No Effin' Way: M$, TechBiz, and Politics *all in one post*?!?
jbone at place.org
jbone at place.org
Wed Oct 22 18:38:08 PDT 2003
Lucas asks, I deliver. It's a G.D. hat trick.
A shut Gates on open source
OCTOBER 23, 2003
MICROSOFT founder and chairman Bill Gates has slammed moves by
political parties in Australia and elsewhere to legislate the adoption
of open source software.
In an interview with The Australian at the Microsoft Office System
launch in New York, Mr Gates said any such moves by government were
wrongheaded and would result in a reduction in public sector
Mr Gates claimed the open source system was "inferior" and said it
represented a false economy in relation to lost opportunities to
"Our position is that organisations should simply buy the best software
for their situation," he said.
"Forcing people to use software that is inefficient? Do you want your
Government to be efficient?
"Governments are very information-driven. They are not factories. It's
all just information," he said.
In the past 10 months, politicians at various levels in Australia,
Brazil, China, South Korea and Japan have suggested that government
procurement procedures should mandate at least the consideration of
open source alternatives to reduce overall IT costs.
China, South Korea and Japan have outlined tentative plans to design
their own open source operating system to compete with Microsoft
Windows and applications to compete with Microsoft Office as a means of
reducing IT pressures on the public purse.
"I think it's just commonsense that people won't choose to use inferior
software. People want their tax dollars to go as far as possible, and
in most cases they will see more value in the offerings that we
provide," Mr Gates said.
The Australian Government, particularly the Australian Taxation Office,
Centrelink and various health agencies had invested heavily in
XML-based technologies and processes - the latest base software used by
Mr Gates said the argument that its software was too expensive was
simply wrong. And despite complaints from some Third World governments
about Microsoft's global pricing - where the company's software
essentially carries the same list price wherever it is sold -- he
maintains the company has been the primary driver in pushing down the
cost of IT systems.
"Our business model is entirely oriented toward high volume, low
price," Mr Gates said. "In any IT project, our software is going to be
just 1 or 2 per cent of (the project cost)."
Meanwhile, Mr Gates has renewed Microsoft's recent pledges to radically
improve its security procedures in conjunction with the rest of the
industry following the unprecedented levels of virus and worm outbreaks
in recent months.
"This is a case where the industry and Microsoft need to do better,
(although) the vast majority of our customers have not been affected by
these problems," Mr Gates said.
"But we take responsibility for the fact that it was too hard for
people to know whether they had their firewalls up the right way, and
that it was too hard for them to keep their (security patch) software
up to date.
"If we can make those (functions) incredibly easy, then we'll bring
down the scale of these incidents and the frequency very dramatically."
He said that improving security on all Microsoft functions had been
made a primary focus of the company's $US6 billion ($8.6 billion)
research and development budget.
This report appears on australianIT.com.au.
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