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Novell Signs Linux Deal with Australian Government

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the foot-in-the-door dept.

127

truthsearch writes to tell us ITWire is reporting that Novell has just signed a deal with the Australian government to become an approved supplier of Open Source software and solutions. This deal, believed to be the first of it's kind, "places Novell on the NSW government panel of preferred open source suppliers. This is the first panel contract of its kind by an Australian jurisdiction that contains provisions specific to open source software, giving government agencies and departments formal access to Linux solutions."

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Why don't all governments... (5, Insightful)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879164)

Why don't all governments switch to Linux? Microsoft's Vista release should be the perfect opportunity for government agencies to get out of this vendor lock-in. What programs are government agencies using that can't run on Linux? Open source word processing on linux should be ready for primetime soon, and until then wordperfect is still available. Any non-activeX web app should not be a problem either.

I just hope that any new government created is not made with Microsoft SQL and .NET. That would be stupid.

Re:Why don't all governments... (4, Interesting)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879202)

Personally I think the biggest problem is users being so used to the Windows/Office environment. I know some companies such as Linspire have tried to make Linux/OOo an easier transition. I don't think they've really succeeded to the point where a company/government can make a seamless transition. At the same time, most developers (myself included) would rather not spend hours converting Linux/OOo to look just like XP or Vista. So, the current state of affairs is unlikely to change much in the near future. I do believe that if some enterprising group/company decided to make Linux/OOo look and feel 95%+ like Windows, getting organizations to switch would be a no-brainer.

Re:Why don't all governments... (2, Insightful)

Y2 (733949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879411)

Just today I had someone say to me, "I don't think I can switch to Mac or Linux because my job requires Excel and MS Access." Sixty seconds of research refuted that unreasoned belief, but there's plenty more where it came from.

Re:Why don't all governments... (3, Insightful)

doodlebumm (915920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879961)

Why does it have to look like XP or Vista?

Re:Why don't all governments... (4, Insightful)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880315)

Why does it have to look like XP or Vista? [emphasis in original]

Because if it doesn't, employees have to be retrained, and retraining incurs significant costs. You have to pay the salaries of both the trainer and the trainees. You have to be accept the decreased productivity of those workers, both during the actual training and for some period after, while they feel their way around the new software. Remember, most Windows and Office users are not technically inclined, so even small changes like renaming a menu option or having a different icon on a button can cause problems. Many users have learned the steps to complete a task, but won't be comfortable doing so if any of the precise steps to follow are changed. Some people can't even cope with the movable toolbars in Office.

You also have to train the helpdesk or system administration staff to field questions about the new software. If the replacement isn't completely compatible with the original program, then some employee is going to have to convert and/or recreate documents in the new format.

At first glance, these costs may not seem significant, but for a medium to large company, the loss of productivity adds up to real dollars. The financial incentive is often significant enough that it makes more sense to pay for an upgrade to Office than to switch to the "free" alternative.

I agree with a poster further up, however...this is an excellent time to cut over to open source if you're a medium or large company. Vista is going to be different enough that it's going to take just as much retraining to get people back to their same levels of productivity.

Re:Why don't all governments... (3, Informative)

ross.w (87751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880938)

The point being though, that this level of pain will most likely be required when VIsta is rolled out in an organisation. That's why a lot of big firms will stick with XP (or even Win2K) as long as they can, but when they finally can't get support for those, or can't get it to work on any new hardware they buy, that's when the opportunity will come to shop around and look at alternatives.

Re:Why don't all governments... (2, Interesting)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880055)

I think you hit it on the head. People just can't get off the current comfort level with Office. I mean even with the quirks, the basics of Office just works.

OSS companies need to tell customers the truth that it's gonna be either the hardway (cold turkey) or easy way (99% copy, then weeined off) to get away from Office. "What would you like?"

Re:Why don't all governments... (2, Insightful)

Hymer (856453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881465)

I do believe that if some enterprising group/company decided to make Linux/OOo look and feel 95%+ like Windows, getting organizations to switch would be a no-brainer.
So... You are telling us that there has not been any significant difference between NT4 and W2K or W2K and WXP ?
The difference, as I see it, is so big that one could as well have changed to Linux or Mac OS X.
--
DRM ? I think I can Manage my Digital Rights myself... without the help of Intel, Microsoft, Apple and any other commercial organization.

