Will the EU Adopt FLOSS to Better Compete Against the U.S.?

by on February 16, 2007 · 2 comments

Here’s another installment of my analysis of the voluminous Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) report issued by the European Commission. In my last blog post, I discussed how the EC’s
is a call to action for Europe’s policymakers. The ambitious proposals in the report aim to do for Europe’s ICT industry what the Airbus project did for Europe’s aeronautics industry.

This realization makes the report less about open source software, and more about industrial policy (not necessarily in a bad way).

If you’re going to have industrial policy, however, you need the industry. In Section 6–FLOSS Role in the Economy: Market Share and Geography–the authors argue that Europe has both parts of a successful FLOSS industry equation: developers and users. This section is not a “build it and they will come” proposition; rather, the
authors proclaim to policymakers “build FLOSS apps because FLOSS developers are
already here.”

In the first of two posts about Section 6, I analyze the report’s discussion of the kinds of FLOSS use in Europe and the rest of the world.

How Popular is FLOSS? 

It is an undeniable fact that the use of free and open source software is growing rapidly throughout the world and in Europe. In some cases, FLOSS software applications are even outpacing all of their proprietary competitors. Section 6 provides statistics and data from dozens of sources to back this up.

Read my full analysis over at the ACT blog.

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