Australian senator, Karen Lundy, believes US software "lock-in" reduces both competition and technology innovation, thereby hurting the Australian technology market. Speaking at an Australia 2020 Local Summit, Senator Lundy's remarks made clear her commitment to open source at the expense of "proprietary" systems. Her comments also negatively suggest that US software companies engage in planned obsolescence at the expense of Australian software buyers.
Australian IT reported:
"The lockdown of large agencies and departments around specific proprietary systems under the former government is a market failure resulting in very little competitive tension, and very little innovation," Labor's ACT senator, Kate Lundy, said yesterday. "There's a pre-timed refresh of the technology, and the money spent on license fees is effectively dead money because it's not going into innovation."
The arrangement had "sustained many of those larger US software companies and their place in the Australian market".
These are threatening words for software companies selling into the Australia market. As ZDNet's Jason Perlow describes, proprietary lock-in is an important strategy across all segments of the US software business:
Microsoft is hardly the sole practitioner of closed protocols and APIs, although they get the lion’s share of scorn in this area. The Insanely Cool Apple has a completely closed interface to the iPod, making 3rd party syncing software for non-Apple platforms a bit more than just a clever exercise in reverse engineering. Try to hook a non-Apple device into iTunes? Fuhgedaboudit. And as much as Google can play cool about being Open Source with Android, one only has to peek under the hood of the SDK to see it uses a completely proprietary, closed source JVM that sits on top of the Linux stack to provide the application environment.
These are scary times for both enterprise and consumer software companies. Based on such reports as this, that fear seems well-placed.