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Swiss Open Source Decision Going Microsoft's Way

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the or-else-we-bank-secretly-elsewhere dept.

The Courts 105

hardsix writes "The recent legal wrangling between a group of open source supporters led by Red Hat against the Swiss government's decision to award an IT contract solely to Microsoft appears to be going Microsoft's way. A Swiss lawyer close to the case claims that a preliminary ruling has rejected the open source group's request to overturn the Microsoft contract however the case is still ongoing and there is still room for appeal. 'The Administrative Court hasn't made its final ruling yet but even if it finds in favor of Microsoft, there is still room for appeal. No matter what the ruling will be, an appeal will likely be filed to the Supreme Court, whose final word will have substantial significance in the future for public authorities with regards to computing services,' said Swiss legal firm BCCC AVOCATS. Open source supporters argue there has to be real political will for open source projects to succeed in the public sector."

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This isn't that outrageous (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965191)

If they look at the options and decide they still want Windows then let them buy Windows. The Windows platform does has a lot of advantages like a huge software library (especially well supported by commercial software), existing user familiarity, and the Office suite. If Red Hat isn't a good fit for their needs then where's the problem?

They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (4, Informative)

MediaStreams (1461187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965301)

Did you bother to read the actual articles? The issue is the fact that a single vendor was handed a contract without competing bids.

So, no, they didn't 'look at the options'.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965557)

Yes I did. They decided that there would be no point to accepting bids because Microsoft was the only vendor who had a product that could meet their needs. They did look at the options, and they decided that Microsoft had no competitors who could meet their criteria.

Keep in mind that others do have different views than us and can make an informed decision without coming to the same conclusions...

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (3, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965613)

If they didn't open it up to a public bidding process, then they have no idea what possible solutions were out there that could fit their needs.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (4, Insightful)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965761)

If they didn't open it up to a public bidding process, then they have no idea what possible solutions were out there that could fit their needs.

You're assuming the Government's IT department is completely ignorant of the world outside their doors; is it seriously plausible that they wouldn't know their options?"

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28966479)

The prison niggers appreciate those crackers in swissland going with the monisoft windows. Now we know we have whitey looking after us and we look to take white chicks up the ass. It be the best thing to run a train on a chubby low self esteem white chick, fucking her pussy and asshole all night long. It is almost as good as tapping some puerto rican ass, but that shit is tighter and when that bitch get violent (PR chicks always do) we just duct tape that mouth shut while we take turns cumming in that ass over and over. Mexican bitches be the best cause you can run up on a bitch with a fat ass in broad daylight and run a pimp train on that bitch in her anus and that immigrant husband won't do shit. When we got some gay ass niggers who want to fuck some male asshole, we just run up on a mexican man, who they gonna report. Sometimes we just abduct the bitch to our projects apartment for the week and fuck the shit out of her, until we get tired of that bitch. White bitches are more fun though, sometimes when the bitch is chubby and horny enough we just fuck her through for 2 weeks and come back in another week cause her fat ass is ready for more. Smack bitches with a 10 inch cock. I once raped this indian chick, she was mad weak, so i got my boys to run a train on her that lasted 3 days. She looked like frosty the snowman after we all got done with cumming on her. She got that shit so hard she must of spit cum for a month. I recently visted her and punched her in the face before I got inside that ass again. We be abnormal.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28967441)

Yes, but you do know why most government contracts (no matter what country you're in) are opened to bids, right? There's a reason things are done differently when public money is involved, and it has nothing to do with politics.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970411)

...things are done differently when public money is involved, and it has nothing to do with politics.

I would say politics is the very reason things are done differently when public money is involved; specifically the elimination of political graft and favoritism from the process.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (2, Interesting)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970569)

You're assuming computing platforms are a commoditty. Here in Brasil, some government branches have the opposite policy. And I think it's fair. It's a strategical decision of buyers if they will stick to Open Source, Closed Source or if they will always consider both alternatives.

Open Source is as commercial as Closed Source. You have real money involved in it, it's just a different product offering.

It's funny that people insist on always bidding, when "smallest price" is some of the reasons most software consultancies have so shoddy practices as hiring the cheapest clowns on town and allocating them as programmers, which, by the way, leads to bad results, which in turn created the lucrative and useless industry of certifications, maturity models and so on.

Windows has it's problems, but it has it's strengths also, just like windows or Mac OS X. A large part of Linux development is funded by companies who are competing with microsoft or that perceived Microsoft overwhelming power on the Desktop Operating Systems and their entries on the server market as threat to some part of her business.

For the bad or the worse, Microsoft had some genuine innovations, being XMLHttpRequest one of the most recents. For the bad or the worse, Microsoft consolidated the market of PC computers enough to make them serious blow on IBM, which was a even worse dominant power.

And for the programmers here over 30 years old, well, I am pretty sure a healthy lot of them got their first jobs on programming on the them relatively cheap Wintel programming, which was cheap enough so small business could afford have their custom systems.

NT, although plagued by bad drivers and it's sheer complexity for programmers, has some good ideas on its kernel and the services provided by the OS. COM was a component model that spawned lots of childs (even bastard ones like EJB), being one of the mostable examples of it XPCOM on mozilla. Eliminating Microsoft all-together would be a loss for the market. Not that we should give'em free reign. But we should not put customers on judicial chains either. Linux doesn't need it to succeed. And I am not even sure if we really want a Linux only world, as much as I don't think a Windows only world.

I am for having checks on the power of powerful companies like Microsoft. But I think that we also want to put checks on Apple, IBM, Oracle and any other company powerful enough to impose themselves as the only alternative on some markets.

