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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Savage discounts from MS flush OSS desktop from Newham (th
Re: [Fsfe-uk] Savage discounts from MS flush OSS desktop from Newham (the Reg)
Fri, 23 Jan 2004 12:39:15 +0000
On Fri, 2004-01-23 at 12:13, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-01-23 at 10:53, Tom Coady wrote:
> > Not to belittle netproject, but how hard can it be to demonstrate viable
> > FLOSS alternatives? And as for Mr Gates, it reminds me of something
> > feudal, like the release of political prisoners to celebrate the King's
> > birthday.
> SODA is an interesting and exciting architecture in it's own right. It's
> not an alternative to Windows by providing an identical environment,
> it's a different environment which allows you to perform the same tasks.
> What I mean is that they haven't just installed Gnome in an attempt to
> show a similar desktop with the same features.
> For a start, SODA has a smart-card system for access to terminals, and
> integrates a lot of the large-scale administration systems that you
> would need to manage a large desktop network. That's important, because
> we don't really have an answer to Active Directory (in either features
> or ease of roll-out).
> The continuing problem is still groupware. And in groupware, calendering
> is by far the hardest thing still :( There is no particular calender
> server that is useful, there are no cross-platform clients which work
> well, and there are seemingly few people developing them. There is no
> useful standard for client->server calender operation (beyond webdav..).
> So, demonstrating a viable Exchange alternative would still be pretty
> neat (although I don't think Netproject have solved that one yet
But I think Eddie's point about leadership is the key. Its pretty
obvious that these "software concessions" only arise when M$ think there
is some real competition. In the whole scheme of things, if the Gov want
to get prices down they just have to make MS believe they back change.
So investing a few million in a calendar server or whatever the system
lacks is a "no brainer" as far as the business case for government is
concerned. Even if it never got used, the effect of doing it would
recoup the initial investment several times over by forcing M$ to reduce
its license costs. Where is the leadership from the politicians in
campaigning to get the best deal for the tax payer? Maybe Michael Howard
as a new leader of the opposition should be using this to embarrass the
Government. Why do we have an expensive bureaucracy in the form of the
Office of Fair Trading and OGC if they sit on their hands when there is
obviously an abuse of a monopoly and bad value for the tax payer as a
result *and* some very straightforward low risk, low cost solutions?