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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Open letter to President Obama

Perhaps you heard about the open letter we sent President Obama urging the consideration of open source, where appropriate, in government. With signatures from many of the thought leaders in the open source world, the response was terrific.

While such a position will generally attract comments from all extremes, the feedback was very positive. Interesting, in one interview, I was asked why the need for such a letter given that the US government has traditionally been receptive to open source.

While it is true that many sectors are receptive, including organizations like DISA and the great work of folks like John Garing (CIO), there are many others where that’s not the case. But perhaps more significantly, the current economic conditions warrant a renewed focus on open source. It shocks me how few people appreciate how much money can be saved in infrastructure costs alone with open source software. But, those that “get it” are certainly reaping the benefits.

Furthermore, Obama has made it quite clear that he and his administration are seeking input on how best to build and execute on key pieces of their strategy. And with IT a key piece of the administration’s focus, the time couldn’t be better for such a stance. What do you think?