I find it utterly funny when people whose jobs depend on the content their companies serve over the internet feel happy with the virtual monopoly google has over search. I feel it funny, because google already has power enough to get money over the content YOU produce, just because they are the only viable way to customers get to YOUR site. I am all for having some kind of ongoing perpetual cold war between google, because while there is competition on that space, content providers will be able to get better deals with online advertising. If all your trafic comes from google, you're bond to accept whatever are their prices for running their adds. If your traffic comes from Google, Bing and whatever else in different proportions, you're in a way better position on negoating with them when it comes to how to share the pie.

People should stop seeing the world in terms of black and white and start seeing that corporations do what is best for their bottom line. Currently IBM supports Open Source, but because it leverages their services offering and offload the costs of having to do their own development of operating systems for all their machines, and it keeps them independent from Microsoft. It's all about business.

I am using linux since the times of the early red hat versions. As Linux gets more complicated and has more features, it also gets its share of problems. Every complex system will do, unless we devise a significant different way of programming, where we are able to prove our programs to be correct, instead of merely resorting to wishful thinking and the tests we can dream of for a system (not that tests are not good, they are. But they are only as good as for the extent of the imagination of the test writers for thinking where problems could arise)

I second Linus Torvalds: Let's stop the microsoft hatred. It's inane, infantile and stupid. They did anti-competitive practices in the past. Yes, they did, and any other company in their position would do the same, given the lack of a proper regulation and proactive government control (which is still left as good question for whether it is a good idea on its essence). Linux need no stinking special treatment to compete, it's merits are widely known already. Stop wasting energy on the court and got back to programming. Build *more* superb code, build *more* outstanding features and people will come. Coexist with windows, embrace it if needed, but stop this bad marketing of being the protectionist guys.

There's no such a thing as a benevolent company out there that exists only to help the humanity. All of them are there for their own interests. Live with that, stop believing it's a battle of the good against the evil and do your best with the best of each existing platform. And while we are it...

  • Well, IBM could open Z/VM to other companies. I would be more believing of then and their pure intentions if they did something to run Windows Server virtualized on z/Series.
  • Ask Apple to sell MAC OS X for other machine manufacturers. As Apple hardware became nothing more than commodity intel hardware with nice cases, it is clear that they are leveraging their operating system to get a hold in the Hardware market and put a premium on the price tag for everyone who wants to use MAC OS X.

My 0,02 USD (U$ is probably a trademark of the department of treasury, USD is probably a trademark of ISO, if they sue me, please contribute with my legal fund, and testify that I tried to give credit)

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (3, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968059)

I don't think the correlation to that can be easily drawn. Of course the recommendations of the Government's IT departments would have in impact on the requirements but without an open bid, they do no know what is availible from who that could meet those requirements.

The open bid process is supposed to make sure that governments using public monies usually derived from taxes are not squandered, wasted, or used to benefit someone's outside interest. There is no assurance of this no matter how intelligent or unintelligent you believe the government IT departments to be without an open and public bidding process. You are inferring that their judgment is proper and it should play a role in the process but for all we know, the decision could be because someone wants to see their MS stock rise before they sell it. You are making a leap in claiming their competence and meeting criteria more so then the inference that they are ignorant of alternatives. You have no idea what the motivations are and at least with an open and public bidding process, they will have to justify their decisions with sound and verifiable facts. OF course this doesn't limit the benefit someone might see from a jump in stock prices or some kickback scheme hiding somewhere but it will how strong the justifications are that will both increase competition in the future as well as point to potential conflicts when the sole justification can be "we will have to educate out techs if we go with something else" or "i like the ribbon in MS office".

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (0, Troll)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969329)

Good essay. I find it easier to simply say: several governments around the world have adopted Linux, there's no reason the Swiss government couldn't as well.

Oh, and also, STFU Microsoft shill. ^^

P.S., All governments should adopt open source policies, regardless of what software they choose exactly, and there is no question about that AT ALL. You don't have a zillion different branches of your government each pay $$$$$ for closed source software, that's just lame beyond belief. You instead pay money to developers to either make something, or improve upon existing software, if what you need doesn't exist yet, and you do that for a tiny fraction of the price.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28969555)

I'd rather people just go with what gets the job done, and best meets their needs, the saving on cash arguement really doesn't hold anymore, since the Munchen debacle has shown quite clearly that Linux stands to cost considerably more than Windows.

You can pretend this is about keeping government spending in check, but it's a front, a thinly veiled one, at that - You're just intent on pushing the foss agenda - I know it, and you know it, the fact that you make it into an issue of open vs closed makes it painfully obvious.

Hint. You pay for open source software too, Between the license/support fees for Red Hat or Novell, or the man-hours and resources involved in tolling your own, or the man-hours involved in a mass-deployment of a free distribution, or the cost of OEM Windows, the cost in man-hours and lost productivity, the cost of retraining, maintenence, application compatibility, lost productivity resulting from it, etc all of these need to weighed against each other, and it's something the FOSS side seems to blind to - either none of these exist, or it's MS FUD, it's all about pushing an agenda, not using the best tool for the job, not saving government spending, not anything that is, frankly, important. And it's a damn shame

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970789)

Yes I have a huge agenda and just went insane for a while, but now I'm sane again and Linux and open source software are, no doubt about it, more expensive than closed proprietary source code. Companies and individuals working together to create software, or anything really, is completely impossible. They can't even work together to get a road built! Just look at the pyramids for instance, one of the great wonders of the world, definitely built by one individual no question about it, just like all the other wonders.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28972449)

when proselytizing for open source, you might want to avoid comparisons to slave-built structures.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (2, Interesting)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974809)

Actually, its been shown that the Pyramids were largely built by Egyptian farmers. They would plant their crops, go work on the pyramid for a while, then go back to harvest their crops.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28985033)

All governments should adopt open source policies, regardless of what software they choose exactly, and there is no question about that AT ALL. You don't have a zillion different branches of your government each pay $$$$$ for closed source software, that's just lame beyond belief. You instead pay money to developers to either make something, or improve upon existing software

Being a pedant, this isn't necessarily true. Once your government (and by implication the population it serves and that population's GNP) reaches a certain size, then it would become cost effective to "roll your own", but smaller governments would be better served by using either COTS software or by hiring in consultants. In the limiting case, your atoll of NeckDeep, population 25, would not be best served by the chief/ Head of State/ Speaker/ President and sole MP (also the leader of the Loyal Opposition and chief anti-governmental gadfly) also having to become an OS developer in order to word-process his next poster advertising a consultation to be held at this evening's pig roast. Oh, and he'd have to become a CUPS developer in order to run off the 25 copies. (24 copies? Oh, one for the archives too.)
ISTR there was a fluff a year or so back about Iceland's governmental IT policy - can't remember which way it was going -; with a population of 320,000, one has to wonder what size of developer ecosystem their government can afford to maintain.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Desert_Scarecrow (998677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969551)

Your argument from the point of waste suffers from a number of fallacies in this case. If the government deduces that there is no possible conclusion reached through the bidding process than the one it has selected, then holding the bidding process will only add to government waste -- the very thing you are arguing to prevent.

When the U.S. military started the off-the-shelf program and allowed less bidding and more self-determination, the days of the $300 hammer ended. Sometimes removing the bidding process is a good and logical thing.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28972839)

Your argument from the point of waste suffers from a number of fallacies in this case. If the government deduces that there is no possible conclusion reached through the bidding process than the one it has selected, then holding the bidding process will only add to government waste -- the very thing you are arguing to prevent.

Actually, no. My argument on waste is supported by numerous real life accounts of it actually happening as well as the main point- transparency to reinforce the idea to the public who is being taxed that the waste is not occurring. If the government deduces that there is no other possible conclusion from an open bidding process then there is no reason to hide that fact by not having one. The people, no matter what government, if they are taxed in order to do so, deserve nothing less then an open and public accounting of how their money is spend and the reasoning behind it. If the reasons are sound, they will accept any conclusion. If they are not, then the waste is proven or at least suspected. Remember, Cheapest does not mean makes the bid, there are other factors that can be at play but the fact you cannot refute is that unless there is an open and public biding process, you cannot be sure of any reasons or how those decisions are supported. Your entire comment to this point is mere speculation because of the lack of an open bid.

When the U.S. military started the off-the-shelf program and allowed less bidding and more self-determination, the days of the $300 hammer ended. Sometimes removing the bidding process is a good and logical thing.

Actually, no it did not. The days of the $300 hammer simply got accepted. This is because (if you were paying attention) the $300 hammer was a specialty hammer made of brass with a special core alloy compound to make it harder/heavier and more effective. It was used for working on certain machines like jet engines and compartment hatches and crap where explosive and highly flammable fluids and gasses were present and sparks from regular hammers presented a severe hazard. Often they had specialty tools built into one ends to cut down on tools needed.

The $800 step ladders were also accepted because they weren't plain step ladders. They had special cleats designed to be locked into the decking and rails on some of the smaller ships with safety tie down points for the operator so some repairs and maintenance work could be done underway which extended the duration of the usefulness of the ships. The smaller ships like the cutters and destroyers would pitch and role while underway and even while stopped with certain ocean conditions which made it very treacherous for a worker to be on them. The $800 ladders allowed this work to be done in the open ocean instead of needing to find a protected harbor that was friendly. It greatly increased our mobility and abilities and extended the usefulness of these ships to almost the point of one third of a separate ships because of the lack of rotation needed to keep them maintained.

seriously plausible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28968281)

Are you kidding or just ignorant or just like to see your name online with a good mod score?
The Swiss "IT department", the B.I.T., is a fucking mess - they've not so long ago acquired the IT responsibilties for several other departments that used to run their own groups, and they're struggling big time. Revolving doors in many areas, lots of red tape and infighting and bureaucracy. They spend years on a project, flush it's dubious achievements down the shitter, and then start the same thing up again under a different acronym, on an all-too regular basis.
I'm pro-FOSS too, but perhaps it would have been a lot cheaper and actually more effective to just run with the MS solution instead of waste fuck knows how much money pissing around chasing other options. Even if the other options were better.
You should not over-estimate the organisational ability of the Swiss IT department. Public service IT in many countries would send many geeks running for the doors before the first paycheck - have you worked in one yet ?
The experience is .... illuminating.
People don't realise before stepping in that efficiency and accomplishment are not yardsticks in public service - the main ideas seems to be to maintain status quo and the hierarchy, take credit for things you didn't do, and generally slow down projects so that not TOO much public money gets flushed down the shitter too fast. The last one I actually agree with, and my wife works in IT for a swiss govt dept and we rely on her income. She suffers from cognitive dissonance on a daily basis - the local recruitment companies advise many to get out of such places quickly if it doesn't feel like it's going to work early on, because the tendency is to be absorbed like the borg, and then a private company won't want anything to do with you afterwards.

The staff in question are well aware of the "world outside their doors" (the Swiss are very politically-conscious people, in my experience), and probably do know their options, but are often powerless to do much about it because the "man in charge" is a ignorant twat and his ear and pocket book are twisted by an unscrupulous salesman.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Dustie (1253268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980409)

You're assuming the Government's IT department is completely ignorant of the world outside their doors; is it seriously plausible that they wouldn't know their options?"

