For decades, M$ and “partners” have had a free ride in government IT. That’s ending in Italy. Years ago, the government called for FLOSS to have an even playing field but it didn’t work. M$ had corrupted the market so badly, folks didn’t know what “even” meant. Now Italy is defining even:
“The Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale (AGID) on Wednesday posted the criteria and guidelines on how to compare open source and proprietary software. The document is to help public administrations to give priority to free and open source solutions, and to the re-use of software paid for by public administrations. As part of the preparation, AGID during the past year held several meetings with industry experts, including free software specialists.”
No longer can sycophants of M$ claim that other OS is lowest cost. They have to include acquisition, installation, operating, and exit costs, including migration of data and users to and from FLOSS systems… Oh, my. They can’t ignore that M$’s next release won’t play nice with their old hardware or devices or files. They can’t claim that the deepening hole of lock-in doesn’t matter. They can’t claim that they have to stick with M$ because they have invested so much money… They can’t claim that M$’s stuff is the way to go because the CEO deviated from his planned vacation. That no longer matters. It’s all about price/performance getting from A to B. When a few paragraphs calling for equal treatment didn’t work, they published 70+ pages spelling everything out in great detail including examples. A child could follow the recipe.
Google’s translation is a little rough but I tried to fix the result… Here’s a snippet about calculating exit costs:
“We hypothesize, eg, of comparing three solutions (denoted for convenience as “solution A”, “Solution B”, “C solution”). The solution A uses only standard formats; The solution B, while
using an internal format for data representation, it offers a native feature of and export to standard formats; Solution C does not use standard formats and does not offer natively functionality and export. The costs that can be estimated for the three solutions are represented by the length of the arrow in the figure.”
BANG! There goes the Wintel monopoly. It cannot survive real-world cost evaluation for licensing, hardware, installation, use and exit costs. Guess what happens when you try to export useless bloat and complexity to open standards? Costs rise. I’ve migrated folks to GNU/Linux because that other OS didn’t work, was prone to malware, required too much baby-sitting, was too slow and because it cost too much. I expect the government of Italy is focusing on a similar result. Italy has long had a steady installed base of GNU/Linux and it’s growing.