EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.20.09

The EU Council Answers Marco Cappato’s Question About Microsoft Dependence vs. Europe’s IT Independence

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Milda

Summary: A look at Microsoft’s contact with the EU, which was under internal probe again

THE NEWS about Obama and Microsoft’s Mundie was discouraging and disheartening [1, 2, 3]. The Democrats are already pretty close to Microsoft, having received funds from Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. In addition to this, adds one reader of ours: “just wanted to point out that Craig Mundie and Neelie Kroes have met at this year’s Bilderberg meeting in Greece. [...] this year Mundie gets to rub shoulders with Rockefeller.” Here is the Bilderberg attendee list for this year (or this list from a more reputable source). Let us never forget Steve Ballmer's schmoozing of Neelie Neelie. We also wrote about Mundie's visits to Europe quite recently and we know about the Gateses in Bilderberg, notably Melinda French as we once noted. Other previous posts touch on this group too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], but it’s beyond the scope of this short report. Slashdot drew attention to another little tidbit that may or may not have new impact:

Senate Sources Say CTO Confirmation a Done Deal

[...]

It might also be worth bringing up Chopra’s membership in TiE-DC, a group which promises ‘exclusive peer networking events’ with government officials and Federal contractors, including TiE-DC sponsor Microsoft.

Looking at Europe as we did some days ago (the Gartner anti-Linux fiasco), we find some more information about Marco Cappato, who fought for transparency and may have revealed Microsoft corruption in the process.

After much battling, Cappato obtained the study. Since it was actually written in 2005, and based on even earlier work, its conclusion are pretty worthless: they essentially say that there is no cost benefit to switching from Microsoft’s products to free, but do note that there are issues of independence involved that politicians might like to consider.

Given that things have moved on so much in the last five years, particularly in terms of office document format standards, I don’t want to dwell on those outdated results. Instead, I’d like to highlight the fact that the European Union’s bureaucracy fought to keep it unpublished for all that time; worse, the justification was protecting the “commercial interests of Microsoft”.

Watch this query from Marco Cappato (ALDE) and Marco Pannella (ALDE). They asked the council about use of Free software (not “open source”), which shows that they truly challenge the status quo for the benefit of the public.

Subject: Adoption of free software by the EU institutions

The ‘European Commission against Microsoft’ case has seen the Commission punish the US company with two fines totalling EUR 1.68 billion for abuse of a dominant position.

The European institutions only use Microsoft products (Windows XP Professional operating system, Internet Explorer web browser, MS Outlook e‑mail client and the MS Office package), and rarely are different types of software installed. According to Parliament’s IT services, this is the result of an interinstitutional choice. This generates high costs arising from the purchase of thousands of software licences, and in practice makes the EU institutions dependent on a single supplier in a dominant position, with ensuing problems as regards the accessibility of documents produced in proprietary formats and of interoperability.

The German Parliament decided in 2004 to adopt free software, as did the French Parliament in 2007, and as have other elected assemblies and public institutions.

Does the Council not consider — with a view both to sending a positive political signal as regards open source technologies and pursuing a cost-cutting policy — that it could and should:

1. conduct a study on the economic and functional cost of the current dependency on a sole software supply company, comparing this with the savings that could be made if free software were adopted; and

2. ascertain whether alternative free software exists which could replace the current proprietary software, looking at the solutions adopted in other institutions?

Here is a council’s answer from the 28th of May, 2008 (two and a half months after the question was asked).

Like other public bodies, the Council uses mainly Microsoft software. However, this company’s software is not used exclusively. It is not used, for example, for the Council’s standard e-mail system.

The Council considers that the risk of dependency on Microsoft as mentioned by the Honourable Members is sufficiently limited by the terms of the contract concluded with the company. As for the suggestion that it be ascertained whether the current proprietary software can be replaced by similar free software, or ‘open source software’ (OSS), as it is called, a study carried out by the Interinstitutional Data-processing Committee in 2005 showed that when all the costs of completely replacing protected software are considered, the result would not be a budgetary saving; on the contrary, additional costs would be involved.

Nevertheless, the Council will continue to seek solutions, including OSS, that accord best with the principles of independence, efficiency and good financial management.

