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EC To Provide Government Software Buying Guidelines

The European Commission is set to lay down software purchasing guidelines for the governments of its 27 member states, the New York Times has reported.

The Commission’s European Interoperability Framework guidelines are expected to provide help to national, local and provincial governments on the best software required to upgrade their systems.

Software giants Microsoft, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent have expressed dissatisfaction with the development, arguing against the EC’s guidelines. Others, including Google, IBM, Red Hat and Oracle, are in favour of the document and support the open source software it recommends.

“Europe has the opportunity to become a world leader on this issue, If they don’t take this opportunity, then Europe will become a follower,” said Tom Rabon, executive vice president for corporate affairs at Red Hat.

Although the contents of the document are not fully known, sources say that the EC leaves actual purchasing decisions to the individual governments.

The guidelines are expected to be released by the end of 2010.