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[News] Free Software Saves Public Money, Popular in India

  • Subject: [News] Free Software Saves Public Money, Popular in India
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 01:58:17 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

When and how can Free Software really save public money?

,----[ Quote ]
| A few days ago, during an email conversation 
| about efficient public services and waste of 
| money in Public Administrations, I had to 
| answer a couple of questions. Since those 
| answers may interest many other people, here 
| they are.
| (note for newcomers: the "Free Software" 
| discussed here is software like Ubuntu (a 
| distribution of Linux) or OpenOffice: 
| software that can be legally copied and 
| installed without license costs, supported 
| by politicians of all parties, even in the 
| European Union)
|     First question: in my opinion, people 
|     saying that Free Software saves money 
|     overlooks the fact that those who use it 
|     on their job, for example a public 
|     employee, may need some training to use 
|     all its features. If you consider this, 
|     Free Software saves money only in the 
|     long run, doesn't it? 
| Of course, in medium and big organizations, 
| the costs of software licenses are only a 
| small part of the total costs of using and 
| maintaining that same software (even if, 
| only in Italy, the total amount of software 
| licensing costs in local and national PAs is 
| hundreds millions of Euros every year), but 
| let's look at the whole picture. If you only 
| consider the cost of software licenses, it's 
| easy: Free Software wins. 


Indian Kids Most Active Downloader of Open Source Technology [Youth Survey]



Steps to adopt open source standards draw flak

,----[ Quote ]
| Indiaâs open source software lobbyists
| allege that the countryâs proposed draft
| recommendations for adopting open
| technology standards and software for
| automating different government departments
| and functions, favours popular software
| solutions from large companies such as
| Microsoft.
| According to people familiar with the draft
| recommendations, a meeting of the apex body
| on Standards for eGovernance was held last
| week, and the policy is close to being
| approved. ET was shown a copy of the
| proposed recommendations by one of the
| persons who requested anonymity.
| [...]
| The most contentious point of the policy is
| that it includes standards which may be
| royalty free and non discriminatory (RAND)
| as compared to fair royalty free and non
| discriminatory (FRAND), which many experts
| had recommended.
| âThe entire standard should be royalty-free
| and not just the âessentialâ parts of it.
| In other words, All patent claims necessary
| to implement the standard should be
| royaltyfree. Also, royalty free on
| FRAND/RAND is self-contradictory. If a
| Standard is Royalty Free (RF) then it
| cannot be RAND,â says Venkatesh Hariharan,
| a blogger and expert on open source
| affairs.

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