Microsoft trying to gut EU IT policy, replacing open standards with proprietary junk - your letters needed!

Computerworld's Glyn Moody has been tipped off to a lobbying campaign by Microsoft to get free/open source and open standards excluded from the EU's digital "framework" -- the policy that will determine Europe's IT strategy. Microsoft's been trying to pervert this for months now -- last November, we caught them replacing the definition of "open" (as in "open standards") with a bunch of meaningless drivel that suggested that "closed" was just another kind of "open," only less so.

Glyn's sources tell him that a concerted letter-writing campaign to the European Commissioners responsible for the project would make a difference, and provides links to reach them.

The battleground is the imminent Digital Agenda for Europe, due to be unveiled by the European Commission in a month's time, and which defines the overall framework for Europe's digital policy. According to people with good contacts to the politicians and bureaucrats drawing up the Agenda, Microsoft is lobbying hard to ensure that open standards and open source are excluded from that policy - and is on the brink of succeeding in that aim.
Open Source and Open Standards under Threat in Europe (Thanks, Glyn!)


  1. I’ve always been amused and nonplussed (and, frankly shocked and dismayed at the audacity) of the Orwellian doublespeak that proprietary vendors apply to the word “open.” [OpenVMS, anyone?]

    It reminds me a bit of a can of whipped cream I bought this weekend. On the top of the can, in bold letters, were attestations of “Original” and “New and Improved!”

    I’m not a particularly Aristotelian guy, but in my view of the world, “open” and “closed” don’t overlap a whole bunch, and they definitely don’t mean the same thing. But you can almost be assured that when you see the word “Open” in computing, unless it’s from the F/OSS people, it means “closed.”

  2. Microsoft. (Sleazy) business as usual.

    Just another reason for me to quit using their products for good. I’m sick of having my data locked up and tied to some or other version of M$ software.

    1. “Just another reason for me to quit using their products for good.” but that’s NOT good enough… Microsoft are lobbying hard to pervert the meaning of “Open” to be what they want it to be so that when “Open” standards are mandated for government use, their “Open” products can still be used thus perpetuating the lockin via usage of hidden binary blobs to trap the data and make it impossible to access without using a Microsoft “solution”.

      The UK is currently just announcing a massive new initiative for the public to get access to their government in inputting their tax claims and processing other claims like claiming tax-credits and unemployment benefit via a personalised web-page… Microsoft would just love to lock this up and propose their “Open” solution to be used whereby it would be impossible to access the data without using Silverlight or MOOXML. If the documents are served up in MOOXML, then you will have to use the latest version of MS-Office to access the content… similarly, if the page requires Silverlight to navigate it, you won’t be able to use Linux based browsers to view them… although Microsoft will claim their Silverlight is cross-platform because you can run Moonlight… but Moonlight will always be behind the curve of new features that Microsoft will be churning out.

  3. I am truly appalled that anybody in their right minds would want to sign up to a deal such as this ! Have they never heard of ‘software lock-in’ It’s been a problem from Big Business for 50 FREAKIN YEARS ! ? The deal is – get tens- hundreds- and later, thousands of government & corporate bodies to agree to use a proprietary software “standard”, and EVERYBODY ELSE will have to agree to share that ‘standard’. Otherwise, suddenly, they can’t join in, they can’t share files, they can’t co-operate, communicate, they can’t work together. “Wanna read my e-mail, better buy the appropriate software… Cost you less than 20 bucks. Sorry, less than 200 bucks. Oh, I meant 1500. Er, 8275.00. Plus tax, sucker.”
    Doesn’t matter if that ‘standard’ remains tied into one company, global or not. The cost of changing your ‘standard’ software will be Quite Big after year 1, Large in year 3, HUGE in year 5, and after that, the proprietary Global Monster will own yer a*s. You will be unable to escape the clutches. If the cost of the software doubles, (hey, could happen), you will be unable to escape. If it quadruples, you will be unable to escape. If the cost octuples, (still, could happen. What’s to stop it ?), you will be either unable to escape, or you will have crapped out of the game. (Then, you WILL have escaped, but will also be dead.) DO NOT DO THIS. For the love of the FSM and all you hold dear, stay with the OPEN MODEL, people who don’t subscribe to corporate greed, who are aware of the dangers of software lock-in. It STULTIFIED computer progress in the 1950s, 60S AND 70S, don’t let it happen again, now, PLEASE ! Pay attention, don’t be short-sighted dickheads. We will be monitoring you and we will remember. And exact revenge. Thank you for watching. Trevor.

Comments are closed.