European Commission: All Talk on Open Source, Open Standards?

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For all its talk about open standards and avoiding proprietary vendor lock-in, the European Union hasn't done much to back it up with action. Reuters reports that despite competition commissioner Neelie Kroes' call for government agencies to use open source and open standards, the European Commission is "working in a Microsoft environment."


Christos Ellinides, the commission's director of corporate IT solutions and services, defines the problem: Studies show the costs of moving to open source outweigh the benefits. But he admited that it may be time for new studies on the issue, perhaps at the "institutional level."

We like to make sure that economies of scale are taken into account, as opposed to everyone doing their own thing.

To that end, he plans to speak with several EU government organizations before moving ahead with changes, the story says.


This isn't the first time that governments in Europe have been accused of apathy when it comes to open source, and the commission itself has backpedaled before, too.


Given the history here, I wouldn't put much stock in the open source talk at the EU -- not until it starts to act upon it, anyway. As much as we hate to admit when our parents were right, actions really do speak louder than words.