That would fit most government IT departments in the world so why not this one.

Are You Really That Stupid? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965701)

You must not be grasping just what an idiot you look like.

Your stupid posts reminds me of that scene from Time Bandits:

Randall: Look, do you want to be leader of this gang?
Strutter: No, we agreed: No leader!
Randall: Right. So shut up and do as I say.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966111)

Any other company could have provided support and maintenence for windows desktops. I assure you, unless they are a three-initial-company, they would probably do it much cheaper and better, too.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966685)

They decided that there would be no point to accepting bids because Microsoft was the only vendor who had a product that could meet their needs. They did look at the options, and they decided that Microsoft had no competitors who could meet their criteria.

When your criteria becomes "Microsoft", it's hard to have other vendors, no? It's sort of like putting out the bid out for a new Toyota or chicken but with KFC's blend of 11 secret herbs and spices, and being astonished that only one or two companies can provide it.

That's why governments shoud always operate on open standards for file formats and the like, and that any programs specifically developed for them become OS. Even if they have to operate with propietary software for a time, it provides a roadmap and modularity to go with something else in the future.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966959)

If your requirements list includes the phrase "Microsoft Office" I'd argue that doesn't exactly count as looking at options either.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28967359)

Well if they need Office...

I don't use a word processor or spreadsheet, but if I did I would certainly go with the superior product (Office).

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968433)

For what? I've never seen MS Office do something that an all-OpenOffice shop couldn't emulate (OK, Sharepoint maybe).

File format compatibility? It's the government. They can dictate the terms under which they interact with the private sector.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968815)

More likely they have plenty of proprietary apps and data tied up in proprietary formats and switching to FLOSS would be a royal PITA. It all comes down to cost. Linux can be "free as in beer and freedom" but if it will cost me millions and who knows how many man hours to get all that data switched and retrain all those workers? You'd have to be insane to switch.

If you want to switch a giant org like that, you start small. Firefox instead of IE, OO.o instead of MS Office, things like that. But trying to do a top to bottom migration in this economy with who knows how much data tied up and who knows how much retraining required would get somebody a good firing. I'm willing to bet they did a cost analysis and decided it was just cheaper to go MSFT.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28975431)

More likely they have plenty of proprietary apps and data tied up in proprietary formats and switching to FLOSS would be a royal PITA

This sounds like an EXCELLENT reason to switch. Do you suppose that problem gets larger or smaller by ignoring it?

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980361)

Let me know when you try that, because I would like your job when they fire you. Ever hear "Rome wasn't built in a day"? Or "phasing out"? You don't just dump an IT infrastructure that size with tons of data into some completely different (and possibly catastrophically incompatible) new system all it once, as it would be suicide. You work up a migration plan, probably on the order of years. You begin by having them save new data in a long term format, like PDF, and possibly have users begin migration test cases.

But sadly I have to say many FLOSS tools simply aren't there yet. Look at OO.o. I have seen it completely bone the funky formatting of MS Office more times than I can count. Fonts, layout, all kinds of mess. And that lame Excel ripoff shouldn't even be included, it is just too lousy. There is just too much data tied in too many organizations in Excel sheets, do you have ANY idea the cost of migrating something that size from Excel format to Calc, and then the cost of fixing all the broken ones? You just don't go willy nilly on stuff like this, or your "free" OS will end up costing you 1000 times more than just buying MSFT.

I'm willing to bet they looked at the amount of data, the cost of conversion of said data, the amount of training, and the cost of trying to replace every Windows only app they use (some of which many not even HAVE a FLOSS replacement) and decided it was simply cheaper to cut MSFT a check. Only a zealot would just say "switch to Linux!" without figuring the associated costs. In business every action must be weighed by cost, and my guess is the cost to switch was just too high.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (2, Informative)

arose (644256) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966967)

They decided that there would be no point to accepting bids because Microsoft was the only vendor who had a product that could meet their needs.

Not surprising when you write the whole big basically describing Windows without mentioning the name, I've seen bids like that, they are written with the intention of not having to look at anything else.

They are obliged to accept bids by EU rules (1)

KlaasVaak (1613053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968323)

It doesn't matter what they where thinking they have to officially weigh the options in a bidding process. This is required by EU rules to mandate more competition with government projects.

Re:They are obliged to accept bids by EU rules (3, Interesting)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969863)

This is required by EU rules

Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

Re:They are obliged to accept bids by EU rules (2, Informative)

KlaasVaak (1613053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970437)

They are in the European Free Trade Association most EU rules apply to them and in exchange they get free movement of people in the EU, trade without restrictions with EU member states, etc. It makes them a virtual member of the EU just one without any influence.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Res3000 (890937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968349)

No no no! They didn't say Windows was the only vendor, but replacing Windows with another OS (Linux in this case) isn't feasible.

The cost to renew a contract with Microsoft is only the cost of the contract, the cost to change to Linux would be way higher, since you have to replace your whole application platform, teach the users how to use Linux and all the new apps, teach the techies the ins and outs of Linux etc. etc. etc.

This isn't so easy as just installing a new operation system and be done with it. That's why Windows is currently the only solution until they get the money to replace the whole platform. But try to explain that to the Bundesrat (the federal council of Switzerland) and the swiss parliament.

And btw, if you are Swiss and it means so much to you, you can always start an initiative, but I want to see how you explain the higher cost to the swiss people and why they sould bother.

