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[News] Microsoft as the Dark Forces, Alleged Crimes in Switzerland

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The Undiscovered Country

,----[ Quote ]
| The hostile species is Microsoft, of course. The energy moon that exploded, 
| in this parallel is Windows, as Microsoft dug deeper into the franchise it 
| produced Vista which blew up in their faces. Their enemy, the Federation of 
| Planets, would be the open source and Linux communities, who have constantly 
| felt threatened by Microsoft's posturing over open source. The warring 
| factions have been separated by a neutral zone which few, save Novell, dared 
| to cross. And that attempt to reach out to find détente would be last year's 
| reaching out to the Apache Foundation and Microsoft's open source 
| contributions.        
| [...]
| That is where we are right now in the story, though with open source, the 
| disruption that threatened the peace was the Microsoft lawsuit against Tom 
| Tom which sent a chill through the Linux community as it mentioned FAT 
| software patents. “See”, the Kirks of the open source community said, “we 
| cannot trust them.”    


Open source businesses oppose restricted tender in Switzerland

,----[ Quote ]
| A group of open source companies has launched a legal action against the 
| Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FBL). The agency awarded a 
| 3-year, 42 million Swiss franc contract for licence extensions to Microsoft 
| following a "no-bid" process for those extensions. Linux specialists Red Hat, 
| Univention and Collax, groupware vendors Zarafa and Open-Xchange and a range 
| of other companies which earn their living from open source software are now 
| protesting against the award.       



Red Hat Sues Switzerland Over Microsoft Monopoly

,----[ Quote ]
| £8 million a year to Microsoft, with no public bidding. And that's just the
| tip of the iceberg, say open source activists
| Linux vendor Red Hat, and 17 other vendors, have protested a Swiss government
| contract given to Microsoft without any public bidding. The move exposes a
| wider Microsoft monopoly that European governments accept, despite their lip
| service for open source, according to commentators.
| The Red Hat group has asked a Swiss federal court to overturn a three-year
| contract issued to Microsoft by the Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and
| Logistics, to provide Windows desktops and applications, with support and
| maintenance, for 14 million Swiss Franc (£8 million) each year. The contract,
| for "standardised workstations", was issued with no public bidding process,
| Red Hat's legal team reports in a blog - because the Swiss agency asserted
| there was no sufficient alternative to Microsoft products.


Public Call for Tender Requested: Swiss Group Challenges Microsoft Contracts

,----[ Quote ]
| The Swiss Federal Office for Construction and Logistics (Bundesamt für Bauten
| und Logistik, or BBL) is reported as having purchased Microsoft licenses in
| the order of 42 million Swiss francs (about $38 million). Because no public
| bids were tendered, open source organizations are now requesting a review of
| the decision.


Federal government grants 42 million franks contract to Microsoft — without

,----[ Quote ]
| The Swiss federal government published in the Swiss Official Gazette of
| Commerce that it has granted a maintenance contract over CHF 42 million to
| Microsoft — however, without a prior tender. The monopolist apparently had
| been granted the contract under exclusion of any potential competition.
| The Federal Office of Construction and Logistics (BBL) apparently signed the
| maintenance contract over Windows and Office licenses, SharePoint et cetera
| in February already. A tender had never been held, so competitors had never
| been given a chance to demonstrate their own products. This, however, is
| clearly against the official regulations for acquisition of resources. A
| speaker of the Open Source corporation group /ch/open announced that the
| decision would be contested in front of the Federal Court which,
| incidentally, is a known user of the OpenOffice.org suite.



Official: Zürich’s students get rid of “Windows Tax”

,----[ Quote ]
| Thanks to their efforts, students and staff in Zürich now have the freedom
| to /choose/ what software they want to run on their laptops.


FSFE, SIUG File Official Objections to Switzerland's Vote on MS-OOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| It all reminds me of when I was a kid, and we'd sometimes settle things in
| the playground with a coin toss. There was occasionally a smart aleck who'd
| yell out as the coin was thrown up into the air, "Heads I win, Tails you
| lose." This ISO process seems like that, in that people are voting against
| MS-OOXML in numbers and raising serious questions, but somehow they get
| ignored or bypassed.


Swiss Cheese [for OOXML]

,----[ Quote ]
| The present spin doctors of Microsoft and ECMA managed to convince Mr.
| Thomann to reject every serious technical and general concern we had
| regarding OOMXL by pointing to compatibility reasons. At the end we had a
| majority _against_ Microsoft but which (giving the unfair rules) results in a
| Swiss vote _for_ Microsoft. Mr. Thomann was fretting and fuming at the end of
| the meeting how it can be that successful international companies (we had
| representatives from IBM, Google, ...) vote against the best interest of
| their customers and theirself!      
| Yes, this is how the democratic system at SNV / ISO works. After the meeting
| I could not eat as much as I wanted to puke...

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