The Gnome Foundation, the open source organisation behind the Gnome desktop environment for Linux-based systems, has announced it is teaming up with the Open Source Consortium (OSC), the pressure group promoting Open Source software to businesses in Europe.

The Gnome Foundation is an umbrella group of volunteers and companies who's aim to is supply backing for the Gnome project. Gnome itself is a free desktop environment for use across desktops, servers and portable devices.

Gnome will join OSC's Community Advisory Board and work with the OSC to promote the open source desktop. The move reflects the Gnome Foundation's support for the work of the OSC.

Gnome would also like to piggyback on OSC's work in promoting the use of open-source software in Europe.

As part of the organisation, the Foundation will hope to raise the profile and acceptance of its interface as a standard for open-source systems throughout Europe. Gnome's rival KDE has a significant hold on Linux desktops in Europe, so the move also advances Gnome's chances of gaining market share.

The OSC recently helped out with the BECTA report which claimed that British schools could make, on average, 37 per cent savings by switching to open source. Clearly, if the switch was made, this would be a big opportunity for Gnome. The OSC is also behind the Open Source Academy, funded by the Office Of The Deputy Prime Minister, which promotes the adoption of Open Source software in the British public sector.

In a statement, Owen Taylor, chairman of the board of directors of the Gnome Foundation said, 'The Gnome Foundation welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the OSC and increase adoption of Free and Open Source Software in public administrations in Europe. We are excited about the value we can bring to governmental organisations through the OSC.