In the end the Swiss government is right: At the moment there is no competitor, as bad as it is, and they won't be able to explain to anybody (except geeks of course) why they should spend so much more money. In the end I'm sure you could save money, but try to explain that to people who first plan to build two tunnels through the same mountain and in the middle decide to abandon one because "it's too expensive" (they soon *have* to finish the second one because traffic is so bad, but now it will cost way more).

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970919)

The cost to renew a contract with Microsoft is only the cost of the contract, the cost to change to Linux would be way higher, since you have to replace your whole application platform, teach the users how to use Linux and all the new apps, teach the techies the ins and outs of Linux etc. etc. etc.

This may not be the case because Microsoft likes to change their platforms frequently. Indeed they are just now bringing out Windows 7 and there's a new MS Office coming out soon.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970055)

They decided that there would be no point to accepting bids because Microsoft was the only vendor who had a product that could meet their needs.

The purpose of having a law that says 'all contracts must be put out to tender' is to not give government agencies the option to make that choice. Either you require competitive tendering, or you don't. You can't require competition except in cases where some official decided, for reasons that he doesn't have to justify, that it wasn't worth bothering with. Even if the agency was correct in this particular case (and I'm not saying it was), you don't allow public bodies to pick and choose what things to put out for tender and what to simply award to a particular company.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

TSHTF (953742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965567)

You must be new here. You expect us to read an article before bashing Microsoft?

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (3, Insightful)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966573)

Well, it's not like the OSS guys are talking about options here.

Quote from TFA: "Open source supporters argue there has to be real political will for open source projects to succeed in the public sector."

That's political wrangling. Build a better product and the rest will follow. "Political will" is well, politics.

the OSS guys *are* talking about options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28969765)

They are also pointing out that if Windows from a non-compete bid isn't looking at ANY options AT ALL.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (3, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970383)

Build a better product and the rest will follow. "Political will" is well, politics.

If only that were true. Building a better product alone is not enough, certain companies will mix with politics and try to push the better product into the ground any way they can.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28973507)

Build a better product and the rest will follow.

Unfortunately not.

The inertia of an established standard is a wonderful thing to own and a terrible thing to try to overcome.

It doesn't matter if you can deliver a better product for less money. If that were the case, then you would be able to use something besides a VISA© card for purchases from most vendors. (Not that the vendors like paying a cut to the banks - just that it's The Standard. My opinion is that standards in banking, computing or whatever should be considered an Essential Utility and they should be sufficiently open for anyone to have an equal opportunity to implement them.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28979057)

I disagree on a bunch of points.

First -- your point about open standards is not the same as saying "real political will is required for open source adoption".

Second -- open standards are beneficial, yes. But only as broader legislation. It does no good to wait for a company to become successful and then say "ok, now open up your formats". Either file-formats and protocols are all open or all closed. This piecemeal approach of going after popular formats is no good.

Lastly -- the inertia of a standard is definitely a difficult thing to overcome. That's not the same as not having a choice. It's also not the same as saying that the open source solution is better.

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28969489)

They didn't need to. They wanted Windows. Microsoft provides Windows, Microsoft got the contract.
Unless Red Hat, or anyone else also provides Windows, they aren't selling what the Swiss government is looking to buy.

So oppening it up to public bidding? What the point when there is only one vendor who provides the product you're looking to buy? And this whole "Open source supporters argue there has to be real political will for open source projects to succeed in the public sector." means what exactly, that open source supported are pissy and crying foul over a perceived bias toward Microsoft, and wish to remedy it with a bias toward OSS? Yeah, Gods fucking forbid Linux isn't the be all end all solution to everything for everyone, eh?

Re:They Did Not 'Look At The Options' (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969901)

So oppening it up to public bidding? What the point when there is only one vendor who provides the product you're looking to buy?

Where I live (Sweden), that's not legal. You have to specify what the product should do, not which product you want to buy. For example, a couple of years ago, a county opened a bidding process for home PCs for employees, and specified that to be accepted, the computers offered must be equipped with an Intel Pentium 4 processor. AMD felt excluded by this requirement, brought the county to court, and won.

Of course, there are ways around that, such as specifying a list of features that only one product can match. But still, even in that case, the bidding process allows you to choose the cheapest vendor that carries that product.

Re:This isn't that outrageous (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965661)

I think the problem here is that you didn't read up on the backstory which shows that they did not consider Red Hat or any company that wasn't Microsoft.

Re:This isn't that outrageous (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965723)

Don't waste your time. The guy's a retard.

Re:This isn't that outrageous (2, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969163)

I think the problem here is that you didn't read up on the backstory which shows that they did not consider Red Hat or any company that wasn't Microsoft.

According to the article, it was a reissue of an existing contract; so not having a tender is not necessarily unusual. If the current vendor / supplier is performing satisfactorily then they are often kept in place since ripping everything out an starting new is likely to be more expensive and introduce a while new set of problems.

Is that right? It depends on the context and how the renewal was negotiated. From the article the Swiss government's actions do not appear unreasonable; and the response by the other vendors is the typical one from those that don't get a contract. Nothing new or exciting here, other than it involves open source which is a hot button here.

Re:This isn't that outrageous (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965739)

The problem is that this deal quite possibly had nothing to do with any advantages FOSS had over MS but MS's connections. If the Swiss government made the decision for any other reason than technical merits then the Swiss have been done a great disservice.

Wait, So The Slashdot Strategy Isn't Working? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965197)

So sitting around on Slashdot all day posting about 'Teh Power of Open Source!!!' and silly little sayings like "First they ignore you. Then they fight you. Then you win." is no match for paid Microsoft lobbyists working every day to keep Microsoft's stranglehold on Governments and Businesses around the world?

Re:Wait, So The Slashdot Strategy Isn't Working? (4, Funny)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965949)

My plans are evidently working; I've already gotten to "everybody ignores me" stage. Two more steps to world domination!!!!

Talk about bad losers! (4, Insightful)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965235)

I'm an OSS advocate. I use Ubuntu and openSUSE at home. My kids run Ubuntu.

However, if a decision was made to go with lesser closed-source software, than so be it. Move on.

Stunts such as this - bringing a lawsuit against the government - can only serve to harm the OSS movement.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965583)

>>However, if a decision was made to go with lesser closed-source software, than so be it. Move on.

did you even read the articles? (i must be new here)
there was no public bidding, so technically a decision wasn't made, since there was nothing to decide. that's what it's all about.

also: i'm from switzerland, and the swiss federal court (bundesgericht) uses GNU/Linux. if MSFT would really win this one, that would be shenanigans >9000

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28967467)

I did read the article, "Linux vendor Red Hat, and 17 other vendors, have protested a Swiss government contract given to Microsoft without any public bidding. The move exposes a wider Microsoft monopoly that European governments accept, despite their lip service for open source, according to commentators." However, they made their decision irrelevant of public bidding. (By the way, I work for local government in California and can't tell you how much money we lose in the "bidding" process, since it takes up way too much time.)

I'm glad to see that the budesgericht uses GNU/Linux. If only the California courts would. (By the way, I worked for Migros one summer back in '91 near Schaffhausen as an internship.)

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969421)

"[...]The move exposes a wider Microsoft monopoly that European governments accept,[...]"

I'm not sure you understand that Switzerland is not part of the EU. The quote you took from the article seems to imply that using "European governments".

In the EU, Neelie Kroes would get a fit...

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970475)

yes, im aware that CH is an independent country - all 26 cantons. (Is that how they're spelled?) I was just quoting to ensure no one thought I hadn't read the article.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

fmoliveira (979051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28976113)

In some countries it is ilegal for the government to buy anything without a bidding, and from the article it seems that swiss is one of these. So, it is a matter for suing.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (4, Informative)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965601)

No public tendering process was made. The contract was handed straight to Microsoft. Therefore your comment is irrelevant.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965675)

Photo [photobucket.com]

you should have just used this

Re:Talk about bad losers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28969095)

why is the parent marked as troll?

this is what the lawsuit is against: the government should have made a public call for tender but handed the contract directly to microsoft.

the claim is that the government should follow its own rules, not that they should not use microsoft producs!

the open source pool is not a group of bad losers: they were not allowed to compete at all!

a.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970203)

Mod abuse alert.

Parent is not a troll, but rather Informative.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (2, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965673)

I'm an OSS advocate. I use Ubuntu and openSUSE at home. My kids run Ubuntu.

What was the point of that lead up?

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966281)

I'm an OSS advocate. I use Ubuntu and openSUSE at home. My kids run Ubuntu.

What was the point of that lead up?

It's sort of like how a guy will preface a racist statement with, "I have lots of black friends, but..."

Re:Talk about bad losers! (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966719)

"I'm an OSS advocate and I practice what I preach. However, I'm not a fanatic or a bigot. If Windows is best for the job, then use it."

At least, that's how I read it. Of course, it's also my own position. I use Linux and I try to get other people to try it. If they're happy with Windows, or they try Linux and it doesn't suit them, that's OK with me. After all, it's their computer, not mine.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28970961)

I'd have to join this little crowd of now 3.
It's all good and fair if you've tried them both and prefer Windows. Yeah, sure, you enjoy yourself. On the other hand, give Linux a fair try. You aught to base your decision on whether Linux is actually better, rather then whether it's familiar or not. It's what I did. I prefer Linux. Simple.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965755)

I'm an OSS advocate. I use Ubuntu and openSUSE at home. My kids run Ubuntu.

Really? You think you are an advocate?. More like user. If a large market segment decides to award a contact without even looking at OSS and you think it is fair, you are not much of an advocate. If a private company does that, we can leave it to the market to correct it. But the government is often the only provider of some services and all its vendors to be tied to a proprietary system where the vendor has to pay (Microsoft) to play is very very unfair. Further, being government, it is much less susceptible to market forces, with its ability to tax the population and pay the fees.

Ability to avail services of the government and to be a vendor to it without having to pay some third party fees is one of the fundamental rights of the people. How would you react if the government posts all the contract details in some private club with access restricted only to the members? Do you think it is fair?

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966187)

Well at least the contract wasn't on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard." Seriously, you know how government contracts work? A person or group says, "I want XYZ." The organization then writes an RFP, goes to public bid, then comes up with a reason to get XYZ over all competitors.

I'm not saying Switzerland is making the right choice, just trying to make people see common sense. If OSS is to win (and I advocate it every day at work - just not in the COLA way) then this isn't the

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28982141)

The organization then writes an RFP, goes to public bid, then comes up with a reason to get XYZ over all competitors.

And if the RFP doesn't go to public bid and the contract is instead delivered to a convicted monopolist with no bidding at all, then there's a problem.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28982265)

Yes, that is true. However, this is how things work.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28966219)

I'm an OSS advocate. I use Ubuntu and openSUSE at home. My kids run Ubuntu.

Really? You think you are an advocate?. More like user. If a large market segment decides to award a contact without even looking at OSS and you think it is fair, you are not much of an advocate. If a private company does that, we can leave it to the market to correct it. But the government is often the only provider of some services and all its vendors to be tied to a proprietary system where the vendor has to pay (Microsoft) to play is very very unfair. Further, being government, it is much less susceptible to market forces, with its ability to tax the population and pay the fees.

