Yesterday, the EU called for more governments to favor open source over proprietary technology. European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, the EU’s top antitrust official, had this to say:
“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.” To Kroes, selecting open standards-based technology that doesn’t result in vendor lock-in and doesn’t require customers to pay fees is “a very smart business decision.”
Whether her comments are a shot at Microsoft – which is currently undergoing an EU investigation for violating antitrust laws – is besides the point. Governments have traditionally been a vertical where open source adoption has excelled, and for good reason: why bother paying for the software or dealing with vendor lock-in when you can simply get it for free. Kroes is right, it’s simply a smarter business decision. Now if only the rest of Corporate America would learn to leverage the same values that the EU has come to adopt.