Dutch governmental plan for Open Standards: Netherlands in Open Connection

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As you may have heard ([1], [2]), the Dutch government has recently attracted Microsoft’s anger by launching an actionplan to adopt open standards, and concretely OpenDocument Format by April 2008 in the national government. Open Standards will become mandatory and Free Software will be preferred.

As the Minister of State, Frank Heemskerk, argued, this plan is not to exclude any company, but to stimulate information exchange, vendor independence and choice for various software products that implement open standards, [3].

Heemskerk has received strong support, in October created OpenDoc Society, which has been co-founded by the Free Knowledge Institute, to share knowledge about OpenDocument Format.

Last Wednesday the main political parties in Dutch Parliament urged the minister to enforce the plan more strictly and set up a support team on open standards.

The Ministry of Economical Affairs has published an english version of the plan on its site today, [4 (PDF, 409k)].

[1] Slashdot
[2] MacWorld
[3] http://www.fd.nl/csFdArtikelen/HFD/y2007/m12/d12/HFD1002519419 (Dutch, dead link…)
[4] http://www.ez.nl/dsresource?objectid=154648&type=PDF (PDF, 409 kB)