Ability to avail services of the government and to be a vendor to it without having to pay some third party fees is one of the fundamental rights of the people. How would you react if the government posts all the contract details in some private club with access restricted only to the members? Do you think it is fair?

Ahh so sad.. in 15 years this argument hasn't gotten past the nanny nanny boo boo stage.

MS is a monopoly, it finally has gotten reasonable competition. No business should get a rubber stamp for a deal.. I'm seeing a lot of this going the other way.. a wholesale move away from Microsoft products.. not because it's bad, but because of personal bias and unrealistic goals at the end of the rainbow for Free / Open Source.. Of course, Open Source free. and just because it's open source doesn't mean it's perfect.

The one thing the SCO lawsuit brought to light, was how do you keep a developer from bringing pieces of code from a proprietary solution into the light? (SCO lawsuit was a joke IMO)

under the logic of not having to pay some third party.. I guess the Government where you are runs all of the utlility companies, Facilities Maintenance suppiers etc. And of course they make their own squad cars for the police etc. There's always going to be 3rd parties.. the trick is to keep the costs down and quality up.. which requires a listing of requirements and an evaluation.

Obviously that wasn't done here, and was a mistake. But don't simply rule out a solution based on Technology Jihad.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965759)

That argument's validity hinges on the assumption that the Swiss government made the decision on the merits of MS' software. I don't think it is entirely unreasonable to question the decision given a possibly cheaper route through FOSS, especially if I were concerned about controlling government waste.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (3, Informative)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965807)

Im a windows user currently, but it seems that a government not tendering its contract to the lowest bidder means it's swiss taxpayers who are the real losers here. It stinks of corruption, and its just not how you do business in the public sector.

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965899)

So every time a new system is needed it should simply go to the lowest bidder? Should any consideration be given to the questions "will it work in our current environment", or "how much will it cost to operate/maintain over its useful life"? Since 80% of the cost of a system comes after you buy it you might want to rethink your position on this issue.

I guess you've never heard the expression "nothing is more expensive than a cheap tool..."

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965957)

Yes perhaps "lowest bidder" is oversimplification to you, but "lowest total cost over ownership" works doesn't it? If you RTFA, you will discover that the contract was in fact never tendered at all, so that minor point is irrelevant.

regardless of any of that the government must manage its finances in a transparent manner, in order to assuage suspicions of insider trading and the like, was the person you arranged this deal a Microsoft shareholder?

Information (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966393)

Die Bundespräsident, ist jetz die "H. Hans-Rudolf Merz" der Decider und der Käufer, einfach

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28970815)

Yes perhaps "lowest bidder" is oversimplification to you, but "lowest total cost over ownership" works doesn't it?

Remembering that many so called TCO assessments do not even make a "good faith" attempt at measuring.

If you RTFA, you will discover that the contract was in fact never tendered at all, so that minor point is irrelevant.

Thus the contract is null and void.

Weeee!!! Keep Knocking Down Those Strawmen (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965961)

Give it a rest dipshit.

Astroturf (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966439)

Get lost, you are a corrupt astroturfer

Arschloch und gehen Bumsen sich an.

LOL! Retard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28966491)

LOL!

You stupid fuck. You're too stupid to even know what those words mean.

Get off this board loser. You're too stupid to post, let alone trying to flame.

Buh bye dipshit!

Re:Talk about bad losers! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28967455)

The government is run by people. Let's face it, most people don't have a clue about GNU/Linux or FOSS. Most "technogeeks" may have heard of it, but the majority will be using Windows variants because it is what they learned in school.

I run a systems development group. Of my 13 staff members, I have one who consistently uses GNU/Linux. One of our tech support people will use UNIX but thinks Linux is a "toy" used by hobbyists.

I am slowly migrating servers over to SLES from MS 2000 and 2003, simply because my server-side programs - written in C# - can run under Mono. I probably won't even try to conquer the desktop for another few years.

Mono culture alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28970687)

I knew what you would have to say would be nonsense your second sentence started, "Let's face it, most people..."

You sir are a plugbot for the Mono promoters.

Problem is not in OSS. Problem is in law. (3, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965991)

However, if a decision was made to go with lesser closed-source software, than so be it. Move on.
Stunts such as this - bringing a lawsuit against the government - can only serve to harm the OSS movement

Well, the problem is that things shouldn't work that way in here Switzerland. The government can NOT just "make a decision". According to the law, our government should open a bid and then select ONE solution among SEVERAL offers*.

Instead, the government didn't follow the normal procedure. They just went directly to Microsoft. This is not the correct lawful procedure. They can't make a decision, they have select it among several offers. (Even if in the end Microsoft is the the one picked up, due for example to a larger available library of commercially supported software).

---

*: Some sectors (like the Swiss Army) are even required to always pick up at least TWO solutions from TWO different providers to avoid monopolies.
As an example, there was some unrest because both national Swiss army knife producer, Victorinox and Wenger merged (V bought W). And thus there's only 1 single monopoly left to provide one of the most widespread piece of cutlery in the Swiss army's equipment.
(Also back during the cold war when sourcing from a foreign producer, the army had always to find two neutral solutions : either one from either side of the curtain or from a neutral 3rd party. Never 2 from the same side, in order to keep balance and neutrality).

Re:Problem is not in OSS. Problem is in law. (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966323)

Nicht gesetzlich und möglicherweise verdorben.

Short of collegial corruption this will be overturned, though challenging the Government here is hard. Especially if you dont speak Swiss German.

But, this violates Swiss law (gesetz) and the Swiss-EU bi-lateral accords dealing with with competition and the single market.

