The Open Source Consortium, (OSC) the independent voice of the European open source community has announced a free guidance service to help organizations considering open source technology for the first time. The OSC will pilot the service in the U.K.

The service is intended to provide first-line information on where to look for a suitable solution and where to source independent expert advice on areas such as legal issues, insurance, support and training. The service will be extended to France and Germany towards the end of the year if the UK model proves successful. OSC executive director Mark Taylor said: “The new service is aimed at supporting those organizations who are interested in learning more about open source technology but unsure of who to approach in the first instance. If we can make that process easier then we are delighted.”

Taylor said that he expected most requests for information and technical support to come both from the public sector — “that’s our raison d’