Summary: Microsoft Romania under scrutiny after blind government handouts; Microsoft-centric assault on EIF (European Interoperability Framework) revisited
A COUPLE of days ago we urged Free/open source businesses to legally challenge Microsoft contracts in their country. There is now legal precedence of some kind. It’s developing, still. Over in Romania, there are clear signs of wrongdoing and there is finally a press report about it.
The [Romanian] government has announced it will pay €300 million (£262 million) to a Romanian IT company for PCs and Microsoft software licences for use in education (see Google translation), while also directly paying Microsoft €100 million (£87 million) for software licences to be used in government agencies between 2010 and 2012 (see Google translation). The country is also paying €58 million (£50 million) this autumn for its existing 2004 to 2009 framework agreement.
The problem of contracts that are not tendered properly is rampant across Europe, and wastes public funds that could be better spent elsewhere, says Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The Swiss government issuing a contract to Microsoft for £8 million a year, without a tender), and cases may be more extreme in Eastern Europe, he said.
“This decision of the Romanian government seems careless and endangers the country’s sustainable economic growth by increasing its dependency on proprietary software and by wasting funds that would have been better used elsewhere, for instance on infrastructure,” said Greve.
There should be legal action here.
In other news, regarding EIF 2, a reader shares with us the following story:
Someone was telling me that EIF 1.0 is not readily available from the main site. I’m not sure which main site they are talking about, but a series of searches shows that there can be some merit in bringing the strong points of interoperability back into the daylight. And point out the ongoing mischief that MSFTers are creating.
People have taken interoperability for granted now for a full generation. Since it goes without saying, no one needs to say it. If no on needs to say it, it goes unsaid. If there is no one saying it, then it is not represented and thus goes away…
Our reader added some very old material from the opponents of open standards, starting with this report which shows how EIF v2.0 is scrutinised by Microsoft's Gartner Group (as usual, Gartner promotes Microsoft and attacks its competition in exchange for money [1, 2, 3]).
There is also this report about what the opposition to open standards has to say. Again, it’s filled with Microsoft lobbies like Gartner and ACT:
The revision process started with the preparation and publication in May 2007 of the Gartner Report, a preparatory study ordered by the European Commission. That report has been analysed but not endorsed by the Commission and the member states who worked on a draft of the EIF new version, according to IDABC.
Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology, took a similar position, adding that the new version risks hurting small start-up companies that rely on intellectual property protection to compete in the marketplace.
Microsoft must have stifled the progress of EIF. Its hired guns, including ACT [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], submitted suggestions that speak about software patents and all sorts of things that lead to confusion and thus dilemma. If EIF is slowed down, then their goal is achieved. IBM, on the other hand, was openly promoting EIF. There was hardly a word from Microsoft, which sent ACT, CompTIA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and the BSA [1, 2, 3, 4] to derail this. We wrote about the blunder right here. Our reader calls it “saturate, diffuse, and confuse.” █