first_imgMatt Asay, former Novell executive, VP of Open Source vendor Alfresco, and champion of the Open Source movement has a summary of a research article by Jyh-An Lee called “Production: Policy Implications of Open Source Software”.The crux of the article is that governments worldwide are warming to the idea of Open Source Software (OSS). As of September 2006, 99 governments in 44 countries had enacted some form of administrative or legislative support for OSS, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America.In the article, Lee says, “While governments considering supporting OSS are primarily concerned with significant switching costs and incompatibility problems. OSS is actually superior to proprietary software because it increases compatibility and consequently decreases switching costs in the long term.”Governments are increasingly considering OSS during the procurement cycle. Some governments, like France, have decided or at least seriously considered moving from Microsoft Windows to Open Source Linux systems. Germany and China are also examples of governments that are adopting OSS within various government agencies.Lee argues that “…the government should take into account the long-term interests of society and not merely its own interests as a consumer. OSS is better than proprietary software when it comes to increasing compatibility and network effects… Governments can also legitimately provide a critical mass in order to promote the availability of OSS products and subsequent competition in the software market.”last_img

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