European Union: Use More Open Source

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.