Rollie Hawk writes "The White House and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent out notice this week that government purchases, including in IT, need to be open to many brand names. 'We are concerned the use of brand name specifications in agency solicitations may have increased significantly in recent years, particularly for information technology procurements,' according to the OMB. AMD is certainly happy with this news, having long complained of the unholy marriage between the Fed and Intel. Perhaps this will even open the way for Linux and other open-source options being chosen over Microsoft and the like. If this works out, it will lead to a better fiscal situation on many fronts. The increased competition will lower the cost to taxpayers (though the money will still get spent somewhere) and the wider spread of contracts will help competitors to chip away at the dominance of Microsoft and Intel."