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InfoWorld: Italians revolt against Microsoft supremacy; demanding that government use open source

Oct 31, 2000, 15:14 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Philip Willan)

"The Italian state administration is excessively dependent on Microsoft's software, and the country could achieve significant budget savings if it switched to open-source software, according to an open letter that a group of information technology professionals is preparing to deliver to Public Administration Minister Franco Bassanini. The revolt against Microsoft's market dominance is being led by top state administrators, consumer groups, and academics, and the letter has been signed by about 1,000 people since it was posted on the Internet 11 days ago, said Manlio Cammarata, editor of InterLex ( www.interlex.it ), an online weekly magazine devoted to legal, technology, and information issues, which has hosted the document."

"It has had a far greater success than I expected," Cammarata said in an interview on Monday. "IT professionals feel very strongly about the issue, since they know the limits of Microsoft's products and the advantages of open-source software, especially in a public administration environment," he said. "We will present the letter to the minister in a few days, but it will take awhile to get a response. We're not in the United States here."

"We have started something that will be very difficult to stop," Cammarata said. "They will not be able to ignore this appeal. I already have confidential responses assuring me the government will take it seriously." The push for open-source software is likely to reduce Microsoft's market dominance, although its effects will be seen only gradually, Cammarata said."

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