Feeds

Hungary mandates open standards

Competition in the software game? We've heard of it

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Hungarian government has mandated the use of open standards in its departments in a move to help "foster" competition in the software market.

The Open Standards Alliance said that the Hungarian Parliament amended Act LX of 2009 on electronic public services last week.

It issued a 10-point amendment that makes the use of open standards in Hungarian government mandatory by law.

"Hungarian Parliament has made the use of open standards mandatory by law in the intercommunication between public administration offices, public utility companies, citizens and voluntarily joining private companies, conducted via the central governmental system," said the OSA, which had lobbied for changes to the Hungarian Parliament Act.

The OSA hoped such a move would "promote the spread of monopoly-free markets that foster the development of interchangeable and interoperable products," in effect paving the way for more competition in that market.

It's a bold step by the Hungarian government, and the open standard amendment may ultimately carry more weight than had Parliament only mandated the use of open source software in its departments. Because, after all, software licences - be they open source or proprietary - can be seen as a more restrictive way of convincing users to stick with that product.

But while Hungary may be held up as a shining example by some players in the software game, Blighty's efforts have been lambasted in some quarters.

In September public sector software procurement rules in the UK came under fire after several well-known open source vendors complained that a lack of enforcement effectively nullified the policy, thereby making OSS and open standard procurements a rarity rather than the rule.

Ingres software veep, Emma McGrattan told The Register last week that regulation was needed in Brussels to ensure open source and open standards were mandated by governments across Europe.

In not unrelated news, Ingres and Freesoft PLC won the Hungarian government's open source software tender, in a four-year $22.3m deal earlier this month.

"This is one of the largest open source procurements I have seen and we applaud the Hungarian government for leading the way in introducing competition and cutting back on proprietary software purchases," said Ingres CEO Roger Burkhardt on 7 December.

"In my opinion, the Hungarian government is showing the European Union that there is plenty of open source competition in the market today. I anticipate that more government bodies than before will be following Hungary's lead and will benefit from the cost savings that come with an open source deployment."

Of course, the open standards amendment doesn't blow Microsoft out of the political waters in Hungary. But it might make life that little bit tougher for Redmond when it tries to flog its wares to the Magyars. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.