Feeds

Hungary mandates open standards

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.