EU Superwoman Gives Open Source a Boost
Neelie Kroes is a force to be reckoned with. As head of the European Union's antitrust division, she holds in her hands the future — and the financial health — of any company foolhardy enough to make monopolistic advances on the Old World. To top it off, she's now a vocal proponent of Open Source software.
It's been known for some time that Ms. Kroes and the European Commission leaned towards the Open Source side of things, but any doubts were dispelled when she appeared Tuesday at the OpenForum Europe conference and sang the praises of software freedom. "[Using Open Source Software] is a very smart business decision," declared the European Commissioner for Competition. "No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first."
High level advocates like Ms. Kroes are of great value to the Open Source movement in Europe and elsewhere, particularly coupled with her unflinching stance towards closed and anti-competitive companies in Europe. Earlier this year, the Commission levied the largest antitrust fine in EU history against a well known opponent of Open Source software, totaling multiple billions of dollars.