European Commission seeks widespread adoption of Windows 7

Steve BallmerThe European Commission looks set to upgrade its I.T. infrastructure to Microsoft Windows 7, according to PC World. This has rubbed a few people up the wrong way, not least of all open-source proponents, accusing the commission of favouritism in handing out its IT contracts.

The move would see more than 36,000 desktops upgraded to Windows 7, in a contract that could tie the commission to a 5-year deal with Microsoft. Red Hat distributor Jan Wildeboer expressed his dismay that the commission has opted out of going open-source in favour of a “lock-in” deal with the Windows giant:

We are hopeful that the Commission will practice what it preaches. In the interests of a fair and free market we must have vendor-neutral tendering..

According to the IDC European governments represent a massive 19% of all software purchases within the European Union, making this deal (although not yet finalized) a big win-win for Microsoft with potential for millions in revenue.

Commission spokesman for Inter-Institutional Administration Antony Gravili stressed that no descision has been made yet insofar as a large-scale adoption of Microsoft’s flagship OS. But it seems these words have done little to allay fears in the open-source community.

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