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Neelie Kroes on Open Standards

Neelie Kroes is an EU bureaucrat well-known to the open source and tech communities, because she is the relentless force bringing Microsoft’s monopolistic abuses to justice:

“Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the last four years, accusing the company of defying her orders and fining it nearly 1.7 billion euros, or $2.7 billion, on the grounds of violating European competition rules.”

The New York Times reports on Kroes’ recent suggestion that businesses and governments use open standards and avoid being tied to a single software supplier:

“Her comments were the strongest recommendation yet by Ms. Kroes to jettison Microsoft products, which are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run computers.

“I know a smart business decision when I see one — choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,” Ms. Kroes told a conference in Brussels. “No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one.”

She also encouraged the Netherlands (her home country) to continue moving toward open standards, and praised government agencies in Germany and France that have already done so (by migrating to Linux and/or

The EU is fast escaping Microsoft’s orbit, and they may leapfrog the USA in this round of global techno-competition. Their large-scale adoption of open source will strengthen many software projects, and that will benefit software users around the world.

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