Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, gave a major speech this morning on open standards and competition. I encourage you to read it, “Being open about standards,” in its entirety.
There is much that is quotable in her talk and I’ll resist the urge to just include all of it. Here’s the very end of it:
When open alternatives are available, no citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to use a particular company’s technology to access government information.
No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first.
These democratic principles are important. And an argument is particularly compelling when it is supported both by democratic principles and by sound economics.
I know a smart business decision when I see one – choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed.
As you read the speech, think of examples of what she is describing.
For those of you working “in the trenches” on advancing open standards and the ideas behind them, I encourage you to take this as evidence and encouragement that people are listening to you and progress is being made.
Here is some additional coverage of her talk:
- New York Times: “E.U. Snubs Microsoft on Office Systems”
- Reuters: “EU’s Kroes: open standards are smart business move”
- CNNMoney/Dow Jones: “EU Pushes For More Open Tech Use, Rethink Of Standards”
Also see the discussion on Groklaw.