Sun Chairman Scott McNealy seemingly wants to shine some light on the benefits of software that is open sourced, but by advocating government mandates he’s calling for the specter of regulatory darkness. Here’s a quote from him in a BBC article:
“The government ought to mandate open source products based on open source reference implementations to improve security, get higher quality software, lower costs, higher reliability – all the benefits that come with open software.”
One could dispute the substance of his comment, but not his motive:
“Open source does not require you to pay a penny to Microsoft or IBM or Oracle or any proprietary vendor any money.”
Ah, so it’s all about some businesses getting a leg up over others, and using government to do so. Even Matt Asay writes that he’s not a supporter of mandates.
The scary thing is that, according to the BBC article, McNealy has been asked to prepare a paper on open source for the Obama administration! As the new administration is touting open government, let’s hope it remains open to the best products that are available, whatever license they may carry, without tech mandates.