Norway is becoming a real open source country. With all nineteen county administrations using some form of open source -- from operating systems, to content management systems, to the Open Office package, open source has certainly hit the Norwegian market. 

Open source has been in a fairly mature state for a while now, providing enterprises with the ability to deal with even the most critical tasks. So it's not surprising that the Norwegian government has chosen open software. 

Breaking Free from Proprietary Code

Going open source is a state policy. Two years ago, the Norwegian government granted two million kroner (225,000 euro) to the National Open Source Center. The center was to develop solutions that would help the country reduce its dependency on proprietary software. This was a wise move, because now it is giving results.

For instance, five years ago, only 34 percent of municipal administrations used open source, while today the percentage is nearly 60. With county administrations, the situation is similar -- a jump from 76 percent in 2005 to 100 percent this year.

Open Source Is Budget-friendly

So, why is open source gaining such a large market share in Norway? A cost that is less than proprietary software. The idea to cut spending without sacrificing performance is a lucrative one for any country and its administrations.

On the other hand, if the move to open source is forced, the benefits are not going to be obvious. Fortunately, the case in Norway isn't of forceful adoption and there are many resources to assist administrations in the process of going open source. 

Norway's adoption is impressive because it shows how open source can be used in the public interest. It is not all about money -- although savings do play a role in the choice -- it is more about the freedom from being locked into a proprietary solution.