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Obama considering open source?

By   |  January 21, 2009

Newly-elected US president Barak Obama may be considering open source software for use in government. That is according to Sun Microsystems co-founder, Scott McNealy.

McNealy has told the BBC that he has been asked to prepare a paper on the use of open source software in government for the new Obama-led administration.

“It is intuitively obvious open source is more cost effective and productive than proprietary software,” he said. “Open source does not require you to pay a penny to Microsoft or IBM or Oracle or any proprietary vendor any money.”

McNealy’s Sun Microsystems has had a long association with open source software through its support for and its own OpenSolaris operating system.

He said that he wants to ensure that the government does not get “locked in” to one specific vendor or company.

“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.”

Full report at BBC.



3 Responses to “Obama considering open source?”

  1. Richard
    January 21st, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    Love the fact that he used ExpressionEngine (open source, but not free) on

  2. Needs Sunlight
    January 24th, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    Bill and Steve made a special trip out before the inauguration to corner him. I presumed at the time they were begging for handouts or bailouts. But we see now that one of his first appointments has been Neil MacBride, who ended up, against all sensibility, in one of the senior Justice Department posts. MacBride comes directly from BSA, an arm Microsoft’s marketing and openly hostile to software quality:

    He can cause a lot of damage there and BSA’s interference with technology law and technology policy run against Obama’s stated platform. For right now, we can blame this one mistake on Biden.

    The Obama platform of Openness and transparency is grand in several meanings of the word. if he takes into account the Internet as a communications medium between the citizens and their elected officials, then obviously both open source and open standards become de rigeur.

    Let’s hope the lobbyists are too slow to mobilize further.

  3. CE
    January 27th, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

    If the us gov. truly chose open source as an option, it would be nice to see something like Ubuntu pull ahead and finally get open source coders a united front to stand behind. This thing with 20 applications that do the same thing, whether it’s torrent or play music, has got to stop. I think a huge os proponent would guide open source to be more uniform. On the really big plus side, it would be great to see the NSA contribute. Ahh well, here’s to hoping.

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