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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Savage discounts from MS flush OSS desktop from Newham (th

From: ian
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Savage discounts from MS flush OSS desktop from Newham (the Reg)
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 13:55:42 +0000

On Fri, 2004-01-23 at 13:15, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-01-23 at 12:39, ian wrote:
> > 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?
> Well, it's not quite as cut-and-dried as that. Government will rarely
> enter into competition with the private sector as readily as it used to;
> certainly not in areas which have no particular public service.
> The basic problem is the monopolisation of the market. Generally,
> Governments will not tackle that issue by entering into competition
> themselves; 

I think the notion of the Gov entering the market themselves is a
misconception. No-one is saying enter the competition themselves. All
they need do is provide grants that businesses compete for to develop
FLOSS applications - this is no different from them providing £100m in
E-learning credits as a subsidy to sellers of particular licensed
software titles in education. Here they are interfering with a market
sector by providing funding that can only be spent on certain products
in a certain way on one particular business model. 

> they will seek to make opportunities available for others to
> do it. Personally, I think that's a fairly sound policy, solutions will
> become available.

Only if government funding is fairly allocated and this "seeking to make
available opportunities" actually has some practical meaning. 

> Possibly the most promising solution as far as Gnome is concerned is the
> work on a free software connector for Evolution and OpenGroupware.org.
> But I don't see Evo being available on W32 any time soon. 

So how is the UK government doing anything to contribute opportunities
to make the above projects happen? No leadership is still an issue and
leadership does not mean becoming a software developer.

ian <address@hidden>

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