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

06.10.13

~$10,000 Per Windows Desktop Per Year in the British Government, and Microsoft Wants to Deny Us Choice

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft at 2:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Cameron

Image from the 10 Downing Street Web site

Summary: The insane spendings that accompany Microsoft in computing, based on new revelations from the UK

There are some outrageous reports about our government spending about 10,000 US dollars for each Windows-running machine in government, essentially flushing taxpayers’ money down the loo. One article put it like this:

The government has always faced criticism that its IT is slow, unwieldy, inflexible, unnecessarily complex and overpriced. It’s one thing when you face this criticism from your rivals, the press or members of the public – but you know you’ve reached a dire point when it’s your own chief operating officer (COO) twisting the knife.

At a government spending review attended earlier this week by V3, the government’s new COO Stephen Kelly shed some light into the world of technology at Whitehall and across the public sector.

Munich could do far better than that!

Over the years we covered many examples where the British public sector favours Microsoft for no good reason.This is used to funnel public money into private hands. The NHS and BECTA are just two examples of this.

Here is my co-host’s take on this latest outrage. He points the finger at Microsoft:

People still running a Windows system in the home will probably be able to appreciate the almost full time job of securing it against the latest malware, fixing nonsensical bugs which suddenly appear for no reasons and creating their own imaginative workarounds just to get the desktop functioning. For the home user this may be seen as run-of-the-mill home computing, but put the same issues into government systems where your tax money goes and the problem becomes less of an annoyance and more a costly exercise – at your expense.

[...]

Now user’s of Windows can appreciate that boot up (and shut down) can take a long time. Here’s your Government (in the UK)

“I came into the office and I pressed my PC and it took me seven minutes to boot up,” he told attendees. “That’s government in the old world, that’s three days of the year I waste of my time booting up.”

Computers are needed in government, but why do they run Windows? Mr. Pogson says bundling is still the issue. To quote:

Ask yourself, why did M$ insist it’s customers not ship bare metal? Did M$ want to ensure end-users had less choice of OS? Did M$ want to ensure it had a larger market-share than it was otherwise earning on price/performance? Were they afraid people would realize the price they paid for that OS?

A market that does not offer choice of OS is broken and governments should have smacked M$, OEMs and retailers long ago over the practice of bundling the OS. It’s clearly an anti-competitive act. Where I live one can buy a bare-metal PC but only as a “bare bones” system to which you must add components or as parts. That worked for ATX PCs but it does not for notebooks and tablets which so far don’t have many user-changeable parts. Freedom in ATX is fading with the decline in “desktop” PCs. They’ll likely be available for years longer but unless we demand notebooks and other PCs offer a choice of OS, bundling will be coming back in a big way. M$ may yet try to get OEMs to ship nothing but M$’s OS.

Why is there no government action against it? Microsoft is too big to jail; for other illegal practices too there has been no punishment, AstroTurfing and racketeering included. What about UEFI, the latest scheme to keep GNU/Linux out of desktops? UEFI is again being covered in ZDNet, owing to J.A. Watson, a Brit who was approached by UEFI Forum after he had criticised UEFI. Here is his latest problem:

I have written a number of times recently about UEFI Boot, and how much trouble I have had getting it set up and getting it to stay the way I want it.

It is important to remember that system manufacturers sometimes make BIOS firmware updates available, and installing such updates can sometimes be of significant help with existing problems.

An example is my Acer Aspire One 725. I have installed several different Linux distributions on it (openSuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu and Debian), and I had run into two related problems.

First, when the Linux installation was finished the system still only booted Windows, and second, even when I changed the UEFI Boot parameters in NVRAM (using efibootmgr), the changes would be lost on the next reboot (which was actually the root cause of the first problem).

All this complication sure is enough to discourage most people from installing GNU/Linux, There is an antitrust complaint in Europe.

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

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  2. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  3. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  4. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  5. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  6. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  7. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  8. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  9. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  10. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  11. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  13. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  14. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  15. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  16. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  17. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  18. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  19. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  20. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  21. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  22. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  24. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  25. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  26. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  27. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  28. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  29. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  30. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism


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