French parliament dumping Windows for Linux

November 28, 2006

I’ve been too busy with Chandler 0.7alpha4 end game to post here and I was sort of waiting for a good RC before hailing the faithful. Anyway, now that I decided to use that blog instead of my OSAF daily (and boring) web log to give news, here I am again…

One piece of news from France (article in English) also prompted me to act. That’s nice to see a government working coherently toward what they’ve been saying for a long time now, Microsoft antitrust allegations nonwithstanding. Also, it should be mentioned that the French government does sponsor quite a few Open Source projects through various governement owned research bodies (INRIA being the biggest of all) so it seems logic they try to get some return on their investment there.

One thing I found interesting though was that a fairly big consulting corporation (Atos Origin) wrote the study that finaly pushed the governement to act. Coming from a consulting firm which is an Intel and Microsoft partner, this is quite interesting and a good news for Open Source applications: having a couple of high profile cases like the French parliament is good to credibilize Open Source but having significant European consulting firms putting their weight behind Open Source applications is even better. So far, their support has been very much limited to backend and server solutions so having them moving into the Open Source applications realm (a subject of high significance for us at OSAF) is important. This gives some hope that Open Source applications will spread further and faster.

So, now, what about the European Parliament? They already published a recommendation favoring Open Source (dig through point O.18), but, so far, it looks more like one of those bureaucratic lip service to a politically popular cause than anything else. Last I heard, they’re still using Windows over there… Will they be next?