05.20.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

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much in the last five years, particularly in terms of office document format standards, I don’t want to dwell on those outdated results. Instead, I’d like to highlight the fact that the European Union’s bureaucracy fought to keep it unpublished for all that time; worse, the justification was protecting the “commercial interests of Microsoft”.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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  3. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  4. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  5. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  6. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  8. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  10. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  11. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  12. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  13. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  15. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  16. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  17. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  19. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  21. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  23. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  25. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  26. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  27. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  29. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  30. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation


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

Recent Posts