Tag Archive 'computers'

Feb 20

Some clarity about eLiberatica and Microsoft (again)

In response to comments about Microsoft sponsoring eLiberatica.

For the ones who don’t know what is FLOSS (I’ll continue to use this term instead of FOSS because is clearly defining what “free” means in this case- free = libre) Wikipedia is explaining it clear:

“Free and open source software, also F/OSS, FOSS, or FLOSS (free/libre/open source software) is software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporate players.” …read more on Wikipedia.

Dan, I appreciate your comments and your opinions, and you may be right from some angles. I’ll give you a single example I already gave it a few years ago, when we allowed Microsoft to sponsor the event first time: please take a look at the biggest Open Source conference in the world, OSCON http://www.oscon.com/oscon2009, and tell me what you see on top right? Did the fact they allowed Microsoft to sponsor diluted their message and involvement in promoting FLOSS? No. Is somebody criticizing Tim O’Reilly for it? I don’t think so.

We should understand that both FLOSS and closed source models are going to coexist for many-many years from now. I don’t want eLiberatica to be perceived like an extreme FLOSS event, where we invite only the “pure” FLOSS organizations. eLiberatica should be an event where bright IT professionals with different opinions will come and talk in a civilized mode, exchange ideas and gain value.

Alex from Microsoft, in the left corner ;)

I’m not afraid at all that Microsoft speakers will influence FLOSS enthusiast and twist their minds, or they will confuse the neutrals or non-decided ones. Why? Because even if Microsoft is paying big bucks for smart and well-prepared professionals, first – they are not right, and last – these speakers will always lack passion. You cannot buy passion. Besides this, each time we were careful to invite at least a few very bright and exceptional FLOSS representatives that put light there, showing where Microsoft is wrong even if Microsoft speakers pretend they love FLOSS.

I totally agree with you that Microsoft will try hard to slow down FLOSS adoption. But making the rest of the people (I mean the non-FLOSS enthusiast, or the ones that are not aware) thinking that FLOSS is an IT extremist movement, is more dangerous that trying to talk and influence Microsoft. Of course, Microsoft will not change if we talk to them (they will change when their marked will shrink and they will fill the pain in the pockets).
But I know who will change – the undecided. The people who don’t know much about the issue. And even the ones who are Microsoft users. They will see that FLOSS people are open-minded, they are not fanatics, and they are in fact the ones that should be followed. That is my feeling.

Last but not least, please believe me that I would like to have no sponsors if it would be possible. I would like to be rich enough to organize this conference (which is a really expensive one) without the need of any financial support. That is in an ideal world.

Come at eLiberatica; if you will see any favored sponsor or the fact we allow them to manipulate the listeners in any wrong way, then you should let me know and I’ll put ashes in my head.

(PS – I apologies, but I’ll be with limited internet access until first of March, so I might not respond until then to any other comments.)


3 responses so far

Feb 20

The Romanian Communications Ministry will pay EUR 90.18 million for the right to use 163,427 Microsoft licenses

A friend of mine (and one of the most active FLOSS supporters in Romania – Razvan Sandu) took the time to translate in English an article that deserves being read by more people.
I promised I’ll publish it, see below:

This is a translation of the original Romanian article, published on February 11th, 2010 by Capital Online magazine.

The Romanian Communications Ministry will pay EUR 90.18 million (including VAT) for the right to use 163,427 Microsoft licenses – for around 30 public agencies, including some ministries. The payment will be done in nine equal batches, until 2012.

The provider of the right to use the licenses is the business association between D-Con.Net AG, D-Con.Net GmbH, Comsoft Direct AG, Bechtle Holding Schweiz AG, Dim Soft SRL and Microsoft Romania, the only provider that participated to the bidding organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society (MCSI) in July 2009.
The contract was signed a month later.
The first batch of payment will be done during this year, according to MCSI data obtained by Mediafax.
For the acquisition of rights of use, the manufacturer will provide a number of minimum 50,000 hours of consultancy and support, at no cost (…). These hours will be used by the purchasing public agencies (…). The provider will offer these consultancy hours during the entire period of the framework contract, establishing in each subsequent contract the number of hours that are necessary“, says the bidding specification.
According to Government’s Order 460/2009, the act in which the Government mandates MCSI to held the public bidding, the majority of computers and servers that get those licenses belongs to Ministry of Internal Affairs – 43,417, Justice – 25,247, Public Finances – 20,395, National Defense – 17,733, Public Health – 13,348 and Agriculture – 9,554.
In 2004, the Romanian Government and Microsoft signed a contract that stipulated using the products of the American company for five years. The clauses stipulated the use of about 50,000 Microsoft licenses for 54 million USD – that have been already paid.
Together with the amounts that were to be paid in 2009, totalizing $57.86 million, the value of the 2004 contract arrived at $111.86 millions.
Microsoft is the biggest international software manufacturer.

SOURCE: Mediafax

Last year at eLiberatica, we raised some questions about this contract. Of course, without any result… At least, the world should know. And spread the word. Here is the link to eWEEK article Romania Issues €100 Million To Microsoft Without Bids.


8 responses so far

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