Re:Why don't all governments... (4, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879237)

Yeah that's great and all, but my first thought was "Why the hell are they going with a foreign company?" With the departmentalism of government nowadays noone seems to be looking at the bigger picture - if they go for an Australian company they get almost half the money back in tax straight away (in fact they'd get it all, eventually, if you follow the circulation of money), and they don't add to the list of imports. I like Novell and all, but I'm sure there would be some great Australian companies that could do as good a job.

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

munwin99 (667576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879265)

Yes, the govt should look to an Australian supplier - do you know of any Australian company that can come anywhere near Novell's products and support ? Even an Australian distro (surely there must be one or two) ?

Re:Why don't all governments... (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879475)

"Why the hell are they going with a foreign company?"
Grass is greener etc. One of the funniest examples was buying Swedish sonar technology for our submarines at the same time the Swedish were buying very similar technology from an Australian company. One of the least funny examples is that failed managers from other countries are considered superior to anyone local, so we keep importing what can only be assumed to be the some of the worst of US management - who then bring over their friends to feast on the corpse of what was once a successful company.

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880317)

You wrote...
.... what can only be assumed to be the some of the worst of US management - who then bring over their friends to feast on the corpse of what was once a successful company.

That's Management By Ashification. Almost all American companies bring in that kind of outside MBA eventually. Those aren't some of the worst -- they're the cream of the crop!

Re:Why don't all governments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881409)

Lol i dont mind, im an aussie

Re:Why don't all governments... (3, Interesting)

jx55 (772729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879559)

My guess is that any Australian company would only be a Novell/Redhat reseller (effectively) which would add on a margin that they could avoid by going direct - I don't know of any home-grown distros out there...

And since when do Govt departments go for Aussie suppliers of anything. It will only get worse with the Aus/US Free Trade Agreement.

An aside - Does anyone in Australia see the changes to the Patents system under the FTA doing anything positive for the local industry. Most of the changes seem to favour large companies only (are there any large Aus-based software companies - Anyone, anyone?)

Re:Why don't all governments... (2, Informative)

csirac (574795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879881)

You are spot on with your observations with patents. It's crazy. The US side wanted something in return for thinking about letting us do "free" trade with them (but it's still a bit weird - e.g., IIRC the beef import tarriffs would be applied if we export more than a certain quota because of a provision that won't allow the US beef industry to see a reduction in size).

are there any large Aus-based software companies - Anyone, anyone?

Mincom [mincom.com.au] is probably the biggest. Of Australia's home-grown companies, it has the highest CMM rating and I think it's only level 2 or 3.

There are of course Motorola, IBM Global Services, Accenture, etc. operations here, but Mincom is probably the biggest Australian-owned company we have.

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

pnevin (168332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879613)

The NSW government (which is the relevant one in the article) wouldn't really care about that, as any tax would go back to the Federal government.

Re:Why don't all governments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879921)

Its worth noting that Novell isn't the only company on the NSW government panel of preferred open source suppliers. Note the word suppliers , plural. I think you'll find on the panel there are a few companies, some local, some international. For example, I'm pretty sure you'll find that IBM is on the panel as well amongst others and have infact been on there since last year.

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

chadruva (613658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880064)

Why whould you want your goverment to be limited and controled by closed software from other countries?, OpenSource software is not tied to one company or country, even if its Novell or RedHat selling the shrink wrapped package.

That is what matters, control over the software, Open Source gives you that, if Novell or RedHat goes out of bussines you still have the right to use and modify the software and there will be people to hire as consultants for it.

Using propietary software (Microsoft) in goubernamental institutions should be considered a thread to the national security (Note: i'm not from US) it gives control of our information and critical systems to organizations not controlled by the goverment.

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880119)

If you are not from the US why do you use a wholly US specific word like "goubernamental" (it's spelled "gubernatorial" for what it's worth) when discussing an Australian state?

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

chadruva (613658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880201)

Not so obvious, but goubernamental does make sense on my native language (Spanish), my confusion.

I do care if the australian goverment is adopting OSS, I do care if Latin American countries are adoption OSS (Brazil, panama, peru, etc), because I care for my country, and that other countries are going OSS make factible the idea of using it in my country goverment.

Anyways, you are right, why do I care to even reply to the topic. Better go back idling.

