I read today that the South African government is more committed to ODF than ever.
(ODF – is Open Document Format – for the unwashed…) As someone who has been involved with open source since 1998 – I believe that the support and adoption of ODF by the South African government would never have happened if Open Office had not reached it’s current level of maturity.
Ostensibly, support for ODF is a public policy position with declaratory, functional and political aspects. It is also impossible to ignore the fact that Microsoft in South Africa is a powerful competitor for government business with excellent products.
Therefore – I believe that this is primarily an economic decision.
The Rand has depreciated from 7 to almost 12 on the US Dollar since last June. A committment to ODF is also support for Open Office and Ubuntu – all excellent, free Open Source products that save the South African tax-payer millions of Rand a year on license fees to Microsoft.