Re:Problem is not in OSS. Problem is in law. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28971103)

Wow, the Swiss Army actually CARRIES Swiss Army knives? I always thought that was just some clever marketing.

totally unfair (1)

JosedeNoche (1597445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965249)

is very unfair and totally unacceptable that the Swiss Goverment by means of a legal court puts Microsoft in his top priority to enable his IT contract instead of taking OpenSource, on the other hand, MS fear and frustration of staying has the top software vendor is gonna cost him dearly

Re:totally unfair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965351)

you do realize that what ever they do will require maintainace will open possibilities for millions of windows developers out there right?
so it's not JUST ABOUT MICROSOFT.

Freedom (0, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965381)

So, should MS sue the city of Hamburg for their decision to use OS software? I don't think so.

In this life you need to walk with two bags: one for your victories, one for your defeats. Learn to lose with dignity, work harder and make better products. When you make an excellent product, you will automatically win. On the other hand, if you live your whole life imitating ribbons, start menus, taskbars, with bad documentation and support, instead for making different and better products, do not cry foul.

After all, it's about freedom (or so says the OS community). Or do they mean freedom between OS alternatives only. Partial freedom?

Re:Freedom (0, Troll)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965437)

Read the article. No public tendering process was made. The contract was handed straight to Microsoft. Therefore your comment is irrelevant.

Re:Freedom (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28966347)

It's like if they were building a new court house and instead of opening the contract to build it to multiple business just kept giving the contracts to one builder without even looking which they've used before.

I'm sure you can admit that doesn't sound fair (or even legal?) so why do you have such a problem when exactly the same thing is happening in the IT sector of government. They should have given all competitors a fair chance to bid even if they eventually decided to go with Microsoft anyway.

Why Not the Direct Route? (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965411)

I've never been able to understand why these type of cases (ones that will be appealed no matter what) aren't taken directly to the highest courts. It's a waste of time and money.

Re:Why Not the Direct Route? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965779)

If every case you describe at the lower levels were taken up to the higher courts, they would most likely be swamped. There is also the fear that the wrong decision at a higher court is far worse than a bad decision at a lower court and considering MS's history in court cases, it may very well be a good idea to discourage taking this to the top for now.

Re:Why Not the Direct Route? (2, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28969353)

Because the lower court does a lot of work which the higher court just has to review. You don't start over from scratch.

A Decision The Swiss Will Rue (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965509)

The Swiss will find themselves up a creek with Microsoft and they will regret this decision. I so recall the days of fighting to understand the one and only explanation of some process that I had found on MSDN. That was only choice so I had to just grok it there. When I moved over to the Java world eons ago, I found every issue or question had dozens of answers and so no problem was unsolvable. The Swiss are entering a special circle of hell called: Sole Vendor...

Re:A Decision The Swiss Will Rue (1)

TSHTF (953742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965609)

Maybe I've been smoking crack, but I find the resources on MSDN to be more than adequate, if you can find the proper one. The shortcomings of MSDN tend to relate to search and relevance IMO, but the information is out there.

Re:A Decision The Swiss Will Rue (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28965775)

Well--full disclosure on my part. I have not really used any of the MS tools since 1998 when I switched to Java. I used VisualStudio a lot and even VB6. I just found it maddening to have a single resource. If you lucked out and the MSDN author was competent then great. But often, the person who wrote the one and only resource on this subject--in MSDN--couldn't explain their way out of a paper bag. When you get in the Java world, you always find competing resources. Eerily echoing the current health care debate, it's nice to have competition. I hated MS because--when you went .NET, for example--you had no other vendor to choose from.

Re:A Decision The Swiss Will Rue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28966223)

QQ

MS should be forced to fund open source competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28965817)

The only reason Microsoft is the only option is because of the anti-competitive actions that are illegal. Microsoft should be forced to pay up for transitioning to alternative open source solutions. If there is a reason you can't move to a competitor or open source solution because of compatibility issue Microsoft should pay for it. Just because Microsoft Word has some feature unavailable in any competing product doesn't mean they should be excluded from the bidding process either. Features come and go. Microsoft lost clippy. OpenOffice has features Microsoft Office doesn't too. It works two-ways.

sigh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28966791)

It's interesting to sit through many multi-million RFP's and having a unix/linux background as I have when it gets right down to it. Red Hat and many of the unix/linux solutions typically are at a disadvantage when it comes to real integration and functionality in the the long run. Yes sometimes the come in under cost but over the long haul they are many times more costly. One thing we almost never really care in the decision making is what the platform is we decide on features,supportability and cost....what the OS is secondary to how we actually decide. unix/linux needs to simplify, stop fracturing itself. Try and get an enterprise solution to support linux and they may support one variant of linux and then the next solution provider comes in and only supports a different variant...guess what that only increases costs in the long run.

Trying to avoid mentioning Munich? (0, Troll)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968087)

Open source supporters argue there has to be real political will for open source projects to succeed in the public sector

In the article, it was one person who said that--an official of the Munich LiMux project. I can see why one might want to just attribute it to "open source supporters" rather than associating with that ongoing clusterfuck of a mismanaged Linux migration.

Merger gone bad? (2, Funny)

xaboo (1599655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28968321)

I thought it was reasonable to go with their own software, Isn't that why Microsoft purchased Switzerland in the first place?!

French co D'assault Systemes (1)

shalomsky (952094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28975077)

French company Dassault Systemes has announced that Catia V6 will only be available for Windows, whereas their chief competitor Siemens NX has released it for linux, MacOS, and (still) some unix flavors. Did m$ pay off D'assault Systemes (as well)?
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