French Department of Defence Wants to Choose Slavery

Recently the government of France committed to giving FLOSS a shot at being the default choice for IT. Despite that the Department of Defence entered a 4 year agreement with M$ and is apparently talking to M$ about an extension…
“The initial contract was concluded without any public call for tender, nor any open procedure within the rules of public procurement. It is unacceptable that the French Ministry of Defence clearly ignored the principles of public procurement, such as transparency and equal access, in a way that gives Microsoft control over the Ministry’s master strategic plan”

see April demands the negotiations between Microsoft and the French Ministry of Defence to be suspended and transparency to be made on this subject. | April.

Let’s hope reason prevails. The benefits of reliable IT and reduced costs by the national police, German city of Munich and Peugeot using GNU/Linux are obvious and Defence should want the same benefits.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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15 Responses to French Department of Defence Wants to Choose Slavery

  1. bw says:

    I have no knowledge at all regarding the French DoD contract under discussion. The “matter”, since you did not bother to read the cites, is in regard to

    “The initial contract …” declared Jeanne Tadeusz, public affairs officer

    This is published and cited by one jtadeusz@april.org

    Look familiar? Do you cite yourself? Maybe you do.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Hey other option is key the deal and fine Microsoft so much for gaining contract under false pretence and prosecute the one who took out the contact. The french people still part win.

  3. oiaohm says:

    bw to evaluate open source and open tender is a direct order of the France’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. This is a direct order by the DoD boss.

    This DoD has used a bug in that document since it does not say anything about contract renewals.

    The French Prime Minister technically can void the deal for being illegally performed even if it had go through because government policy did not allow it so the deal is criminal fraud. Microsoft was provided with the copy of the policy. So they can technically charge Microsoft.

    General rule of doing business with governments if they tell you there policies and don’t break them.

  4. kozmcrae says:

    bw wrote:

    “The guy writing the piece cites himself as an authority in the matter.”

    Gee bw, do you know anything about the matter? Do you use any open source applications? And, if you do, do you use them by choice or do you use them because your place of employment makes them mandatory?

  5. bw says:

    OK, let us see what happens. My prediction is that the French DoD is fully up the curve on what they can and cannot do within the bureaucracy in place there and what they want to happen will happen. That appears to be a renewal of their current contract.

    From what little I have looked for, this April bunch is an ad hoc collection of French open source advocates much like the American version. From their site:

    “April is the main French advocacy association devoted to promoting and protecting Free/Libre Software”

    The guy writing the piece cites himself as an authority in the matter. Some brass, I’d say.

  6. oiaohm says:

    bw did you not read the first link.

    Then is a mandatory policy in place. DoD avoid it on a technicality. Extending existing contract. There is no clause in the first link document say if or if not this is allowed. The 4 year contract was taken out in 2009. It has to be renewed this year.

    bw its not july 2013 yet is it not a done deal.

    April has interjected before the deal is done and dusted past point of reversal.

  7. bw says:

    ” In fact that is a good chance the acquirement will be overturned.”

    It would seem to me that, on the facts as presented here, it is a done deal. The citation for the opposition is from some free software bunch who probably moan and groan about anything ever done by a for-profit software company and twice on Sunday for anything done by Microsoft. I think the legal chances of the plea from “April” being granted is technically referred to as a “snowball’s chance”, if I remember my legal training correctly.

  8. DrLoser says:

    A war, Robert? A battle?

    I don’t know. Let’s wait for Hamburg to take up the good fight, shall we? Or maybe Köln. Either Frankfurt. Stuttgart. Düsseldorf. Dortmund, Essen, Bremen, Leipzig, what have you.

    Maybe even Freiburg will get back on board the Shining Path some time soon.

  9. oiaohm says:

    bw the complaint is the required process was not done. In fact that is a good chance the acquirement will be overturned.

    There is a French requirement for it to go out to tender. Failure to do so is a major breach.

    Bw I am not saying that Linux would not have still lost. Going out to tender also normally makes MS provide discounts they would not otherwise. So you could say the French people are being screwed by there DoD not doing what they should.

    Buying an upgrade Windows is not the only choice particularly when you have thousands of machines.

    Split is an option as well. Reason Linux in fact requires less resources to run well than Windows 8.

    bw Munich the in house team bid against outside contractors. PS HP lost both bids Linux and Windows in Munich when you see HP cost figures you can understand why.

    This is why tender process is required. Munich was a open tender bid process with the in house team having to bid. Losing the bid the in house team would loss jobs possibly.

    Bw the tender process find lots of faults. Munich Linux migration costs have come in less than tendered price by the internal team. The internal team tendered slightly higher than the Windows migration cost and they have come in under.

    DrLoser you are right the desktop space has been kinda quite. Unnaturally quite. Server space its still Linux vs BSD vs some remaining Unix vs some Windows. A market that Unnaturally quite market place becomes very noisy at some point.

  10. bw says:

    “There was a battle and M$ lost.”

    If you step back and try to back away from the hyperbole, you would see that this was not a “battle” but just another “deal” that one company won and others lost. I do not know who was contracted for the Munich opportunity and it may have been an in-house team doing the integration rather than a contractor, but it is just one deal out of millions of deals that have occurred in the business.

    You are complaining here about some other deal that Microsoft has done with the French DoD. Is that a “battle” that Linux lost? Just another deal in my book. Deal are won and deals are lost every day. Nothing to see here, keep moving along.

  11. DrLoser claimed the OS wars have not involved GNU/Linux, “on the desktop it’s been all quiet on the Redmond front for at least twenty years or so”.

    Ask Ballmer why he interrupted his vacation to brow-beat Munich into sticking with M$.
    “USA TODAY obtained government and corporate documents that provide a rare insider’s look at Microsoft’s efforts to keep from losing a key customer. Among other things, it:

    • Agreed to let Munich go as long as six years, instead of the more normal three or four, without another expensive upgrade, a concession that runs against its bread-and-butter software upgrade strategy.

    • Offered to let the city buy only Microsoft Word for some PCs and strip off other applications. Such unbundling cuts against Microsoft’s practice of selling PCs loaded with software.

    • Offered millions of dollars worth of training and support services free.

    The result in Munich shows that the world’s largest software company is again under attack from a powerful outside force. But this time the encroacher isn’t government antitrust lawyers or a rival tech giant.”

    see Linux took on Microsoft, and won big in Munich

    There was a battle and M$ lost. That battle is part of a larger war that has lasted from ~1994 to about this year on retail shelves but continues in corporate IT departments. The old guard who thinks M$ won in 1995 are retiring and the new folks embrace FLOSS. There’s nothing like telling the world the product is over-priced and offering a discount to convince buyers of the folly of sending more money down the drain. With GNU/Linux folks know the costs of migration and know the on-going costs of operation are much lower.

  12. bw says:

    “The OS wars have been a sad affair sapping energy”

    What “war” are you talking about? There is Apple Mac vs Windows PC, but that is really a question of whether or not you want to pay the extra bucks to get a Mac. If you don’t, you pretty much buy a Dell or an HP or you get a laptop where you have a few more brands to pick from. I think about 10 to 1 get some kind of Windows computer.

    When it comes to actually buying an OS for an upgrade, the only real choice is Windows. When I got the Windows 8 Pro for $40 is the only time that I ever upgraded any computer. They always died with the OS that came with it.

  13. DrLoser says:

    There weren’t any “OS wars,” Robert.

    You are confusing this nonexistent bit of history with something that actually happened, which was the “Unix wars” of the 1990s between IBM, Sun, HP, and other players. Those were (in business-speak) real wars, and they damaged the Posix brand and the proposed standard Unix base (which would have been basically SVR4).

    You should be glad of that, actually, because the combination of the Unix wars and a possible lawsuit against BSD allowed Linux to cannibalise the entire *nix market.

    But OS wars? Maybe on the server. But on the desktop it’s been all quiet on the Redmond front for at least twenty years or so.

  14. bw wrote, “Price sensitivity in all these things is no longer based on component cost like the OS”.

    Yep. There’s almost no lock-in left especially to youth and emerging markets. The IT market in units shipped is rapidly doubling and none of the increase is locked-in. It’s the bottom line that counts and M$ cannot compete on price/performance. M$ appears willing to accept shrinkage as long as the locked-in ones are willing to accept higher prices. That is a short-term phenomenon. I expect it will end in 2013. M$ is dabbling in hardware to bypass the OEMs but that lowers its margins. It’s all good. Everyone is miserable during a prolonged war and at the end the victory may be hollow but at least the next generation can enjoy freedom. I remember life soon after WWII. There were all kinds of sad people in the world but now people are enjoying freedom. The sad people have died off and their descendants thrive. The OS wars have been a sad affair sapping energy. The end is in sight.

  15. bw says:

    This just illustrates what I posted in the article above, that is that people are not looking for better PC solutions these days. They have become familiar with PCs over the past 20 to 30 years and only look for replacements when one is worn out or becomes defective. The new markets are phones and iPads and even those are becoming somewhat old hat. Price sensitivity in all these things is no longer based on component cost like the OS, but is now based on style and comfort. Look at how Apple has moved to the front of the pack and is making money hand over fist based on their cool designs and not losing business because of their high prices. People pay those prices willingly to get the best, at least the best in their way of thinking.

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