovereign nation ever cede that hard-fought sovereignty to private enterprise?

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