British open source content management company, Alfresco, has launched in Europe and promised a new, Web 2.0 version of its CMS.

Although the company is based in the UK, it has been concentrating on making its name in the growing US enterprise content management system (ECM) market, said Alfresco CTO, John Newton, although it has signed up some early adopters including employment agency, Reed, Swansea Housing Association and Islington Council.

The company had just recorded its 700,000th download, ahead of target, said Newton, adding that large organisations have led themove to open source not the SMEs that he’d been expecting. "There have been main drivers, obviously cost, but also fear of vendor lock-in. There’s a definite trend towards open standards."

The next release of the content management system will increase the functionality further, Newton said, with Web 2.0 features in the imminent CMS 2.1 release. "The next step for enterprises has to be Web 2.0 architecture. We’re seeing how everything in different repositories has to be accessible through browsers as the browser is now becoming the point of interaction."

"Mashups are going to be very important,” added Newton. “Particularly mashups inside Microsoft Office passed through a simple plug-in."

The company is also a supporter of the OpenSearchprotocol, enabling information to be presented in a more accessible way. “It will give us a giant repository that everyone will be able to tap into,” said Newton.