Norway Gov't Moves Toward Open Source

The Norwegian government on Friday said it will step up use of open-source software to reduce its dependency on computer giants like Microsoft.

"It should no longer be necessary to use software from the major, international computer companies to gain access to electronic information in the public sector," the government said in a statement. "Now that dependency will be broken."

For years, Microsoft's executives, including co-founder Bill Gates, have called free, open-source software a threat to technological innovation.

But proponents claim open-source lets software be developed quickly and easily because vast numbers of people can study, update and adapt programs without having to pay licensing fees.

The Ministry of Government Administration and Reform said measures to increase use of open-source programs includes a specialist panel to set standards for public information.

"Microsoft may well be a dominant supplier in the future as well, but will have to meet the demands of open standards," Administration Minister Heidi Grande Roeys was quoted as telling the business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv.

She said it would be unthinkable, for example, to force Norwegians to use one telephone company when calling public offices.

"But that, in principle, is what we have allowed in the computer sector," she was quoted as saying.

The statement said the project will also set standards to allow various operating systems to communicate with each other.

Several countries, including Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea have been actively moving toward open-source alternatives.

The Linux operating system and Mozilla Web browser are examples of free open-source technology that users are allowed to copy, modify and redistribute.


  • The 2021 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From Windows 10X to the next generation of Microsoft's application server products, here are the product milestones coming down the pipeline in 2021.

  • After High-Profile Attacks, Biden Calls for Better Software Security

    Recent high-profile security attacks have prompted the Biden administration to issue an executive order aiming to tighten software security practices across the board.

  • With Hybrid Networks on Rise, Microsoft Touts Zero Trust Security

    Hybrid networks, which combine use of cloud services with on-premises software, require a "zero trust" security approach, Microsoft said this week.

  • Feds Advise Orgs on How To Block Ransomware Amid Colonial Pipeline Attack

    A recent ransomware attack on a U.S. fuel pipeline company has put a spotlight on how "critical infrastructure" organizations can prevent similar attacks.