28 June 2006

Open Source Software Gaining Momentum: Taiwan, Belgium

The logic of adopting open source software in governments has been recognized in several governments, such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Taiwan and Belgium are the latest into the club of governments adopting and promoting open source software, for a number of not too suprising reasons:
  • Taiwan (and presumably China is next) are fed up with high licensing fees, most of them paid to Microsoft. The sums involved are staggering.
  • Belgium, on June 23rd, 2006, issued a press release confirming the adoption by the Belgium government of the Open Document Format (ODF) in government. An excerpt from the press release follows (my translation): "In the first stage, each federal Department and Agency must ensure that documents in ODF format can be read. A transitory period is planned. This will enable all administrators to take all necessary measures without jeopardizing level and quality of service. Further progress will depend on the impact assessment study and on the existence of appropriate plug-ins for reading and saving documents in ODF format. This decision illustrates the overall federal government strategy of promoting the use of open standards." Thanks to Russell McOrmond for reporting this (GOSLING mailing list).
[cross-posted on G2TT]