Are things about to change? There is definitely hope.

Will European rules impact open source business models?

[...]

The main reform is to allow for downloading and implementation of open source without a formal tender, bypassing the expensive procurement process.

Italian activists are already fighting against inherently illegal Microsoft contracts.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    May 21, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Gravatar

    Studies of free software migration at this point are a waste of time and governments should simply mandate free software for their own use. The last studies were nothing more than a delaying tactic, put on to silence critics, and everyone involved should be ashamed. The EU “study” bought M$ at least 5 years. Every major government now has successful pilot programs and there is no further need for studdies. Free software deployment requires no more research, and sometimes considerably less, than the equivalent non free software purchase. It can be argued that this was the case five years ago as well but now even the general public is aware of migrations by government agencies like the US FAA, France’s National Police and the City of Munich. Mandating free software use would be fitting punishment for crime Gartner and M$ have committed.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 21, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Gravatar

    Agreed. The studies were fine in the 1990′s. The the data is in and the analyses long since complete. The advantages of FOSS have only increased.

    At this point one has to take proposals for new studies as potential MSFTers just trying to slow things down. Money needs to be spent on deployment of FOSS. Failing that, simply migrating away from Windows to any other platform.

What Else is New


  1. Growing Consensus Even Among Patent Professionals That UPC is Dying Everywhere If Not Just in the UK

    The UPC continues to sink as more and more people come to grips with the complexity of the current situation, irrespective of what countries other than the UK do next



  2. Battistelli Attacks Not Only His Staff But Also Patents Themselves (Their Quality) and the Legal Legitimacy Surrounding the EPO

    Battistelli's EPO is having not only reputation problems but also staff retention problems, patent quality problems and problems pertaining to perception of fair trials or justice regarding patents



  3. Battistelli is Creating an Atmosphere of Terror at the EPO While Exploiting Terror Attacks to Garner Sympathy

    "As if Laurent were a terrorist, the Office has imposed a house arrest and has forbidden him to enter the EPO premises," according to SUEPO, writing about one of its members at The Hague who is "maliciously accused via a fabricated procedure"



  4. Rumours That EPO President Battistelli Got Sacked to be Replaced by Christoph Ernst Appear to be Baseless

    Dr. Christoph Ernst is claimed to be the successor (interim or permanent) of the notorious Battistelli, but these claims have little or no evidence to support them



  5. Links 29/6/2016: SteamOS 2.83 Beta, Alpine Linux 3.4.1

    Links for the day



  6. The EPO Has Become Battistelli's Circus and the Administrative Council Has Been Reduced to (Illegal) Circus Animals Controlled With 'Treats'

    Battistelli's attack on justice and on the rule of law is debated among insiders who have grown increasingly impatient with the Administrative Council's tolerance of Battistelli and sometimes even Kongstad's amazing complicity



  7. The Latest Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) Would Have Us Believe That It's Alive and Well

    How patents-centric sites (some of which are in bed with the EPO) have responded to the 'Brexit' vote and why they're not telling us the truth about the Unitary Patent scam (often created and promoted by the same people who run and/or fund such sites)



  8. EPO Management Bunker: “The Bailiff Who Came to Deliver the Subpoena was Escorted off the Property by Five Security Guards.”

    Battistelli has essentially turned the European Patent Office (EPO) into a barracks, where he continues to enjoy immunity from the rule of law and discourages those who wish to challenge this immunity



  9. Keeping the Guard and Securing Society From Software Patents

    The policies over which Indians and Europeans have kept guard are being 'stolen' by vested interests



  10. Benoît Battistelli Further Weaponises His EPO 'Stasi' With CA/52/16

    A glimpse at what Benoît Battistelli will shortly attempt to do to the EPO, in order to cement his power in the face of growing opposition from many directions



  11. EPO Caricature: Administrative Council Control of Benoît Battistelli

    Another new caricature regarding the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and lack of effective oversight from the Administrative Council (European Patent Organisation)



  12. EPO Caricature: Firing Benoît Battistelli

    The latest caricature regarding the President of the European Patent Office (EPO)



