Swiss Parliament Asleep

Despite the obvious advantage of a government being able to serve all its citizens regardless of operating system or browser in use, the Swiss parliament narrowly rejected a motion to require open standards in IT facing the public.
“The motion specifically asked the government to make the application that is to be used by farmers to report on transport of their animals also available for the Linux operating system. The application, called Agate, is currently only available for users of proprietary PC operating systems.

The motion also called on the Swiss Federal Council to make sure that all of its future e-government services are fully functional, regardless of which operating system or web browser is used.”
see Swiss Parliament rejects call for vendor independent e-government services

I hope the voters wake up their representatives. Apparently a bunch of them are asleep. It is the 21st century and many governments recognize that there is more than one supplier of software for personal computing.

Compare the Swiss behaviour with the Dutch who recently shared a collection of “comply or explain” rules for acquiring IT with open standards. They’ve been awake since 2006.

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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17 Responses to Swiss Parliament Asleep

  1. oiaohm says:

    –Market share is not going to make Microsoft change their stripes one bit.–
    To be correct Market Share already has causes Microsoft to change it stripes a bit.

    Ballmer would never say this any more. Linux server market share is too big to upset.

    The growth of Android and the failure of own phone is forcing Microsoft to take on Universal standards in there server software. Part MS fault here they stupidly said that Google had to pay for using active-sync. Since MS did not have enough market share Google went stuff you.

    Means to boss other companies around todo what you want depends on market share. Without this your development cost goes up.

    bw the damage is already under way. Like share-point full cmis support. Years ago Microsoft not using a closed format on a item like sharepoint was a pipe dream.

    Over the last 10 years Microsoft has changed. Microsoft has reduced there vendor lockin protocols.

    The question is how many have to go before full competition starts.

    bw that is your problem why we are interesting in market share is not about the money at this stage. Is what the market share forces Microsoft todo.

    Also the problem we have is marketshare reports that are wrong give companies an excuse not to stock Linux stuff.

    bw as we get more correct market shares there will be more pressure on retail to stock Linux.

    Its also important to have correct market share information so the same problem as the Linux netbook age does not happen. Most Linux netbooks came out with Distributions most of the Linux world did not know.

    Yes people say that Windows and OS X users will not buy Linux because they don’t know it. Linux users will not buy Linux machines containing a distribution they don’t know if there is one next to it they do know. This is why I say Linux is many OS not a single OS.

    So we need to know what are the top two desktop Linux distributions. Retail places those on the shelf have a good chance of moving them. Particularly if they happen to be the same size as OS X.

    Robert Pogson to be correct steam numbers and other direct home surveys have never matched web stat reported numbers of Windows either except in the early days before carrier nats became common.

    So we can write all web stats off. We need to use like Steam and other better collections.

    bw apple has almost no power to people do stuff there way. Does not have enough market share broad enough.

    Linux groups and Microsoft do have fairly much equal power these days to force use of what they want.

    But its getting to the point Linux groups is pushing Microsoft around more than Microsoft pushing Linux Groups around.

    The reality is Microsoft will lose control over the market before there income collapses. Microsoft has less control over there future today than they had 5,10,20 years ago.

  2. bw says:

    “I don’t care at all about how much money M$ earns”

    Then why do you seem to strongly resent that they do so? Almost everything that you post about IT is laced with how whatever you are discussing is a sign of the quick demise of Microsoft.

    Market share is not going to make Microsoft change their stripes one bit. As long as they are making money doing what they do, they will continue. They only have the one strategy. If Android or Chrome or any other technology grows, there is nothing that they can really do about it and they have to be satisfied with what remains. So far, that has been a virtual gold mine.

  3. bw, constantly moving the goalposts as he was taught in Trolling 101, wrote, “It all gets back to the money involved. Microsoft is selling some $20B or so of PC Windows software each year and making a huge profit.”

    I don’t care at all about how much money M$ earns. I just care that they are messing up the world’s IT making it. Let them work for a living instead of eliminating competition unfairly. Lying and spreading lies about the market-share/mind-share of that other OS is just one of a thousand unfair tactics used by M$ and its partners. Why does M$ not publish unit sales as Apple does in SEC filings? Because that would reveal the big lie.

    Apple’s SEC legacy PC/Mac number: 4.061 million last quarter when the world shipped ~85million PCs, ~5%.

    Statcounter shows 7.51% global share for MacOS. In fact Statcounter shows a steady gain by MacOS even though Apple reports a decline. What’s with that? The MacOS webstats are clearly inflated by being installed in homes where IP address/PC ratio is closer to unity than in the real world where more than half the world’s legacy PCs are behind NATing firewalls.

    See Statcounter consistently overcount MacOS by ~40%:

    What units do you think are not being counted? Probably a lot of GNU/Linux units. NATing has no effect on M$’s counts because they have a similar share outside and inside firewalls.

  4. oiaohm wrote, “How to be not counted at all with Netmarketshare is using add blocking. “

    I know one school division that has a whitelist. Many others filter URIs by content/lists/patterns.

  5. oiaohm wrote, “depending on IPv4 to be correct and part of unique identity is asking for it.”

    Amen. Just try blocking spam on a blog… 8-(

  6. oiaohm says:

    bw also you have to ask yourself if they are trusting 2009 CIA numbers. What GEOIP data are they trusting. Lot of IPv4 zones have been transferred between countries since IPv4 has got limited supply.

    As I say anything depending on IPv4 to be correct and part of unique identity is asking for it.

  7. oiaohm says:

    bw Net Applications information collection arm is netmarketshare.
    then question is how they work out you are unique.

