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How Denmark Avoids a “Scientology Cult” in IT

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“37 letters with exactly the same words. Some of the senders didn’t even care to remove the ‘Type company name here’ text.

“Simular letters has been circulating in Denmark as an e-mail from the Danish MD Jørgen Bardenfleth to customers and business partners.

“I call it fraud, cheating and disgusting. If I wasn’t anti-Microsoft before, I am now. Disgusting !”

Leif Lodahl

Summary: The rather secret story of migrations to Free software and ODF in Danish municipalities

A government delegate once compared Microsoft's methods to “Scientology cult” because along with its partners it is hunting down resistance to Microsoft products.

We have already seen Microsoft getting 'disobedient' CIOs fired/ousted, which is only to be expected from a company that endorses bribing people and using an "insider friend"/"fox". A lot of people still think of Microsoft as an innocent and professional company, but that’s because they never encountered the wrath one does when getting on Microsoft’s “wrong side” [1, 2] (or "Wong" side).

OSOR has just published this report which is encouraging news for ODF.

Representatives from three European member states, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, took part in the second Open Document Format (ODF) interoperability workshop held in the Italian town of Orvieto at the beginning of this month.

Fabio Pistella, president of Italy’s Center for ICT in Public Administrations (CNIPA), in his opening address told the attendees of the workshop that Italy is about to start a three-year promotion campaign on open source software, writes Roberto Gallopini, one of the organisers of the ODF workshop on his web blog.

OSOR has another new report about migration to ODF and Free software in Denmark (also here):

The municipality announced on 6 November 2009 that, as from the next week, it will start to use OpenOffice, alongside its proprietary alternative. However, the municipality plans to fully move to OpenOffice eventually.

Rødovre has installed OpenOffice on seven hundred desktop PCs.

The municipality’s move to OpenOffice was announced at the annual OpenOffice conference ‘OOoCon 2009′ which took place in Orvieto, Italy, from 3 to 6 November 2009. At the conference, Leif Lodahl, a volunteer project manager for the Danish OpenOffice project, gave a presentation on the integration of existing document management tools with OpenOffice: “Moving to OpenOffice improves control over the documents and allows the municipality to automatically convert relevant documents to PDF.”

Microsoft will not let this be. It never does, as Russian schools teach us.

“Microsoft will not let this be. It never does, as Russian schools teach us.”One of our readers from around this region writes: “Rødovre, Denmark, just west of Copenhagen, has kept secret its deployment of OOo on 700 machines until recently, to avoid interference from Microsoft. Over in Lyngby-Tarbæk, which has already made a switch to OOo, Microsoft is trying to get key municipal staff fired, a tactic which has been used with success elsewhere by finding weak-willed or easily “influenced” bureaucrats.

Rødovre currently has OOo deployed parallel to Microsoft Office, an option that many are apparently unaware of being able to do. That allows the legacy software to be phased out gradually and smoothly.

Regarding an interference, worth including here is the Turku incident (cited in this Comes vs Microsoft exhibit along with other places in Finland and Scandinavia in general).

Our reader continues: “Underneath the facade of desktop software is a fight for control over the information flow and, by extension, the work flow and thus governance of the population. Rødovre is still limited by a proprietary document management system, but like other municipalities will publish open source extensions to OOo that work with that document management system. The fight to get Rødovre’s governance out from under the absolute control of an outside, foreign interest is by definition a fight for local, if not also national, sovereignty. Sedition using backstabbing over smiles and beer is no less sedition through other means.

There are good, FOSS-based document management systems in wide use already around the world, including but not limited to these:

To paraphrase a point in the argument, a school does buy a text book when it does meet the educational requirements and especially when it is also cheaper than one that doesn’t.

It’s not Microsoft fighting for a contract, it’s Microsoft fighting to gain or retain control over the governance mechanism — against the local, national and EU governments.”

It may also be about gateways to and formats for accessing information, which is why Microsoft goes crazy over Google.

To say more about Denmark, there are the banking issues that are rarely talked about. In light of the Bing failure [1, 2], we also happen to learn that “it is an example that the problems exist even today, as they have at the beginning. The hole in Bing is about the same as last year’s Danske Bank (DB) catastrophe. It was actually a consortium of banks, but we’ll call it DB, who fell victim to Microsoft Sharepoint’s security. DB’s business and individual customers lost an inestimable amount of money by having inaccessible or pillagable online accounts. AFAIK the amount these customers lost has not been published it is so big.”

We would like to finish with a somewhat mystifying new press release. Watch what it says there at the end:

Product highlights include new visual mapping of relational data sources; new XQuery code refactoring functionality; increased support for several EDI data formats; SOAP 1.2 support; and new integrated data sources including ZIP, Java™ Archive (JAR), Microsoft Open Office and OpenDocument.

Does Microsoft own OpenOffice.org and ODF now? Or is this an erroneous reference to Office ‘Open’ XML, which is a name Microsoft chose in order to confuse?

Related posts:

Danish tower
Keep Denmark free

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