“Leave it to the French to tell an American multinational
where to go. Last year, having noticed how much money the
government was spending on software-mostly from Microsoft-Paris
bureaucrats advised state agencies to switch to cheaper products.
The Ministry of Culture has since ditched Windows in favor of
Linux, and other agencies plan to do likewise.”
“Europe’s competition authorities are keeping a careful eye on
the U.S. case against Microsoft. Brussels will likely want any
remedies imposed in America to be applied in its bailiwick, too.
And meanwhile, it’s proceeding with its own, separate antitrust
probe into Windows 2000. Yet as France’s Culture Ministry showed,
Bill Gates doesn’t enjoy quite the clout in the Old World that he
wields in the New. “In the U.S., it tends to be a foregone
conclusion that you’re wedded to Windows,” says Matthew Nordan,
senior analyst for Forrester Research in Amsterdam. “In Europe,
people are much more likely to search for alternatives.”