Thanks for this update from the Netherlands
Dec 27, 2006
8:32 AM EST
|After reading this article, I have some hope that some Dutch municipalities will start to free themselves from Microsoft's grip. However, it looks as though the federal government will be chained to Microsoft for the foreseeable future. :-(|
Dec 27, 2006
9:31 AM EST
|Here's some of the latest:
Large Dutch cities supporting open source
,----[ Quote ] | Arthur Buijs from the Dutch OpenOffice.org community just pointed me | to this Dutch article. According to the article, a number of large | Dutch cities including Almere, Assen, Eindhoven, Enschede, | Groningen, Haarlem, Leeuwarden and Nijmegen have decided to | support open source. The article says that the cities are | interested in open source because Microsoft software is being | perceived as expensive and the software does not not work well | together with competitive products on other platforms. | | [...] | | Here is the full article: A large number of big cities don't want | to be dependent of Microsoft anymore. Together they have 1.2 million | inhabitants. They demand open source software from their suppliers. | Almost all desktops run Microsoft Windows and also have word | processors and spreadsheets made by the American software giant | installed. It has been some time that counties - and not only in | the Netherlands - try to be less dependent of Microsoft. For some | time there have been very good alternative programs. Some are even | free of charge. In real life, they are rarely used because | ict-companies do not support them. Attempts to force them have run | into problems with European legislation. Eight large Dutch counties | have now taken the first step by publishing a manifest calling on | ict-companies to support open source. In fact Almere, Assen, | Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Haarlem, Leeuwarden and Nijmegen are | giving a message to these suppliers, saying they don't stand a chance | getting major orders if they don't comply. Some of these counties | have already dumped their suppliers for that reason. The software | of Microsoft - and some other leading (database) companies - is not | only expensive. Another problem is that their data is not exchangable | with competitors programs. These software giants also invent new | standards, forcing their clients to buy new software and convert | their data to those new standards. Dutch government promotes the | use of open standards and open source by their Ososs program. A | spokesman of Ososs says the action of these counties is a true | breakthrough for open source software. `----
City of Amsterdam announces experiment with open-source software
,----[ Quote ] | The City of Amsterdam said Friday it will spend euro300,000 | (US$400,00) testing open source software in two administrative | districts in 2007, in a potential blow for the city's current | main supplier, Microsoft Corp. | | Open source software is developed for free by volunteer | programmers, and leased by providers who usually only charge | for service and support. | | City spokeswoman Marjolijn van Goethem said Amsterdam's | housing department and one of its borough offices _ Zeeburg _ | would test a Linux-based operating system on city computers, | and open-source document software, replacing Microsoft Windows | and Office. `----
Lead the way, Holland, and show the world how it's done.
Dec 27, 2006
3:43 PM EST
|Beirwin: That's OK. I live in the Netherlands, and I'll do my best to keep you informed. I didn't write the article earlier when the 8 municipalities published the manifest, because, unofficially, I heard at least The Hague and possible Amsterdam were to follow. Now, Nijmegen and Leeuwarden for example aren't very famous outside our own country, but on the other hand, The Hague and Amsterdam are. Therefore, I waited a bit.
In the informal circuit, I heard open source and free software are used far more in Dutch business than it appears on the surface; most companies don't speak out about using open source or free software. You really have to ask.
For example, I met a guy who started a one-man migration company, migrating file- and printservers from Windows to Linux. He didn't do _any_ advertising, but still, the number of people 'finding' him without himself not knowing how, was so overwhelming, he needed more people. I also joined a presentation about a migration from MS Exchange to OpenExchange. The company who does this, told, in a lot of cases, it is quite possible. However, in many cases the companies screwed up and made a mess of their infrastructure. In the example given, the business to be migrated from Exchange to OpenExchange did everything with MS Access, which made it very, very difficult to migrate, and some 'data' was lost, and a lot had to be 'manually' migrated. So, under the surface, a lot is happening both at the local level and the business level, but still not at the federal level. However, since we just had elections in the Netherlands and the 'open source supporting parties' won a lot of "parliament-seats", this might change in the near future.
If you still want more info about Open Source in the Netherlands, let me know, and I'll see what I can do for you.
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