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NewsForge: Open Source in Government Conference Wrapup

Mar 24, 2003, 20:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"The Open Standards/Open Source for National and Local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU conference held in Washington DC March 17-19 was attended by nearly 500 people, not counting speakers. Microsoft representatives made a presentation about their Shared Source program, and that drew a handful of protesters, but both Microsoft and the protestors were minor sideshows that had little to do with the 'meat' of the conference.

"Microsoft's people were questioned harshly by the audience, and answered with PR-style sidesteps, maintaining over and over that only a tiny percentage of users ever want to look at a program's source code, and that an even tinier percentage would ever need or want to change it.

"The only truly amusing moment came when a Microsoft person talked about how Microsoft Word adhered to open standards by giving users the option of saving in many standard formats, including HTML..."

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