[Marxism] Microsoft and the Dutch Government
andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Sat Dec 11 16:55:18 MST 2004
The Dutch daily paper De Volkskrant reports that 23 social organisations and
enterprises have sent an open letter to the Dutch government in which they
express their concern about alleged "exclusive" negotiations by government
agencies with Microsoft Corporation.
The digital civil rights organisation Bits of Freedom, the Consumer
watchdog, Internet Society Nederland, Nederland Kennisland, and Stichting
NLnet signed the letter, together with the Dutch Open Source Society,
Novell, Unix and Red Hat Benelux. http://www.bof.nl/microsoft/
The rumour is that government departments and some city councils are close
to signing a contract with Microsoft for software applying to some -245,000
desktop PC's plus servers.
WebWereld http://www.webwereld.nl/ disclosed a letter on Friday in which the
Dutch Local Government Association appealed to its members for participation
in a joint deal, to cut costs. The Automatisering Gids reported a week ago
that the go-ahead for the five year-contract was due to be decided on 16
The protesting organisations said it was dubious that the 147 million euro
contract has not been publicly tendered. In addition, according to a motion
unanimously adopted two years ago, the government is supposed to reduce its
dependence on any one supplier in the software market, and promote open
source software. The protesting organisations also favour greater use of
free software and open standards.
Prompted by the reports in the trade journals, the Socialist Party,
Social-liberals, Labour Party and Green Left put questions to the government
last week. Among other things, the parties queried why the government seeks
business with a corporation that has already been convicted for violating
fair competition laws. The Ministries involved so far refused to confirm or
deny secret negotiations with Microsoft, prior to the official response that
will be made to the parliamentary questions.
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