The monopolist is gradually losing it, despite dirty maneuvers
Last week we saw Microsoft coming under fire in Europe. When one talks about the EU, however, there’s a distinction to be made. Brits tend to think of the EU as continental Europe, whose attitude and response to Microsoft has been lukewarm for quite some time, unlike Britain which happily lets itself be shackled by Microsoft.
We won’t delve into the politics at play, but if you are curious about what Richard Stallman recently called the “special relationship,” referring to Tony Blair and the United States, then do some research on the Bilderberg Group. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are members of it and so is the Gates family.
“This has also been a ‘Microsoft Shop’ budget drain that affects all taxpayers (in terms of wealth and service, which can be a matter of life or death).”While the Microsoft brand name sinks rather badly in most places, Microsoft’s brand value in the Britain is still positioned rather highly, according to most surveys. That, however, might begin to change.
We previously covered the British Library fiasco, the BBC’s media division (whose head dropped this week), National Archives and even BECTA, whose role has become almost synonymous with “Microsoft training courses” (funded by all taxpayers).
A lot more coverage of Microsoft’s grip on the British public sector you will find in this long post from January. We hope never to find another NHS in the making, i.e. one of the worst-ever IT disasters. This has also been a ‘Microsoft Shop’ budget drain that affects all taxpayers (in terms of wealth and service, which can be a matter of life or death).
Here come the big news reports from London:
London council dumps Microsoft, may go open source instead
NEWHAM LONDON Borough Council has scrapped the controversial 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it signed with Microsoft in 2004 and drawn up a new agreement with a new set of deliverables.
Below we present just a little exposé of those who are typically involved. We try to keep track of Microsoft’s corporate ‘troopers’, not just so-called ‘analysts’, whom we last addressed yesterday.
The news story above happens to have very high impact, almost in par with that of the London Stock Exchange, which is a total disaster. Only recently they had an outage (yes, the stock market!). To give some self-explanatory information:
London Stock Exchange blames outage on Infolect
Infolect was launched two years ago in place of the exchange’s London Market Information Link platform. It uses Microsoft .net technology and a SQL Server database, and runs on more than 100 Intel-based 32-bit Proliant servers.
Compare with other recent articles such as these two from last week:
- Linux steps up to power NZ Stock Exchange
- HP Linux servers bolster NYSE trading app
- Open Source Slowly Gains Momentum on Wall Street
- Linux Crossing Threshold to Real Mission Critical Computing
- Linux goes to Wall Street, puts on a show
Among article that are just over a year old:
- Next Gen, Mission-Critical Apps To Be Deployed on Linux Says Report
- CIO study finds Linux ready for prime-time
And here is the impact of roughly 320,000,000 Windows PCs that are currently zombies (according to this recent report from USA Today):
The significance of the news from London is great. This happens to be the council which Microsoft used in its notorious “Get the Facts” roadshow around the UK.
They were the first UK Council to pretend they were interested in Open Source, then dump it to get a nice deal out of Microsoft. The MoU they signed formed the basis of the MoU the OGC signed for the Public Sector as a whole. Seems it hasn’t worked out quite how Microsoft told them.
Still, Richard Steele’s career has prospered. CIO of the year in 2005, Senior Vice President of Socitm, and Microsoft’s main mouthpiece (as agreed with them in the MoU) in the UK Public Sector
At Boycott Novell we are still determined to ‘Get the Facts’ about Newham and Birmingham and the nice little deals Microsoft has done in the UK Public Sector out into the Public Domain. Richard Steele is the centrepiece of Microsoft’s game on the Council scene. He’s pretty much the most influential guy there and they currently own him.
More recently we also saw Microsoft’s [P|G]artner Group fooling others in the UK, which led to backlash. Keep your eyes open. Microsoft is very busy behind the scenes. It has never changed its ways, it just happened to have become more secretive, as far as adopting some strict E-mail-shredding policies in the process. █
Recent and related articles:
- Government faces crunch on Microsoft mega-deal
- Is Becta loosening Microsoft’s grip on UK schools?
- Interview: Tim Pearson, CEO at RM plc on interoperability and software patents
Recent press release: