Japan is planning to put Microsoft to the sword. The government has announced that open source software will be top priority in public procurement, and vendors are lining up to provide it.
Open source may prove to be Japan's Field of Dreams, demonstrating to the world that when creating a market for open source, if government buys it, they will come.
The Ministry of Communications has issued new procurement guidelines that makes open source (specifically, Linux) a priority beginning on July 1.
Japan's open source move follows a recent policy declaring that technologies based upon open standards, including the OpenDocument Format (ODF), will have priority.
It is notable that the initial list of vendors jumping at the open source opportunities on offer by the Japanese government do not include any "pure" open source companies.
The Japanese government will need to be mindful that procurements involving open source are not like other IT procurements. They require real work by an agency to identify potential open source solutions and the support (internally, or by vendors, consultants or communities) BEFORE a tender is put into the market.
Categories: opensource, Japan