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Europe admits its unhealthy dependence on Microsoft

Commission kept doing backroom deals

The European Commission has admitted that for 20 years it had an unhealthy dependence on Microsoft software.

Apparently it realised the problem in 2003 and vowed to do something about it, but in the end Redmond came back with offers it could not refuse. According to documents shown to Computer Weekly the European Commission's Directorate-General for Informatics was convinced by Redmond that the only way to reduce its dependence on Microsoft was to buy more Microsoft software.

It is not clear how this would work, but the Commission said it would buy Microsoft products in secret, without any competitive tendering, while promoting the use of competing open source software. This would create a situation where Open Source Software (OSS) - may emerge as viable alternative because the Commission is actively promoting it.

Last year the Commission's Information Resources Managers for Infrastructure upgraded to a Microsoft suite based on Windows 7 and Office 2010 in a backroom deal and so far open source companies did not get a look in.

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