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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Seemingly Screwing Taxpayers Behind Closed Doors

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Newham refuses to reveal revised Microsoft MOU

,----[ Quote ]
| Newham locked itself in to a 10-year deal to pay Microsoft £4.7 million for 
| software as part of a £20 million IT infrastructure package with Hewlett 
| Packard in 2003.  
| Elected councillors voted to buy Microsoft software instead of installing 
| open source software, which is free, after being offered Microsoft discounts 
| and an alluring array of promises in the original MOU that included a 
| measurable improvement the Council's official performance rating.   
| The MOU failed to fulfill this and at least one other key deliverable. But 
| Newham retained its 10-year deal with Microsoft and drew up a new MOU last 
| year.  
| It is not clear whether the deliverables have been cut back and the payments 
| of public money to Microsoft have been cut accordingly. Newham refused the 
| INQUIRER's request to release the new MOU after, it said, conducting a public 
| interest test.   


If it's all secret, then it's probably safe to just trust them, eh? They even
point to their own 'studies' for validation.

DfT shared-services plan under fire

,----[ Quote ]
| Government IT has had a shoddy record under the present government. Way too 
| much money spent for absurdly poor results. The main problem being the 
| tenuous link between the way the Gov does IT and the real world.  
| If they spent even a couple of hours investigating how 'shared-services' is 
| done in the real world, then even our Microsoft-obsessed Government would 
| figure out that it's done with Open Source.  
| Google, SaaS and so on all depend upon Open Source as their core ingredient. 



Promoting Microsoft...

,----[ Quote ]
| is written into his MoU with Microsoft.
| This is the same man who originated the term "doing a Newham" - ie the 
| process of feigning interest in Linux to get, ahem, 'preferential 
| arrangements' with Microsoft.  
| This is the same man who, in line with Newhams MoU with Microsoft, starred in 
| Microsoft's "Get the Facts" roadshow. 
| As Dr John Pugh MP has stated, "Microsoft is *very* close to the UK 
| Government, and they intend to stay there". 
| Richard Steel's appointment as President of Socitm is a very canny play from 
| the multiply-convicted monopolist. 
| Of course the contractual obligation to promote Microsoft in the UK Public 
| Sector will not affect either his credibility, or his bias-free ability to 
| perform this new role, nobody could possibly think that, could they?   


Newham has a cow over Microsoft MOU

,----[ Quote
| However, Newham has supplied the INQUIRER with internal studies that it says 
| do demonstrate that its decision to commit to Microsoft was justified. The 
| studies were performed by Socitm, a private public sector consulting firm of 
| which Newham COI Steele is a vice president. the INQUIRER will report on 
| these findings in due course.    
| Meanwhile, the original MOU is enlightening. As well as claiming the deal 
| would enable Newham to achieve high rankings in Audit Commission assessments, 
| it committed Newham to moving all "competitive technology" to Microsoft, 
| regardless of the feasibility of such a move.   
| It also required Steele to promote Microsoft software.
| See attached file: Memorandum of Understanding.doc


Is This the Season of Porcine Aerobatics?

,----[ Quote ]
| Two of the darkest moments for open source in the UK involved the loss of 
| major public projects. The first was Newham Borough Council, which ran a 
| high-profile trial of open source only to ditch it at the last moment, after 
| magically receiving an offer it couldn't refuse from Microsoft – which cynics 
| suggested was the main motivation for the open source exercise in the first 
| place.     
| This was bad news for free software, because it enabled Microsoft to do two 
| things. First, it could claim that an independent body had tried open source 
| and found it wanting, and secondly, it was able to use Newham as a showcase 
| for its public sector technology.   
| In some ways, the second defeat was even worse. It involved a massive 
| contract with the NHS that was far-reaching in scope... 


London council dumps Microsoft, may go open source instead

,----[ Quote ]
| NEWHAM LONDON Borough Council has scrapped the controversial 10-year 
| Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it signed with Microsoft in 2004 and drawn 
| up a new agreement with a new set of deliverables.  


EU: Europarlement testing Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Parliament's IT department is testing the use of GNU/Linux 
| distribution Ubuntu, OpenOffice, Firefox and other Open Source applications, 
| the British MEP James Nicholson explained last week in a letter to Italian 
| MEP Marco Cappato.   


Is Microsoft Now Banned from EU Contracts?


Euro MP thinks Microsoft should be banned from government contracts


Green MEP says Microsoft should be excluded from EU contract awarding procedure


MEPs Question Microsoft's Eligibility for Gov't Projects

,----[ Quote ]
| The Commission, which has not responded yet, is allowed a few weeks to reply.


Government faces crunch on Microsoft mega-deal

,----[ Quote ]
| Rumour has it that Microsoft hasn't been feeling appreciated in the public 
| sector, thinking its customers don't know what a good deal they've been 
| getting since the MOU was first negotiated in 2002. BECTA, the procurement 
| quango for the education sector, has recommended schools don't upgrade to 
| Microsoft Vista and Office 2007.    
| [...]
| "There's a big anti-Microsoft lobby growing on the green agenda" he said, 
| especially among local councils who were beginning to realise that PC's were 
| power hungry and expensive to maintain. They were taking interest in 
| think-client computers instead.   


Lawmaker blasts U.K. government on Microsoft policy

,----[ Quote ]
| "A member of Parliament of the United Kingdom has launched a stinging
| attack on the U.K. government's IT strategy, saying that it has given
| Microsoft too much control.
| John Pugh, who is a member of Parliament, or MP, for Southport and a
| member of the Public Accounts Committee, was speaking in an
| adjournment debate on Tuesday that he had called. The aim of the
| debate, he said, was to explore the alternatives to using Microsoft
| software, including open source."
| [...]


Interview with Richard M. Stallman

,----[ Quote ]
| It is important to know this because we will always face pressure, from those 
| who are powerful and would like to take away our freedom, to surrender our 
| freedom—and they frequently offer us something attractive in exchange. For 
| instance, B’liar wanted to abolish the Rights of Englishmen, and to serve his 
| American master, Bush, faithfully; so he offered Britons “protection” from 
| this or that, plus the imagined idea that he influences his master on their 
| behalf through the “special relationship”.      
|                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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