10.26.09

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Bulgaria May Have to Move to Free(dom) Software

Posted in Europe, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coat of arms of Bulgaria

Summary: The Bulgarian government cannot pay Microsoft, which leaves only one choice

SOME days ago we saw the Latvian Government speaking about a move to Free software as means of cutting costs. Bulgaria may be on a similar boat right now because reportedly it cannot pay Microsoft anymore.

The latest charge involves BGN 20 M which the new government must find to pay Microsoft for the replacement of the old Windows system in offices of the State administration. The contact with Microsoft has been signed by the former cabinet, but according to the PM, they “forgot” to slate money for the deal in the State budget.

The references below [1-7] (reverse chronological) ought to add context. Free software is already growing rapidly in this country [1], the government’s use of Free software is said to be “inevitable” [3], the deal with Microsoft is under fire [2], the president is open to change [7], and moves are already being taken towards it [4-6]. There is at least one Bulgarian GNU/Linux distribution which is notable.
_______
[1] Mozilla Firefox Catches up with Internet Explorer in Bulgaria

According to the Novinite website , In terms of market share, Mozilla Firefox is a lot more popular in Bulgaria than it is globally, and appears to be catching with Internet Explorer.

[2] Prosecutors launch inquest into Government deal with Microsoft

Bulgarian prosecutors have launched a probe into the contract Bulgaria has signed with US software giant Microsoft for the acquisition of software for the needs of the state administration, Dnevnik daily reported on July 1.

The investigation will seek to determine whether any state administration employee has committed any malfeasance, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, Sofia city prosecution spokesperson Steliana Kozhouharova told the daily.

[3] BG: ‘Government’s increasing use of Open Source inevitable’

The Bulgarian government will turn more and more to Open Source software, predicts Krasimir Panayotov, coordinator of the GNU/Linux User Group in the city of Rousse, the country’s fifth-largest city.

[4] BG: Bulgaria to review its IT strategy, considers Open Source

The Bulgarian government organised a meeting with Open Source companies and developers on 21 March in Sofia. Nikolay Vassilev, the minister for State Administration, told the representatives of software companies, IT services companies and Open Source developers that the government is about to review the state’s IT system and that it wants to get a better understanding of Open Source software. The minister admitted he had once worked with Apple Macintosh, but had in the last thirteen years only experienced Microsoft applications. He told the Open Source advocates he would listen to their views on IT: “We have an open mind and will accept reasonable propositions.”

[5] Bulgaria’s open administration

In France, government agency ATICA has supported the use of open software in the French public sector. In a special report to the French prime minister, the agency provided an action plan and the requirements for open standards. One of the six priorities was the use of open software in the public administration. Denmark installed StarOffice in its education system, and in addition the program was installed in the homes of students. In Spain, the senate, the council for nuclear security, the interior ministry and the justice ministry have used server applications with open code. These examples, however, are only about separate public structures.

[6] Sofia, Bulgaria: FLOSSWorld Workshop on Free and Open Source Software Policy

Professor Ivan Evgueniev at the Technical University of Sofia presented the FP6 Open Trusted Computing project, professor Vencislav Trifonov also at the Technical University of Sofia presented their e-learning system, Mircho Mirev elaborated the activities of the Bulgarian free and open source software community through the Linux for Bulgarians portal with over 5.000 hits per day.

[7] President praises Open Source conference in Sofia

Topics include a presentation on how to configure a thin client
infrastructure using the Linux Terminal Server Project, an outline on FreeBSD
and its new network and transport protocols and a discussion on the uses of
the Cluster File system.

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3 Comments

  1. bohu said,

    October 29, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Gravatar

    I’m pretty sure Bulgaria has at least one native linux distribution already but I don’t remember what it is called. I think it uses E17.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This is the one I had in mind: http://www.tilix.org/

  2. bohu said,

    October 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Gravatar

    oops, i was mistaken. I was thinking of Austrumi which is Latvian.

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