French parliament goes open source, enables ODF

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Nice news out of Paris today via CNet: “French parliament dumping Windows for Linux.”

“The study showed that open-source software will from now on offer functionality adapted to the needs of MPs (members of parliament) and will allow us to make substantial savings despite the associated migration and training costs,” the parliament said.

While this is not a statement about ODF, it certainly enables it via OpenOffice. But what about Microsoft’s immense Open XML epic spec, you might ask? Even if Novell works on it, I think Open XML support in OpenOffice will be partial, at best. So I think the French Parliament will either stick with the old binary Microsoft formats or start a migration to ODF. Since ODF is the future, I’m optimistic that this will further accelerate its adoption.

Also see InfoWorld and ComputerWeekly.

One Comment

  1. So, the French parliament have decided to go for and Linux instead of Word and Windows.

    It’s likely that they will want some technical skill on standby in case of problems; in just the same way that if you are running a credit services business with credit cards, you need to have people who can resolve billing disputes between consumers and merchants. A ‘help desk’, if you like, who can take the source code for OOo, pull it apart, find whatever the problem may be, fix it, rebuild it, get it back in the hands of the paying customers who need to use it.

    French senators and congressmen (or whatever they have) are probably not skilled in doing it themselves, so they are likely to be putting a contract for this out to tender soon.

    And whatever else this Microsoft/Novell deal may have done, it does mean that Microsoft have 80000 resellable SuSE Linux support contracts in hand; they are rather like one of these phone-card companies, buying billions of long-distance minutes from ATT and remarketing them ‘retail’. So Microsoft can bid for this contract, and call on Novell engineers to deliver.

    Of course, others can bid for the contract, too; it’s rather more competitive than the old days of Windows and Word only. But times move on; to be successful, you need to sell the client what the client wants to buy. If he doesn’t want Windows, you can try Linux Services.

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