  13. Links 28/6/2016: Red Hat Summit 2016, Hadoop Events

    Links for the day



  14. Today's Media Coverage Says Microsoft Loves Linux, But Today Microsoft Extorted Linux Using Software Patents Again

    Luna Mobile has just been extorted by Microsoft (using dubious software patents, as usual) for using Android/Linux, but Microsoft-influenced media carries on spreading the lie that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  15. New Efforts to Work Around Barriers to UPC in Light of 'Brexit'; Behind These Efforts Are Self-Serving Patent Profiteers

    look at who's trying to work around the latest barriers to the widely-unwanted (by the public) Unitary Patent regime and what is being planned behind the scenes, or behind closed doors (by and for those who stand to profit from the Unitary Patent regime)



  16. Injunction Against Battistelli's Investigative Unit (Known Internally as 'Gestapo') Amid Serious Injustices and Bogus 'Trials'

    SUEPO, the EPO's staff union, steps up its spiel in a case against the "European Patent Organization" as defendant and "SUEPO/VEOB" (Trade Union of the European Patent Office) as claimants



  17. [ES] Con la UPC Muerta por el Resto del Termino de Battistelli, No Hay Razón para que la EPO o el Consejo Administrativo Sigan Manteniéndolo Más

    Pensamientos acerca de lo que pasará al líderazgo de la EPO después de ‘Brexit’ (salida Británica de la EU), lo que sevéramente socava el proyecto más grande de Battistelli el que usaba habituálmente para justificar sus increíbles abusos



  18. [ES] El Caradura Benoît Battistelli Debería Renunciar a Luz de la Filtrada Nueva Decisión en Su Vendeta en Contra de un Juez que se Atrevió a Decir la Verdad (Actualizado)

    Benoît Battistelli continúa quebrando las propias reglas de la EPO, no sólo las leyes naciónales, como una nueva decisión ayuda a revelar



  19. [ES] Cada Vez Más Parece Que Battistelli está Escondiéndo ‘Evidencia’ Falsa y/o Ilegalmente Obtenda de la Unidad Investigativa de la EPO

    El porqué creemos que Benoît Battistelli está cada vez mas desesperado de esconder operaciónes ilícitas de reunir ´evidencia´ lo que eventuálment lo puso a él mismo — no al acusado — en una situación catastrófica situacion que lo puede forzar (esperamos) a us renuncia



  20. Links 28/6/2016: Vista 10 Updategate, OpenMandriva 3.0 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  21. Links 27/6/2016: Linux 4.7 RC 5, OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  22. From Alleged Organised Crime to Vice-President of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Željko Topić's situation in Croatia illuminated by means of recent documents from the authorities



  23. Battistelli May Still be on the Way Out as Pressure Grows in Germany, UPC in Shambles

    Pressure on Battistelli is growing even from within circles that are traditionally protective of him and a long letter is sent to Dr. Christoph Ernst, who some believe will replace Battistelli



  24. Caricature: European Patent Office (EPO) Under Battistelli

    The latest caricature about the state of the European Patent Office (EPO)



  25. Techrights (Almost) at 10: From Software Patents to Novell and to Present Focus on EPO

    A short story about how and why we ended up writing so much about the European Patent Office (EPO) and the impact beyond Europe



  26. Patents Roundup: Bad Quality (USPTO), Bad Analysis (India), Bad Microsoft, Bad Actors (Trolls), Bad Scope (Software Patents), and the Ugly

    A mishmash of news about patents, mostly regarding the United States, and what can be deduced at the moment



  27. Links 26/6/2016: IceCat 38.8.0, Wine 1.9.13

    Links for the day



  28. With UPC Dead for Battistelli's Entire Remaining Term, No Reason for the EPO or the Administrative Council to Keep Battistelli Around

    Thoughts about what happens to the EPO's leadership after 'Brexit' (British exit from the EU), which severely undermines Battistelli's biggest project that he habitually used to justify his incredible abuses



  29. Links 24/6/2016: Xen Project 4.7, Cinnamon 3.0.6

    Links for the day



  30. Benoît Battistelli Should Resign in Light of New Leak of Decision in His Vendetta Against Truth-Telling Judge (Updated)

    Benoît Battistelli continues to break the EPO's own rules, not just national laws, as a new decision helps reveal


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts