April 2008. That's the date when the notoriously progressive Dutch government goes open source. The plan was approved unanimously yesterday in a meeting of two parliamentary commissions. The policy dictates that government organizations at the national level must be ready to save documents in the Open Document Format (ODF) by April, and the state and local level by 2009. Use of proprietary software and file formats from the likes of Microsoft will have to be justified under the new policy. The government expects to save $8.8 million a year on city housing registers alone by making the switch. Tough week, eh Microsoft? You'll have to get your OpenDocument plug-ins for MS Office ISO approved on the quick if you want to avoid further trouble.

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The Netherlands goes open-source in 2008