Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to Discuss Open Source with Australian Prime Minister
June 14, 2004
OSIA, Australia's Open Source industry body, has expressed interest in a recent announcement that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be having discussions with the Prime Minister. The organization has raised several topics for discussion, including investment in Australia, support of open standards, bridging the digital divide with open source, and equal time for open source. Topic 1 raises concerns about Microsoft's lack of R&D investment in Australia compared to other ICT vendors, and questions why the government should continue to purchase software from Microsoft. Topic 2 focuses on the high costs associated with migrating away from specific products due to vendor lock-in strategies, such as non-standards compliance, and calls for Microsoft to open document and unencumber the Windows API and Microsoft Office file formats as open standards. Topic 3 highlights the success of Extramadura in boosting its economy through distribution of free Linux CDs to its citizens, and suggests that the Australian government should promote freely available, open source IT solutions to help bridge the digital divide. Finally, Topic 4 calls for equal time for the open source industry to present its own vision for the future of ICT.