Re:Why don't all governments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879246)

Exchange? Visio? AutoCAD? FrontPage??

Ok I'm kidding about that last one.. but just a quick few off the top of my head. I'm sure there are many others.

Re:Why don't all governments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881502)

Sendmail. Pencil and paper. Pencil and paper. Kate.

It is better to do something by hand than to use closed-source software.

Finally, Some Justice (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879322)

After Microsoft nearly killed Novell by using brutal, unfair, monopolistic tactics, Novell now has a fighting chance to just survive. Finally, there is some justice.

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

ReverieTech (959364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879343)

Why is MS SQL and .NET stupid? I can somewhat understand MS SQl but why .NET? You can use mono...

Why not .NET (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879496)

Re:Why not .NET (1)

ReverieTech (959364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879563)

Are you kidding me, that article though correct in some cases is very false in others: Examples: "In addition, ASP.NET requires separate code and HTML files; HTML can not be directly included in code." Uh, no. You have the option. "If .Net's "the future" why haven't the major applications, like Microsoft Office and Exchange, been rewritten on the .Net platform?" The web outlook offered with exchange 2003 is written in completely in .NET. That article is a joke.

Re:Why not .NET (2)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879945)

On your first point, you're wrong. I've written web apps in asp.net and it requires separate html and code files. The old ASP does not.

Of course web outlook was written in .NET. But no CLIENT applications have been rewritten in .NET as Microsoft promised 4 years ago. If you think the article is a joke then you must not care about facts, because it's not an opinion piece. It's only a summary of facts.

Re:Why not .NET (1, Informative)

ReverieTech (959364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880006)

LOL, facts.... http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303247/EN-US/ [microsoft.com] Thats funny, there is code in one file, and in two files just like I said, obviously you know what you're talking about. Really no client apps? http://blogs.msdn.com/vsdata/archive/2004/11/01/25 0823.aspx [msdn.com] Hey, you know what keep believing everything you read and being a misinformed fool.

Someone to blame (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879421)

There is value in having a company to blame and hold accountable when things go wrong.

You buy Microsoft, you get to run bill over the coals.. You choose OSS, its your own ass that goes in the furnace.

Re:Someone to blame (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879444)

Did you ever try holding Microsoft accountable? If yes, with what result?

Well, at least you can say it. (3, Insightful)

robbak (775424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879583)

Every tech uses the "Microsoft is stupid" excuse when they cannot fix a problem, don't they?? If you are not using MS, then you can't say that, and it becomes "my choice of OS is stupid", which is more your problem, isn't it?

Still, I would love to work in a wholey non-MS shop.

Re:Someone to blame (5, Funny)

hvatum (592775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879587)

A few facts about Microsoft:

1. If you can sue Microsoft, they can sue you. If you cant sue Microsoft you may be only seconds away from bankrupcy.
2. There are no bankruptcies. Only people who have met Microsoft.
3. Microsoft defines competition as the reluctance to be bought out by Microsoft. If your company still exists, its just because Microsoft hasn't gotten around to buying you out.
4. When Microsoft enters a new field it doesnt join the market. The Market becomes Microsoft.

Re:Someone to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879727)

Well done. I say +3 funny.

Re:Someone to blame (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879631)

When you are a government, you will be surprised what they will do for you when things go wrong. And we were talking a government contract in the story.

Re:Someone to blame (4, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879541)

1) When was the last time MS took the blame when their software went wrong.
2) Please name the CIO who thinks their company can sue MS so I can publicly humiliate him for his stupidity.

Re:Someone to blame (2, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879768)

New to the corporate world are we? I'll fill you in.

It's not about "We can sue them if it goes wrong!" so much as it's "If it goes wrong, it's not my fault!"

Re:Someone to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879633)

There is value in having a company to blame and hold accountable when things go wrong.

Value to whom? Not the public. Perhaps there's value to some government lackey who gets to blame somebody else when he fucks things up, but there isn't value to the public.

Even if a company was necessary, open-source can provide that. Open-source is a property of what you get, not where you get it from. There must be hundreds of companies in Australia capable of supplying Linux. Why is Microsoft preferable to them?

You buy Microsoft, you get to run bill over the coals.

Yeah, right. Please name one instance of this happening ever.

like...Novell? (3, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880003)

> There is value in having a company to blame and hold accountable when things go wrong.

Right, and this is presumably why they went with Novell, specifically, rather than simply going with "open source" in general.

> You buy Microsoft, you get to run bill over the coals

Ha ha, you're funny! :)

> You choose OSS, its your own ass that goes in the furnace.

This is stupid; borderline FUD! If you choose OSS, then it's you OR YOUR VENDOR'S ass that goes in the furnace, depending on whether you have a support contract or not. Once again, more options, not fewer. You can try to support it yourself, or you can pay someone else to do it. If you pay someone else to do it, going with OSS means you're not locked in--if Novell turns out to have problems, switching from Novell to Red Hat (for example) is far easier than switching from MS to anything.

I assure you that people don't usually choose Red Hat over Fedora or Novell over OpenSUSE for technical reasons. They do so purely and simply so that they can have someone to blame! You're right that this is an important issue, but you're an idiot if you think this is a dividing line between OSS and MS. It's the other way around--with MS, you're FORCED to have someone to blame, whether you want to or not; with OSS, it's optional. :)

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879472)

I just hope that any new government created is not made with Microsoft SQL and .NET. That would be stupid.

You're right. I like my government created with people, not computers. ;)

Re:Why don't all governments... (2, Funny)

cdomigan (833362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879573)

I just hope that any new government created is not made with Microsoft SQL and .NET. That would be stupid.
I never knew there was a market for government creation software...

Re:Why don't all governments... (1)

nevernamed (957351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879622)

Why can't our government do this?? Fucking morons waste american dollars.

How about ODMA support? (4, Informative)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879639)

What programs are government agencies using that can't run on Linux?

If you can suggest an Open Source application that cleanly supports an interface with Document Management Systems, such as ODMA [infonuovo.com] , I'd be very interested.

I work in a (non-US) government department, and we're required by law to keep all documents for certain amounts of time ... the exact amount of which depends on the type of document. We also have some legal requierments to protect certain types of documents from some employees. (eg. If two branches of the department are supposed to be providing independent advice on the same topic from different perspectives, we need to be able to demonstrate they haven't been reading each other's work.) This sort of thing is also often very important for law firms.

We do this by educating staff to save documents into a Document Managenent System (we currently use Interwoven's Worksite [interwoven.com] but aren't locked into it), which requires them to enter some extra metadata about what the document is, and helps to centralise the whole document management thing immensely.

I use OSS at home for my own things all the time, and at home I've gone without Microsoft products at all for at least 2 years, but last time I looked at the main Office tools (OpenOffice, KOffice, AbiWord, etc), I couldn't find any reliable support for ODMA. To be fair, Microsoft Office also has hopeless half-done support for ODMA, but at least it's popular enough that the main Document Management System providers have grudgingly written their own plugins to work with MS Office. ODMA's an open protocol that's already supported by much DMS software, though, and it's unclear to me why it wasn't supported by open source office and related products long ago.

File bugs, etc? (2, Insightful)

Kristoffer Lunden (800757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879931)

It may not help, but it is a great start in many cases to file bugs for feature requests such as this, especially as you can provide use cases as well as specifications. I'd go file at OpenOffice at least, perhaps at KOffice and Abiword too. Also, it could pay off to file bugs for these kind of features at your distros local bug tracker, as the distros themselves have something to win from this and usually does local development that is forwaded upstream. Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat or Mandriva for instance are all quite big and could use any leverage like this.

Actually, if you collect the info needed (short use case, rationale and specification + links) and place it in an accessible place and let people know, others may help file the bugs, do the drafts and maybe even develop the thing.

It all depends if you can catch the interest of someone with enough knowledge to do it.

Good luck!

NSA Key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879721)

"What programs are government agencies using that can't run on Linux?"

The NSA key embedded in Windows [slashdot.org]

Re:NSA Key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14880259)

And everybody knows variable names always accurately identify their contents.

int foo;

Always ready for prime time...SOON/.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14880196)

"Open source word processing on linux should be ready for primetime soon"

Same with linux for the desktop... Sometime soon.... it's been sometime soon for the last 10 years...

at least MS can deliver usable software...

hooray! (-1, Offtopic)

smash (1351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879175)

Well, that means my choice of which linux distributions to get "certified" in just narrowed down significantly ;)

smash.

Re:hooray! (1)

munwin99 (667576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879286)

Novell Certification AND a degree - all in Oz.
See this - http://www.itmasters.com.au/ [itmasters.com.au] [itmasters.com.au]

why sign... (2, Insightful)

noopy (959768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879180)

... when you can download for free?

Re:why sign... (5, Insightful)

mikerozh (710568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879324)

... when you can download for free?

Because you can't download a free support :)

Re:why sign... (3, Insightful)

noopy (959768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879352)

I can't download free support from M$ either, even though I allready paid them.

Re:why sign... (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879348)

why sign a support contract, when you can pay outrageous emergency contractor fees when something breaks?

Re:why sign... (3, Informative)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879358)

A panel contract means that the supplier can be used to "purchase" software without having to go through a formal tender process or get a waiver. The contract sets pricing and levels of service expectations.

PCs have been purchased on panel contracts for at least 20 years. You don't want to have to go to tender to buy a single, or a handful, of PCs - even if it weren't expensive for all concerned you would have people twiddling thumbs for months until their PCs arrived. Nor would you want to do large numbers of such purchases with waivers, with the invitations to corruption that would create.

So this really is quite a big deal.

Of course, any group that has sufficient compute savvy to do their own support will still be able to download and do their own support. They quite likely also have the level of expertise and size of project to purchase software via tender.

Its the small non-technical groups that would make small purchases using panel contracts that benefit from this - a high barrier for them to adopting Linux solutions has been removed.

This could be bad for Linux (4, Interesting)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879217)

I've only used Novell setups a bit, but in my experience, they don't have nearly the functionality or sophistication of some of the other Linux configurations out there.

Also, a little known fact is that NSW used NetWare up until 1999 I believe. That could have had something to do with their decision to allow switching.

Re:This could be bad for Linux (1)

brix_zx2 (955395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879244)

But on the other hand with a company like novell pushing the OS the thought would be that it will be upgraded with the countries quirks and ideas quicker. In the same hand though Open Source as nice as it always is, relies on the communities. Hopefully Novell does the right things.

Re:This could be bad for Linux (3, Insightful)

smilingman (942304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879317)

I've only used Novell setups a bit, but in my experience, they don't have nearly the functionality or sophistication
of some of the other Linux configurations out there.

Also, a little known fact is that NSW used NetWare up until 1999 I believe. That could have had something to do with
their decision to allow switching.


SuSE? Not sophisticated or functional? Where have you been?

That is exactly what Novell is going for (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879344)

Enterprise managers are ol' timey folk, they know a few brand names and they will stick to them: IBM, Sun, Novell, Microsoft, SCO, and so on. So when they want to cut cost and try this "crazy new Linux thing" they'll go to a company like Novell because it evokes the warm fuzzy feelings from back in the day -- early 90s. Strange african sounding names or colored hats are way too much for them to handle...

This is the biggest advantage of Novell. They'll milk their brand name for all its worth -- and they need it too...

Re: a little known fact (3, Interesting)

Fuzzy Bo (582964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879687)

WRT "a little known fact is that NSW used NetWare up until 1999 I believe" - the NSW Ministry where I am a contractor is *still* using Netware (Groupwise, eDirectory, iPrint, ...) and are (AFAIK) quite happy with it. Any mention of bringing replacing the Novell products with Microsoft ones is met (figuratively) with fingers held up in the sign of the cross!

Re: a little known fact (1)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879913)

Sorry. The last I knew was 1999. If they're still using it, great!

Why do we always get "old" opinions... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880350)

I've only used Novell setups a bit, but in my experience, they don't have nearly the functionality or sophistication of some of the other Linux configurations out there.

Honestly, you're quite entitled to your opinion, but if you're going to criticize something as less than the other distros, you should really make sure you're up on what you're criticizing.

For example, what's better (real-world examples would be best) in your preferred distro and worse in SUSE?

I work with both SUSE and RHEL daily, and both have their strengths and weaknesses, but either one is quite up to the task of providing sophisticated funtionality and configuration.

This is good for Novell (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880366)

Lots of people here will say that Novell is a nice nostalgic name to hang a linux distro on.

The fact is that Novell knows networking. Novell knows reliability. Novell's reputation on those two factors is legendary for a good reason. Historically their stuff works so well that Novell servers have been mistakenly bricked up into a closet and forgotten for --years--. Yes, it can be a little cludgy, a little arcane. Compare them, though, to a company that measures the uptime of their server software only when _not_ connected to the Internet, and I think you'll see why a company with that kind of history is attractive.

Re:This could be bad for Linux (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880965)

As far as I know, Sydney Water still uses Netware, and have done since about 1993.

The Australian Government? (5, Informative)

UoNTidal (442382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879258)

...tell us ITWire is reporting that Novell has just signed a deal with the Australian government...

As much as I like to think that my state is a little more important than the others, it's pretty obvious from the title of TFA that the deal has been signed with the New South Wales state government, not the Australian federal government.

Re:The Australian Government? (2, Funny)

munwin99 (667576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879296)

Exactly - but NSW DO think they run the country !!!

Re:The Australian Government? (1)

weharc (852974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879550)

What do you mean *think*? Of course we run the country...

Re:The Australian Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879999)

We *are* the country

Re:The Australian Government? (1)

perthling (200909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880371)

NSW ruin the country you mean?

Re:The Australian Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881240)

Well, NSW taxpayers subsidise the rest of the country. To the tune of billions of dollars per year.

Re:The Australian Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879303)

But that would make it sound less significant if they posted that in the headline!

We are trying to make sound like Linux adoption is growing much more than it actually is. Stop ruining it for everyone.

Re:The Australian Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879565)

Thanks for pointing that out. I figured NSW stood for a geographical location of sorts, but didn't know exactly what.

NSW Government, not Australian Government (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879261)

New South Wales is a state of Australia.

This is a deal with the New South Wales Government, not the Australian Government, just like it says in TFA.

Overrated (4, Insightful)

glowworm (880177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879288)

While this is a good thing the summary overstates things a little. It is, in fact, just one department of one state. A mere chink in the armour.

Re:chink in the armour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879787)

A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.

Re:chink in the armour (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879832)

"A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step."

What is that? Some type of chink philosophy?

*** rim shot ***

--

Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Government (1)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879302)

You had me all excited there, turns out it's only the NSW government, only 1 of the 8 States and Territories, nice but hardly the whole of Australia.

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (5, Interesting)

ignavus (213578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879383)

NSW has about 35% of the Australian population. It isn't just 1 of 8 state and territory governments, it is the *biggest* state government.

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (1)

quadbox (567013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879406)

It's also the only state in negative population growth, and an economic recession :p Easy to adopt a radical software solution when your ship's sinking anyway

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879596)

Only because we fund the other states, to run advertising trying to tempt our businesses to their state.

Given the current state of play NSW will be a National Government in a couple of years.

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (1)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880379)

Yeah, but the swans will NEVER win 3 in a row... See you at surfers when you retire :)

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (1)

typidemon (729497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880080)

It still isn't the Australian Government ...

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (1)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880387)

Thanks for that, and cut out with you northern speak, every one knows it is 'Bestuursysteem'

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (1)

ionicplasma (820891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879601)

FYI, one of the Western Australian governmental departments are also working on a Novell Project.

Re:Novell stitches up Linux deal with Aus Governme (2, Informative)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879804)

Actually Australia has 6 States and 10 Territories.
States

        * New South Wales (NSW) (Sydney)
        * Victoria (VIC) (Melbourne)
        * Queensland (QLD) (Brisbane)
        * South Australia (SA) (Adelaide)
        * Western Australia (WA) (Perth)
        * Tasmania (TAS) (Hobart)

Mainland territories

        * Australian Capital Territory (ACT) (Canberra)
        * Northern Territory (NT) (Darwin)
        * Jervis Bay Territory

External territories

        * Ashmore and Cartier Islands
        * Norfolk Island
        * Christmas Island
        * Cocos and Keeling Islands
        * Coral Sea Islands Territory
        * Heard and McDonald Islands
        * Australian Antarctic Territory

State, not Federal Govt (5, Informative)

wylf (657051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879305)

The article clearly states that the contract is with the New South Wales State Government. So this covers New South Wales only, not the entire country, as the slashdot title indicates.

Also, just because Novell is now an approved supplier doesn't mean that NSW State Government can't implement non-Novell solutions, or purchase OSS (solutions) from anyone other than Novell. AFAIK, it merely means that some paperwork can be skipped in the procurement process. For instance, I think that when dealing with a non-approved supplier, evidence of comparative offerings from at least 2 other suppliers is also required. At least, that is what it would mean in a Federal Government context.

Re:State, not Federal Govt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14880154)

The NSW government is an Australian government. The headline is fine.

Re:State, not Federal Govt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14880545)

This is true, it does mean they can implement OSS solutions without Novell, but in my experience they will not unless there are more than one option. The people who actually plan projects are terribly paperwork agnostic and will pick the path of least justification despite the cost differential. I spent 8 years battling to get OSS in there from the inside and many times I watched us purchase support on solutions we already had put together so management would have someone outside the department to pin the blame on when things went wrong.

Get it into schools (4, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879360)

I don't know how much the State Government of Victoria wastes on Open Software licencing with MS. For the cost of a CD schools can buy open licences for Windows Server Products, Windows XP, Office.

A primary school I was administering for a while was had open licence copies for Win2K3, WinXp, Office2k3, Exchange 2K3, SQL 2000, ISA server and all that was used was WinXP & Win2k3 Server.

It seems a waste of money, moving to linux could help cut costs on resources and and put it into what should matter in schools. TRAINING!!!

Re:Get it into schools (2, Informative)

warrigal (780670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879396)

It costs the school about $7.50 for a CD of whatever MS product they want. That's posted to them. What it's costing the State in terms of a software licence is another question altogether. BTW, in Victoria at least, Linux is used for odd jobs like firewall/proxy (Smoothwall) etc. But since that is a turnkey install the Dept techs don't have to get their hands (or minds) dirty.

Re:Get it into schools (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879456)

Just before I left we got the smoothwall box, it was really good I found it. It is progress, but apart from myself and the DEET Tech who was looking after the school, no one else had any idea what it did, or what Linux was.

Because its a backend service users don't care about it at all.

Re:Get it into schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879684)

The only reason "Acedemic" versions of Microsoft Products exists, is to ensure that the emerging population only knows Windows, which then makes them more prone to use Microsoft products in future. A longterm and very effective strategy!

Pierre

Re:Get it into schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881011)

I would love it if they switched to linux in my school, then they wouldn't have to spend as much time fixing the computers people screw up, that and reducing the need to block off every thing on the computer.

Novell are doing a lot of things right (5, Insightful)

gregluck (668236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879589)

A year ago Novell seemed to have lost its way with its SuSE initative. The executive who had directed the open source strategy had departed, and much of the rest of the company just didn't get it.

Then they decided to release OpenSuse. OpenSuse is now more popular than Fedora Core. That won back the devs like me who had not been listening. And OpenSuse is polished.

This announcement of itself is not that huge. But when taken with the other things they have been doing I can see that Novell can gain mindshare amongst developers and their traditional corporate base. That bodes well for them.

Maybe first in Australia (4, Funny)

hdparm (575302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879649)

They've done it last year in New Zealand - govt. contract to supply OS/software (SuSE of course) to nz primary and secondary schools.

So, mainland first, then west island :o)

Re:Maybe first in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881153)

'New Zealand ?' Those aren't even real words.

Not so big news (-1, Redundant)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879875)

All this means is that IF someone in the NSW government wants to buy an open source solution they CAN do so from Novell without a paper-war. It doesn't mean that the state of NSW is ditching Windows and "going" Linux.

Being an Aussie myself I can say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14880415)

maybe there is hope yet for the country.... :)

This news is nearly a year old (2, Informative)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881101)

zdnet [zdnet.com.au] reported it last year in April.

From the article: The NSW Minister for Commerce, John Della Bosca, on Monday announced -- after a six-month tender evaluation process -- 11 companies would be offered positions on the panel. Companies which made the cut included CSC, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Red Hat, Sol1, Starcom, Sun Microsystems and System Integration Services.

The agreement was subject to "final negotiations", but was not just an agreement to supply one agency, as one comment stated, it makes them an 'approved supplier' for all NSW government agencies, ie: no tender process required to purchase.

Novell in Opera! (1)

selvarajank (930044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881146)

The cameleon would have had a nice time in the Desert.

_The_ Australian Government? (2, Informative)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881225)

"Novell has just signed a deal with the Australian Government" and from the article "Novell has signed a deal with the NSW Department of Commerce, being a department of the NSW Government at that.

Contrary to popular belief, Sydney is not the capital city of Australia, and The New South Wales Government is not The Australian Government.

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