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07.17.12

Gartner Attacks Free Software and Transparency in Government

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Government corruption often leads back to the Gartner Group

Politics

Summary: “Last week, the city denied the request, saying that the calculations are part of the trade secrets from Gartner,” says a report

THE popularity of Free/open source software in Europe is undeniable, based on new figures. It is a quiet transition.

The Gartner Group, however, has been fighting against it, as we showed over the years.

“It is corrupt on every level and this behaviour oughtn’t be tolerated.”Gartner uses excuses for censorship of opinions; it wants journalists to not mention the name “Gartner” unless it can control what the publicity is saying, and so on. It is corrupt on every level and this behaviour oughtn’t be tolerated.

Following some recent protests from the FSFE, calls for transparency in Helsinki became louder and louder, so consequently, the EU Web site covered it as follows: “Advocates of free and open source software in Helsinki are pressing the city’s IT department to make public the cost calculations they used to argue that a switch to a vendor-independent office suite is too expensive. A member of the city council is considering a demand that the IT department divulges the details.

“I am disappointed on this decision by the IT department to keep the cost details under wraps”, comments Green League city council member Johanna Sumuvuori. The council member has been advocating the use of open source by the city administration since October 2010. Following her council resolution the city started a ten-month pilot with using Open Office in February 2011.”

“Microsoft has been using OOXML to impede the use of OpenOffice.org.”Here is the interesting part: “The Finnish chapter of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) in April used the Freedom of Information act to request that the calculations be made public. Last week, the city denied the request, saying that the calculations are part of the trade secrets from Gartner, an IT consultancy.”

There are already complaints about this, but Gartner always gets away with such misbehaviour. Considering the fact that some Finnish cities manage to move to FOSS (according to this new report), it seems like the reason for secrecy may be misconduct. To give as an example those who do it right:

The IT department of the Finnish city of Tampere will try out OpenOffice, a free and open source office suite. The free suite of office productivity tools will be installed alongside the proprietary office suite currently used by the city staff. The IT department warns against high expectations.

Microsoft has been using OOXML to impede the use of OpenOffice.org. Gartner helped OOXML. Bill Gates and Microsoft also funnel money into Gartner, which in turn does a lot to derail Free/open source software adoption. We shall see how well this deployment in Finland goes. In any event, transparent is a must; there is public money at stake. If Gartner requires secrecy, it must never be hired. I discussed such issue with Richard Stallman yesterday. I will soon public the audio and transcript (the latter process takes a lot of time).

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