The European Commission (EC) has backed open source software in a report published last week into its business deployment.

The report found that “in almost all cases”, open source software offered greater long term savings on the total cost of ownership in comparison to proprietary, commercial equivalents.

The findings of the report, by Netherlands-based academics based at the United Nations University in Maastricht, are drawn from project analyses in six different European Union countries and will come a blow to Microsoft.

The commercial software giant has been at pains recently to prove its support for, and competitiveness with, freely available open source desktop productivity tools.