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Legalized drugs, now open source. Those crazy Dutch!

The Dutch central government reports on its adoption of open-source software, finding significant benefits in its significant movement to open source.

While some organizations continue to hide their open-source adoption, NOiV (Nederland Open in Verbinding), has published a map of over 200 open-source products currently in use by the Dutch central government as of mid-2009. (Translation here.)

Spoiler alert: there's a whole lot of open source being used by the Dutch government.

NOiV concludes in its study (PDF) that that Dutch central government is on the right track with open source for the operating system (platform) and middleware, but is in a very early phase of looking at business applications.

Open-source Networking Software Used by Dutch government NOiV

The main obstacle for moving from closed to open source even faster than it has is the high cost of migration, something that afflicts middleware and applications more than it does operating systems, as Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst recently noted.

Lest you think this move to open source is inspired by a cloud of cannabis smoke, the report also mentions significant improvements in interoperability (31 percent), cost reduction (8 percent), and quality improvements in the municipal governments (22 percent).

If that's what open source delivers, pass the bong!

The adoption map shows a wide range of open-source technologies being adopted, but the big winners at present are Linux, MySQL, Nagios, OpenOffice (and associated ODF plug-in), Firefox, Apache (Web server), SSH, and Tomcat.

With Forrester suggesting that 2009 IT budgets will fall 10.6 percent in 2009, it's a good time to be looking at high-value, low-cost open-source software. Just like those crazy Dutch.

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.