Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Friday, April 07, 2006

Norway Out in the Open

The signs were there for anyone who was watching. The next mover and shaker for open technologies is... Norway. Its Ministry of Government Administration and Reform has announced its intention of breaking the lock-in of public information to proprietary data formats. (For you norwegian speakers, the offical press release is here).

While ODF is not mentioned by name (neither is Microsoft, though news articles couldn't resist portraying this as Norway and open source vs. MS), open data formats are clearly the driver of Norway's open standards plans.

Norway's main message is this: access to public information will not be dependent upon software owned by any IT company.

The Minister, Heidi Grande Røys, put it nicely in an interview with Norway's leading business newspaper:
It would be unthinkable to force Norwegians to use one telephone company when calling public offices. But that, in principle, is what we have allowed in the computer sector.
Norway's next step: setting up an experts panel to set standards on public information. One would expect OpenDocument Format and interoperability to be major topics of consideration.

No comments: