Summary: Microsoft’s mischiefs in the UK and Ireland revisited (roles of Richard Steel and Brian Cowen)
WHEN WE last wrote about Richard Steel and his utilisation of Microsoft's Project Marshall to exclude Microsoft competitors, we stressed that the intention was to end an inherently corrupt practice. Heise has just taken stock of some of the evidence and it uses the narrative of Glyn Moody.
Recently Glyn Moody and Richard Steel, who is both the president of SocITM (the Society of local government IT Managers) and CIO of the London Borough of Newham, had a minor spat across their respective blogs at ComputerWorld, provoked by Steel’s response to to the UK government’s newly announced policy for the adoption and promotion of open source – Open Source, Open Standards and Re–Use: Government Action Plan. It was a bit like listening to Richard Stallman talking to a patent official.
His response is both a statement of defiance and an unconscious admission of the lack of adventure that characterises public sector procurement policy, and suggests that, irrespective of government policy and the stated policy of all the main political parties, open source is not an option that will receive a balanced assessment from IT managers in local government.
The persistent failure of the public sector to take advantage of open source is less the fault of the politicians and policy makers, who usually take the blame, than it is the fault of those who are paid to put the policy into practice.
A few days ago we were sent a pointer to this very recent speech (source: Government of Ireland), which serves as a reminder of the special relationship between Microsoft and Ireland.
I am delighted to join you this afternoon. I am particularly pleased to be sharing the podium with Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman of Microsoft Europe.
While I am delighted to be here with you at Microsoft today, my main purpose in Brussels is of course attending the European Council later this afternoon. I have spoken earlier of the international nature of the current crisis which confronts all Member States to one degree or another.
In conclusion, I want to acknowledge Paul Rellis, head of Microsoft Ireland, for the contribution he has made and continues to make in Ireland over and beyond his role for Microsoft, and also the excellent work put into today’s event by Terry Landers. I want to thank also Ambassadors Brian Nason and Bobby McDonagh and their respective teams in a very busy week.
Whether it be Irish and European companies exporting their goods and services across the globe, or major international companies – like Microsoft – investing in Europe and Ireland, above all it is the winds of open international trade that will breathe life back into the global economy. Ireland is determined to play its part. Ireland is, truly, open for business.
In order to understand why contracts are signed blindly with Microsoft, one must identify the source of incestuous relationships and the people who are involved. We shall continue to do so. █
“Crime is the soul of lust. What would pleasure be if it were not accompanied by crime? It is not the object of debauchery that excites us, rather the idea of evil.”
–Marquis de Sade