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Europe Is a Microsoft Shop

"For the moment, we are working in a Microsoft environment."
-- Christos Ellinides, the director of corporate IT solutions and services at the European Commission

If you love irony, you have to love that quote. After years of hacking away at Microsoft by imposing fines and generally being a nuisance, the European Commission is looking at itself to find that it's still, at least in part, a Microsoft shop.

Oh, sure. The EC's been talking about moving to open source applications and using open standards -- competition czar and Microsoft hater Neelie Kroes harps on that stuff repeatedly -- and it seems to be happening to some extent. But there's still a lot of Microsoft applications in the EC's shop. And while it's not news for a government entity to have a big investment in Microsoft, it's funny that the EC itself -- tormentor of Redmond for so long -- is still heavily Microsoft.

Another quote from the same story that struck us came from a guy with the best title we've run across so far this year: Francisco Garcia Moran, director general of directorate general (informatics). Apparently Francisco is an EU official, although it's hard to tell whether he's EU, EC specifically or both.

Whatever. Director general of directorate general (informatics) -- and, yes, we love the parentheses -- is simply bureaucra-tastic, and it makes your editor want to change his (unofficial) title to something like editor of editing (newsletter) or maybe senior editor of the editors senior (magazine). At the very least, we demand parentheses for all titles in Redmond Media Group.

Anyway, Moran's quote reads thusly: "The European Commission not only uses Microsoft products...It uses many other products from both commercial suppliers and from the open source world."

Huh. So the EC has a hybrid atmosphere, then, kind of like thousands (millions?) of other governments and enterprises around the world. Well, what do you know? Apparently Microsoft hasn't crushed its competitors altogether. And, apparently, despite Neelie's most stinging one-liners, Europe hasn't rid itself of Microsoft, either. We love irony.

Have a thought on Europe, the EC and Microsoft? Send it to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 06/18/2008 at 1:22 PM


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