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[News] European Commission Leans Towards Free Software

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Open source and the European Commission

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| The overall position, while officially neutral, is beginning to lean toward 
| open source. For example, in a November 2007 speech, commissioner for 
| information society and the media Viviane Reding called for the creation of a 
| European Strategy for Software. She pointed out that while 70% of the open 
| source software developers in the world are European, 90% of the revenue 
| generated by open source software was going to US-based companies.     
| While Reding did not actually go so far as to demand a strategy for software 
| based on open source, she did not really need to. Similarly, competition 
| commissioner Neelie Kroes told a meeting in June that no citizen or company 
| should be forced or encouraged to use a particular company’s technology to 
| access government information.     



EU: Europarlement testing Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Parliament's IT department is testing the use of GNU/Linux 
| distribution Ubuntu, OpenOffice, Firefox and other Open Source applications, 
| the British MEP James Nicholson explained last week in a letter to Italian 
| MEP Marco Cappato.   


EC probes OOXML standards-setting process

,----[ Quote ]
| A spokesman for the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, told 
| The Register that regulators were continuing to scrutinise interoperability 
| issues related to Microsoft’s products following complaints from the 
| Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) group.   
| As part of that process, the EC formally contacted a number of national 
| standards bodies, including the Norwegian Standards Institute (NSI), 
| requesting more details about possible irregularities in the OOXML 
| standardisation process.   
| [...]
| “It must be stressed that it is not the Commission's intention to influence 
| the outcome of this process, but the Commission considers it essential to 
| ensure that European competition law is not violated in the course of the 
| standard setting process,” he said in an email to El Reg.   
| In January the EC began formal anti-trust probes against Microsoft in two 
| cases where it was alleged that the multinational firm had abused its strong 
| market position. As part of the investigation into the first case, the 
| Commission said that it would scrutinise OOXML on the grounds that the 
| specification doesn't work with those of competitors.    


EU Commission Investigating Microsoft's MSOOXML Push

,----[ Quote ]
| I hope they think to investigate the smear campaigns that seem to always 
| happen to anyone on the other side from Microsoft. What happened to Peter 
| Quinn was by no means unique.  

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