EU: Europarlement testing Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox

Jad madi jad at
Mon Apr 14 05:32:15 BST 2008

pen Source News - 10 April 2008 - EU and Europe-wide - Evaluations,
Pilots and Studies

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.

According to Nicholson the tests show this Open Source configuration
meets the Parliament's office requirements. It does not mean that
Ubuntu will immediate replace the currently used system, he added.
"This depends on long-term developments and needs and functional
requirements of the Parliament. The stability of our IT systems is

Nicholson writes the IT department is considering a change in approach
of the IT services. The move to a so-called service-oriented
architecture could provide an opportunity to move to Open Source.

However, a swift switch is not possible, he warns. This would raise
serious problems in terms of support and guarantees for the IT
infrastructure. A migration to Open Source software should be based on
a cautious process, without interrupting the IT services. "The
Parliament will continue to monitor Open Source developments and if
possible will try to use this type of software."

Dominant position

With the letter, Nicholson replies to questions raised by Cappato in
March. The Italian MEP wants the European Commission to consider
moving to Open Source technology. This would be a positive signal for
Open Source as well as way to cut costs.

The European Commission has punished Microsoft with two fines
totalling 1.68 billion euro for abuse of a dominant position, Cappato
notes. Yet all the European institutions use mostly Microsoft
products. "This makes the institutions dependent on a single supplier
in a dominant position, with ensuing problems, such as the
accessibility of documents produced in proprietary formats and of
Jad/Hakam Madi


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