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Re: Businsses Accept Open Source Software, Permit Employees to Use It

  • Subject: Re: Businsses Accept Open Source Software, Permit Employees to Use It
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 23:47:12 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / ISBE, Manchester University / ITS / Netscape / MCC
  • References: <1161513554.545127.58470@i3g2000cwc.googlegroups.com> <1161554822.520156.48610@i3g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Sunday 22 October 2006 23:07 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Firefox Wins Popularity Among Business Users
>> ,----[ Quote ]
>> | 44 percent of businesses with 250 employees or more
>> | allowed workers to download Mozilla's open-source
>> | browser at the office.
> Many companies even provide a download site, where employees can pick
> up a version of FireFox configured with bookmarks and plug-ins to
> support most of their needs.
> Many users have observed that when they use FireFox, they have fewer
> problems with spyware, viruses, and malware.  This is a big plus,
> especially in the corporate arena.
> Even companies who still use IE, still often disable many of the IE
> unique features such as ActiveX controls, VBScripts, and signed ActiveX
> controls.  And even those who do allow signed ActiveX controls such as
> PDF viewers and Flash viewers, often restrict access.
> In many cases, employees are not allowed to alter these settings.
>> | Last year, only 26 percent of such businesses were
>> | willing to browse the web with Firefox.
> Put more accurately, only 26 percent had a formal policy addressing the
> issue and permitting it.  Many companies have a "hands off" approach.
> In essence, since no funding is required, since no approval is
> required, and since no special scheduling is required, there is no need
> to get formal approval.  But 26 percent of these companies formally
> state that they would support Firefox in some way.  Today much of that
> 46 percent is not only taking a formal policy of permitting Firefox,
> many actually require all web sites used by employees to be firefox
> friendly.

...a force to be reckoned with. Word of mouth and some low-cost advertising
can work wonders. Opera struggles to get the same type of support from
bloggers, Google, and some layman user that is filled with enthusiastic
sentiments whenever the browser's name is mentioned or raised.

>> | The trend to switch to Firefox may be hastened by
>> | Microsoft's release of Internet Explorer 7.
> If Microsoft keeps coming up with these "Baskin Robbins" licenses, this
> is very likely.  With all of the publicity around the new Vista EULAs,
> most corporate legal departments are watching these licenses very
> closely.  Some companies even forbid download of Microsoft software
> from anyplace but the corporate site, or installation of any Microsoft
> software not provided by the corporate deskside support.  This is
> because they don't want their employees spending money on a license
> that will be invalidated by the corporate license, simply because the
> machine fell apart while they were on the road.

You are absolutely right. See the following item that received a lot of
attention today.


        IE7 May Be Illegal

It's again all about licencing, as you said.

,----[ Quote ]
| IE7 does something no other piece of software has ever done in the
| history of computers.
| It forces the user to verify the authenticity of a completely
| separate piece of software, the Operating System before it will install 
| itself.
| Now, this may seem logical from an anti piracy standpoint as a
| monopolist. But ask yourself, if you would agree to validate
| every piece of MS software when you installed it against every
| other piece of software you own including the OS.

>> `----
>> http://www.torontodailynews.com/index.php/SciTechNews/2006102105firefox
>> More companies will also accept, if not encourage, the
>> use of GNU/Linux by employees.
> In fact, some companies might even REQUIRE the transition to GNU/Linux.
> Again, Microsoft is it's own worst enemy.  They have published their
> intent to enforce a license that boils down to "lots more money, lot's
> less value, and harder to escape", combined with the legal means to
> disable every computer in the company, because a license term has been
> violated - possibly even on only one single machine.  This doesn't mean
> that Microsoft WILL disable 100,000 computers unless Prudential agrees
> to pay them $3 billion over 3 years and to banish Linux and all Linux
> users, but they could if they chose to.

Microsoft distributed (or /will/ distribute) a tool that supercedes
WGA/Vista's equivalent/s. It's intended to be used by businesses which get
locked out, but what about home users? What about the implications on

>> 3 years ago my employer
>> was not happy when I was about to covert a Windows XP
>> workstation to Red Hat.
> Exactly 3 years ago, Microsoft had just announced that unless
> businesses signed new support licenses, at 3 times the rate they were
> previously paying, they would be "on their own" regarding support.  The
> were only given 30 days to sign the contract.  Within a few weeks after
> that deadline, Microsoft activated the FREE update service, available
> to ALL users, by virtue of their OEM license.  Simply put, these
> companies had been snookered into paying as much as $1800/year per
> user, for a service that Microsoft offered for free.  To be fair, this
> included support for Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Access,
> and Project among others.  Essentially it was the "production" version
> of the MSDN subscription, but with not so much software.

I never knew they even provided support. My judgment tells me that the
company employs MSCE's and relies on the OEM for basic support. As far as
malware is concerned, it's "thanks for the purchase, but you'll have to take
it from here yourselves".

> But the clincher was that Microsoft's new contract nullifed their OEM
> contracts, and there are already reports of XP licenses under VLM that
> have "expired", meaning that they could be deactivated permantly,
> without warning, and can only be reactivated if the company accepts a
> new contract.  No word on the new terms, could Microsoft "triple up"
> again?  Would companies spend over $16,000 per employee for 3 years of
> license extension?  Last time, XP wasn't even stable yet, but the
> companies were expected to accept the licenses, specifically the terms
> of the licenses, even though most of the licenses could not be deployed
> for almost a year.
>> A year later Ubuntu took over a more modern box.
> Within 3 months after Microsoft announced this "renew now or die"
> ultimatum, 85% of those CIOs responding to a survey, had plans to
> migrate to Linux over the next 18-24 months.
> The only problem with this, is that the new license was actually a lump
> sum commitment which was financed over 3 years.  In effect, the company
> had to pay for the licenses and support, whether they used it or not.
> And now the pig is back at the trough.  They are bigger, and hungrier
> than ever.
> And this time, they don't have a federal court judge watching over
> their shoulder telling them that they have to stop behaving like a
> monopoly.
> At this point, one can only speculate at what's going to be like when
> Microsoft starts their little extortion program, shutting down the PCs
> of hundreds or even thousands of employees, without warning, and
> refuses to turn them on again until the CIO or CEO signs a contract for
> another three years at pretty much any price Microsoft wants.

The mind boggles...

Your data or your life

,----[ Quote ]
| As unlikely and alarmist as this sounds, it could really happen. Intracare
| is the publisher of a popular practice management system called Dr. Notes.
| When some doctors balked at a drastic increase in their annual software
| lease, they were cut off from accessing their own patients? information.
| This situation is completely unconscionable. There can be no truly
| open doctor-patient relationship when an unrelated third party is the
| de facto owner of and gatekeeper to all related data.


>> The old one was abandoned (filled
>> with malware) and nobody used it.
>> Also see:
>> http://blog.einval.com/debian/misc/LiMux.comments
>> LiMux - bringing Debian to Munich's local government

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