    How to be not counted at all with Netmarketshare is using add blocking. Sites monitoring are reporting 50 percent of all visitors Netmarketshare would never find out about because there collection sites are filtered out.

    How to be counted twice use private browsing mode in your browser and visit site tracking cookie was overridden.

    Ok that seams fine might be ok.

    bw they are not based on just page hits. Ok cookie tracking.
    –What is country level weighting, and why do you do it?–

    Right this says we believe the CIA weight tables are correct and we have seen a truly representative group. Times by some magic number.

    –Country level weighting removes any bias by region.–
    Bad bad theory. Basically might remove region bias but effectively renders your complete results worthless. Because you have multiplied one untrustable number to be exact by another untrustable number to be exact to attempt to make an answer.

    Gets better. By the CIA numbers that are the base to the correction for zone they use there has been no new Internet users since the year 2009.

    bw really do you believe that there have been no new Internet users since the year 2009. You have to believe this if you believe the Numbers from net applications are correct.

    You really do need to check method. Anyone who does find most of the common quoted are math error badly.

  8. bw says:

    “How do they count 100 clients at one of my schools?”

    They are counting page hits, they say, not distinct addresses per se, so there will be more page hits from the 100 students, if they are surfing the web, than from some other individual at home. But it is true that it is just page hits that are being counted. If your business is based on page hits, you will be interested in these numbers, as are the customers of NetApplications. If you are just rooting for Linux in some kind of popularity contest, you can quibble all you want, it really doesn’t matter.

    It all gets back to the money involved. Microsoft is selling some $20B or so of PC Windows software each year and making a huge profit. They would like that number to keep going up and so far it has done so, allowing for world economic happenings that will naturally affect such a large trade. It probably will not go much higher as the PC is becoming rather old news and prices are declining while volume tapers off to a subsistence level. It is still a golden goose, however.

    I doubt that Microsoft will ever make it big in phones or tablets, I think they missed that train already and can never catch Apple and can only capture the few bucks per unit that their patents provide them.

    But they will remain as the mainstay of commercial personal computing for a long time to come. How big that business remains is accurately stated in the Microsoft annual report. No need to count NATs or nits or anything but bucks.

  9. oiaohm says:

    And all the stats based on IP are stuffed up by carrier grade nats to the point of fairly much not telling us very much at all.

    We have required a online survey not effected by IP address problems for a long time. Steam gives as one.

    Yes you can argue that steam is not representative enough. But its the best we have for now.

  10. Der Balrog wrote, “All web statistics pretty much agree on Linux (without Android) being flat at under 2%. That’s a fact.”

    That’s not a fact at all. Even the published stats don’t claim to represent OS share, just page hits from distinct IP addresses. How do they count 100 clients at one of my schools? They all have the same IP address and User_agent string. Unless they log MAC address there’s not much hope of web stats meaning much.

    Suppose you have 100% that other OS in business, 1% GNU/Linux at home (geek-installed) and 10% in schools/governments. Businesses are NATed. Schools are NATed, so the count best represents home installation and consumers who don’t know how to install an OS if their life depended on it and buy retail, showing 1%.

    Places like Cuba show 6% according to OS stats. I would bet that’s because they don’t have a lot of routers on the island.

    NetApplications showed Sunnyvale California with ~90% GNU/Linux probably because Google can afford IP addresses.

    Distros that count IP addresses visiting repositories count many millions of hits. Your wishing can’t make GNU/Linux go away.

  11. Der Balrog says:

    Stop playing the statistics game, Pogson, where you get to decide which statistics are valid. All web statistics pretty much agree on Linux (without Android) being flat at under 2%. That’s a fact.

  12. Der Balrog wrote, “Nobody uses Linux. Not even in Switzerland.”


    Even Statcounter shows 1.3%, well above the global average. Considering under-reporting that NAT causes, CH may be over 10%.

  13. Der Balrog says:

    It just reflects reality. Nobody uses Linux. Not even in Switzerland.

  14. bw says:

    “The question boils down to writing an application not generally useful”

    They are not starting from scratch here. The PC and Mac versions of this program apparently already exist and work satisfactorily for their purposes. That makes the issue at hand an incremental addition to what is already there and that results in a no action vote since the value of the incremental difference is less than the cost.

    “Instead they produce an .exe. Why?”

    You would have to ask the developer of the app. I suspect that the answer might be that it was a good idea at the time and that time was in the past.

  15. bw wrote, “The question boils down to the wisdom of spending the money to develop an application that only applies to that tiny minority.”

    No, it doesn’t. The question boils down to writing an application not generally useful. Using open standards can work for all operating systems at no additional cost. e.g. Make a web application which spits out standard HTML. Instead they produce an .exe. Why?

  16. oiaohm says:

    bw next question is Swiss as insane as Australia. Where I get to write 1 copy of MS Windows a year off to access government services from my tax.

    Now if the services I need work from Linux I cannot write a copy of Windows off.

    So tiny minority is one thing. Supporting that tiny minority removes a large number of tax write offs. Ie you choose to run windows so we don’t have to allow write off compare to we forced to to use it.

  17. bw says:

    “obvious advantage”

    It is just a case of elementary triage, in my opinion. If you check the statistics, it is likely that they will show 99% or more of the Swiss population use either PC or Mac computers overall, just as they do world-wide. The question boils down to the wisdom of spending the money to develop an application that only applies to that tiny minority.

    All things being equal, the costs of maintaining the suite of applications is likely to be the same from one environment to another, but the usage of the Linux version is too small to justify its inclusion. The Swiss have more pressing things to spend their money on than pleasing a handful of complainers.

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