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[News] Microsoft Escapes With Excluding Free Software in Switzerland (Court Appeal Likely)

  • Subject: [News] Microsoft Escapes With Excluding Free Software in Switzerland (Court Appeal Likely)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2010 14:52:54 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

Switzerland â 0wn3d by Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| The court has decided. A tender would be 
| disruptive to the Microsoft-only world of 
| the swiss public. One of five judges 
| disagrees and mentions that this 
| effectively means there is no alternative 
| to Microsoft and that this might not be 
| what a free market is about.
| I can only say âCongratulationsâ to 
| Microsoft. Feel free to cash in the 47 
| million SFR of swiss taxpayers money and 
| look forward to a perpetuum mobile. You 
| now own the swiss public sector. This is 
| what competition and free market is about?
| The trick used here was to say that the 
| BBL wanted to buy a defined âtechnologyâ. 
| The âtechnologyâ however was the Microsoft 
| range of products. By using this 
| interpretation it was obvious that Open 
| Source solutions cannot compete and 
| therefore a tender was not needed.
| This argumentation disrespects a 
| fundamental fact IMHO â this âtechnologyâ 
| is not available in a market â it is 
| *only* available from a *single* vendor 
| who sets the price, the features and the 
| scope. With this fundamentally flawed 
| argument Microsoft now effectively is even 
| free to ask *any* price for its 
| âtechnologyâ. A single-vendor market is 
| typically not seen as a free market. But I 
| guess in Switzerland they have a different 
| definition in place. Is this a wise use of 
| taxpayers money? I respectfully disagree.


CH: Court approves purchase of proprietary licences without tender 

,----[ Quote ]
| Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court 
| yesterday decided that a government 
| organisation's renewal of its proprietary 
| software licences without a public tender 
| does not harm the business interests of 
| open source software service providers
| With that the court dismissed the claim by 
| a group of eighteen open source companies 
| that the Department for Building and 
| Logistics (BBL) should have issued a call 
| of tender in 2009. BBL in May that year 
| had renewed a three year contract worth 42 
| million Swiss frank (about 31 million 
| Euro) with a proprietary software vendor 
| for licences, maintenance and support. The 
| contract involves the software on PCs for 
| 40,000 federal employees.


Open source vendors lose Swiss Federal Administrative Tribunal case


Chasing Tail-lights

,----[ Quote ]
| The only thing preventing total collapse 
| at the moment is the loyalty of the 
| âpartnersâ who are solidly locked in. 



CH: No settlement between Swiss government and open source suppliers

,----[ Quote ]
| The settlement negotiations between eighteen
| domestic and foreign open source IT service
| vendors have failed, the Swiss Federal
| Department for Building and Logistics (BBL)
| announced on December 9. Their dispute will now
| go to the Swiss Federal Administrative Court.


Interim decision in Swiss open source case

,----[ Quote ]
| The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has issued an interim verdict in a
| legal action brought by a group of open source companies against the Swiss
| Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (BBL) for awarding a software
| procurement contract to Microsoft without a tendering process. The decision
| revokes the restraining order issued at the end of May, but only allows the
| BBL to continue to obtain such services from Microsoft as are necessary for
| ensuring the continued function of federal information systems.


Open source vs Microsoft: further progress in Switzerland

,----[ Quote ]
| The Swiss Open Systems User Group and the canton of Berne treasurer's office
| have reached a rapprochement. The open source advocacy group had criticised
| the fact that a contract for revamping the canton's 14,000 workstations was
| awarded to Microsoft without a tendering process. Although the canton is
| insisting that the contract should stand, the Swiss Open Systems User Group
| has decided not to pursue the case in the courts.


Open Source Society appeals to Auditor-General

,----[ Quote ]
| The New Zealand Open Source Society is calling on Auditor-General to
| scrutinise government procurement of Microsoft software after the collapse of
| negotiations for a new three-year all-of-government software licensing deal.
| Don Christie, NZOSS president, is asking for the reviews on the grounds that
| agencies are negotiating with a single supplier "in a situation where
| ordinary market disciplines do not operate", he says in a letter to
| Auditor-General Kevin Brady.


Open-source firms win partial victory over Microsoft in Switzerland

,----[ Quote ]
| The Swiss News Agency (SDA) reported on Thursday, 28 May, that the Swiss
| Federal Administrative Court had issued an immediately enforceable ruling
| ("Superprovisorische VerfÃgung") that stops the award of a large federal
| government order to Microsoft. The Swiss Federal Office for Construction and
| Logistics (BBL) had previously awarded an order to Microsoft for the
| extension of licences, maintenance and support worth 42 million Swiss francs,
| without putting it out to public tender. Many open-source firms â including
| the Linux suppliers Red Hat, Univention and Collax and the groupware
| specialists Zarafa and Open-Xchange â objected to this award procedure.


Open Government: the Latest Member of the Open Family

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the most exciting developments in the last few years has been the
| application of some of the core ideas of free software and open source to
| completely different domains. Examples include open content, open access,
| open data and open science. More recently, those principles are starting to
| appear in a rather surprising field: that of government, as various
| transparency initiatives around the world start to gain traction.


Swiss government rethinking Microsoft no-bid contract?

,----[ Quote ]
| It's unclear at this point from my point of view how this situation will end.
| It is clear that the issue of a no-bid contract is an issue, as is the fact
| that (according to Red Hat at least) the Swiss claimed they went with
| Microsoft because they saw no alternatives.
| What this whole situation does though, is highlight the fact that open source
| vendors are not going to standby idly, while governments simply renew their
| proprietary choices without giving open source vendors at least the
| opportunity to bid on contracts.


Microsoft responds on Swiss no-bid deal


Gericht stoppt Bundesauftrag an Microsoft


Swiss Court Halts Non-Competitive Contract With Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Ade writes "Looks like the challenge to the Swiss Administrative Court
| concerning the government contract given to Microsoft without any public
| bidding was successful: The court has issued a temporary injunction (note:
| article in German) against the Federal Office of Buildings and Logistics
| (BBL), effectively stopping the CHF 14M (Â8M; $15M)-contract to deliver
| licenses and support for software used on government computers for the next
| three years. According to Swiss Government practices, any contract over CHF
| 50'000 has to undergo a public call for offers. The BBL cited 'no serious
| alternatives' as the reason which this contract never did."


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 ]
| Â8 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 (Â8 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 fÃr 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 â 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 â 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: ZÃrichâs students get rid of âWindows Taxâ

,----[ Quote ]
| Thanks to their efforts, students and staff in ZÃrich 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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