10.28.09

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Los Angeles Officially Dumps Novell, Microsoft to Pay the Bill

Posted in America, Google, Mail, Microsoft, Novell at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunset Boulevard

Summary: Google emerges victorious in Los Angeles, where Microsoft and Novell get dumped and payments for Google are partly covered by Microsoft compensation

THERE has been seemingly-endless coverage of the almost-unprecedented migration in Los Angeles to Google. The waiting is over and the verdict is in. Google claims that over 2 million businesses have already moved to Google Apps, but few (if any) of these larger entities are in the public sector; there is a dilemma here because there is dislocation of information which belongs to the public, the taxpayers. After a great deal of fuss and resistance, much of the unclaimed Microsoft settlement money in California is to be used to dump Microsoft and Novell. Formal reports indicate that this is final. Many news sources around the Web say so.

The city council in Los Angeles on Tuesday unanimously approved a $7.2 million deal to use Google Apps.

Guess where the money comes from.

According to Los Angeles City Council minutes, just over $1.5 million for the project will come from the payout of a 2006 class action lawsuit between the City and Microsoft. Microsoft paid $70 million three years ago to settle the suit, brought on behalf of six California counties and cities who alleged that Microsoft used its monopoly position to overcharge for software. Microsoft has paid out more than $1 billion in other class-action settlements based on similar claims.

To name the effect on Novell’s business:

i. LA is Suffering from a Severe Case of Disconnect

The City of LA has been using Novell’s Groupwise email system and software since the early days and is currently in possession of an upgrade that LA has failed to implement. The upgrade, the training and the maintenance that supports the upgrade, and the promise of a 10% reduction in future licensing fees have all been offered by Novell over the last year in an attempt to keep the Los Angeles contract.

ii. L.A. Council to consider replacing city’s e-mail system with Google-based app

Kent Erickson, a senior vice president at Novell — the company that created GroupWise — disputed that conclusion. He said the city could save money by simply upgrading to the most modern version of GroupWise.

iii. Google Web Services to Oversee Government Internet Services

With the Google deal, the government will be ending its 7 year old tie up with Novell Inc.’s GroupWise E-Mail and Record-Keeping Software, which has lately faced much criticism by the employees. It is, reportedly, very crash-prone and slow.

Lastly, an opinion:

Google told the LA Times they have a “dramatically lower cost solution” and the city’s Information Technology Agency said that the Google system would save millions of dollars. But then, says the paper ” a recent city analysis found that, instead of offering clear budgetary savings, installing and running Google Apps would actually exceed the cost of the current Novell system by $1.5 million over the five-year life of the contract.”

Microsoft recently gave Fog Computing a bad name [1, 2, 3, 4], but this did not deter the Los Angeles City Council.

“I feel we are much too smug in dealing with Novell. Perhaps they didn’t hurt us in DOS yet — but it’s not because of product or their trying. It’s because we already had the OEMs wrapped up.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

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