miércoles, enero 26, 2011

La fuerza del lobby

Kevin J. O'Brien, en The New York Times, comenta la irónica contradicción de que la Comisión Europea recomiende la adopción de software open source a los países integrantes, mientras estudia la renovación de sus licencias propietarias (Microsoft). Virtudes del lobbismo.
The European Commission, which last month urged governments across the Continent to develop computer systems that communicate better with one another, is itself considering extending its use of Microsoft software products that the company’s critics say are incompatible with other systems.
A commission task force has tentatively endorsed plans to upgrade 36,180 office computers used by the commission, the European Parliament and more than 45 other E.U. agencies to Windows 7 from Windows XP, according to minutes of a Dec. 15 meeting of the working group in Brussels that were obtained by the International Herald Tribune.
A day later, the full commission adopted a set of software purchasing guidelines called the European Interoperability Framework. Those guidelines exhorted E.U. governments to build and maintain interoperable software systems that incorporate “open source” products, which are free and use technology standards that are compatible with rival products.
“This is highly symbolic,” said Karsten Gerloff, the president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, a group based in Düsseldorf whose contributors include software developers and companies like Google and Red Hat, a seller of open-source software. “The commission is charged not just with running an effective organization but doing the right thing for Europe.”
The decision might be seen as ironic in light of the commission’s decade-long antitrust battle with Microsoft, which it accused of inappropriately preventing rivals from creating products that could be used with Windows, the operating system that powers the large majority of the world’s computers.

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