Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hurray for Open Source!

Oregon has become a home for development of open source software and hardware. The recent announcement by google of a $350,000 grant to Portland State and Oregon State Universities for open source development is one more indication that this movement is strong and growing in the Pacific Northwest.

As a computer user, I'm thrilled that the alternatives to Microsoft are growing and have become real options. A few years ago, during the anti-trust case against Microsoft, I was browsing around on the U.S. Justice Department web site, looking at developments in the Microsoft Anti-trust Case. I took the opportunity to send an email (you know, all of these sites have a "contact us" link) to the people working on the case about one of my main peeves about Microsoft, from my view as the owner of a small business. I related that many clients, particularly federal agencies, required reports from contractors to be submitted as Microsoft Word files, often specific versions of the software. This was one of the main reasons I migrated my company from WordPerfect to MS Word, at considerable expense. My question to the Anti-trust team concerned the role of the federal government in creating and supporting the Microsoft monopoly by requiring use of the software.

As you might imagine, I never received a reply from the Justice Department team (maybe it was because I was using Eudora instead of the Microsoft email software?).

So right on open-sourcers.


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