Nextcloud works with governments to create MS Office rival for the EU

The European Union's relationship with big tech companies has long been a fractious one. Its Digital Markets Act is aimed at reigning in their power and, among other things, it's credited with forcing Apple to adopt the USB-C standard.

In the latest development a number of European governments are working with Nextcloud to create a 'digitally sovereign' office platform, the aim being to help governments regain their independence from a small number of tech giants and allow them to confidently roll out digitization efforts.

This comes amid moves such as the German state Baden-Württemberg deciding US cloud services are not GDPR compliant, but Dutch, Swedish and other governments and data protection offices have come to similar conclusions.

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Nextcloud has announced the creation of an Advisory board with members of the Swedish, German, Swiss and other European federal and local governments. The board aims to further the development of Nextcloud Office, which is already widely deployed in the Government sector, opening direct communication between the development team and users.

The intention is that the office functions will be integrated in the Nextcloud collaboration platform which is already in use by hundreds of municipal, state, federal and EU government organizations . Compatibility with MS Office documents is seen as a key consideration. Nextcloud claims customers will have fewer cases where Nextcloud Office cannot display elements of documents than they would encounter on MS 365, especially when working with legacy documents and file formats.

The overall aim is to have a local, GDPR compliant, open source, standards-compliant, easy to use, performant and decentralized Office which does not suffer from vendor lock-in or data leaks to third parties and countries.

You can read more on the Nextcloud site.

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