The Cabinet Office’s Public Consultation on Open Standards formally closed on Monday 4th June and we have welcomed the opportunity to participate in the process as well as provide our thoughts regarding the important issues raised by the consultation. Please view the cover letter (PDF, 333KB) and response document (PDF, 624KB) of our full submission to the consultation for more information.
The five key points that drove our response were:
1. We are in full agreement with the government’s objectives of encouraging SME participation in the market for government ICT, improving value for money from government ICT spend, and fostering increased interoperability between government departments.
2. We strongly support open standards, both through participation in the development of standards by a range of Standards Setting Organizations and by implementing standards in our products and services.
3. We support a broad definition of open standards that includes Fair Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms with or without a royalty (at the option of the patent holder), because we believe this fosters innovation for upstream and vertically integrated innovators, as well as allowing downstream participants access to new and innovative technologies.
4. We support government recommending (not mandating) multiple open standards which have reached sufficient threshold of market acceptance, to ensure that government departments deploy products and build systems that are more interoperable.
5. We would discourage policies that result in the creation of parallel government and non-government markets, which could be an unintended side-effect of this policy proposed in the Consultation.
We look forward to reading the responses of others as well as hearing the thoughts of the Cabinet Office when they have considered all the submissions to this important consultation.
Mark FerrarNational Technology OfficerMicrosoft UK