Open source adoption on the rise in the French government
According to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, his government is spending 15 per cent of its annual IT budget on services relating to open source software. These figures are taken from a report by the Conseil National du Logiciel Libre (CNLL), a trade organisation that represents companies which provide open source IT services. The report also says that this amount is currently growing by 30 per cent every year. Sarkozy said that open source and free software is "strategic for the development of France's digital sector."
In the statement, presidential candidate François Hollande also expressed his support for open source software. He agrees with Sarkozy that open source and open standards should be cultivated, especially in government and small and medium enterprises. Hollande is also strongly opposed to software patents and said that he "will ensure that the implementation of the Community patent is not an opportunity to legitimize software patents, mathematical methods and business methods." President Sarkozy, on the other hand, is in favour of software patents.
Where education is concerned, Sarkozy said that he is "inclined" to favour open source solutions in education but that it is not a priority for him; Hollande indicated that it would be very much a priority in his administration. Hollande wants to change the role of students from being consumers of information technology to becoming creators who are able to write and "decipher" source code.
Hollande and Sarkozy are currently involved in the French presidential elections, with the Socialist Hollande facing Conservative Sarkozy in a run-off ballot on 6 May.