Feeds

Open standards group to beat Microsoft at its own game

Government lobbying, here we come

Intelligent flash storage arrays

IGF The first "dynamic coalition" resulting from the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has vowed to get governments interested in adopting open standards for both hardware and software.

A panel, which included academics, business, and standards bodies argued its case in Athens, where one of the aims of open discussions between different groups has been to get like-minded people together.

Sun Microsystems government policy head Susy Struble warned of "technical hooks" being embedded into standards, where companies suddenly claim controlling rights to widely adopted protocols, and argued that government's proper role in developing standards needed to be understood. "A truly open standard provides for the highest level of competition," she said. "It provides more equitable access, and wider, global interaction."

Meanwhile, Yale Information Society Project head Eddan Katz argued that people tend to overlook the power governments have on standards - not only in the purchase and widespread use of the chosen technologies, but in the huge databases of information built by governments using particular formats.

What no one at the launch - which included the head of technology at the Library of Alexandria, Professor Magdy Nagi, Daniel Dardieller from W3C, and Free Software Foundation Europe president Georg Greve - would say, however, was that the initiative is hoping to take Microsoft on at its own game, namely, persuading governments of the advantages of its software.

Ever since Linux was officially promoted as a threat to Microsoft's enormous global software reach, representatives from the software giant have gone to extraordinary lengths to promote the Microsoft software model with governments across the world. The drive has been very successful, and despite numerous reports praising the advantages of open source software, governments have tended to stick with what they know.

It is this inertia that the "Open Standards Workshop Organisers Form Coalition" hopes to fix.

"Governments talk about open standards in general terms," explained Jamie Love from the Consumer Project on Technology. "It's one thing to agree, but quite another to implement it."

Struble gave recent examples of the Danish government and the State of Massachusetts' decision to use the open document format (ODF) as models.

The group therefore aims to produce a best practice guide for governments in moving to open standards. The process will begin with a "data collection phase" starting immediately and continue with a Yale University symposium on the issue on 3 February. ®

Related links

The announcement blogged by Robin Gross of IP Justice

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.