In a further blow to Microsoft's grip on government desktop computing in the UK, the UK government has published 18 guides offering detailed information about the Open Document Format (ODF) standard and how to move organisations to ODF-compliant solutions.
ODF 1.2 was selected last year as the standard for editable office documents to be used across UK government departments, along with HTML5 and PDF, which became the official defaults for static documents that would be viewed, but not edited after they were published. The fact that native Word formats were not included as an alternative option was a major defeat for Microsoft, which had lobbied hard—and until 2014, lobbied successfully—to prevent this high-profile victory for ODF's open standard.
My point is that Windows can have the desktop for the casual users (what is left of them). The casual users are all using tablets and phones anyway. The Chromebook and MacBook Airs are taking a nice percentage of the rest of the market.
The real computer users who have something specific and niche to do are more than likely going to end up using Linux at some point anyway. Linux isn't going to be harmed by the release of a new Microsoft operating system because ultimately the target users are and probably always have been different people.
Pesaro is a town of about 100 thousands people on the northern adriatic coast of Italy. Its Public Administration has been facing lots of critics from Free/Open Source software supporters because, in the last five years, it changed twice the same, important part of its ICT infrastructure. Both those changes bring consequences and open issues, both for the critics and for Pesaro, that have had little or no coverage at all so far, especially outside Italy (1). Before talking about them, however, it is necessary to summarize what happened.
ONE OF THE CITY COUNCILLORS behind the alleged "Bring Back Windows" letter to Munich City officials has told The INQUIRER that she has no desire to see the city migrate back to Microsoft.
Munich spurned Windows for its own version of Linux, known as Limux, and recent reports suggested it is once again getting high-level calls to trash the experiment and get back to the old days.
The story, which has been circulating for the past week or so, is based on a memo sent by two councillors from the city which appeared to request consideration of a return to Windows.
Indeed, Microsoft's marketing team published a press release recently saying Office 365 is about 80% cheaper compared to the open source office suite, OpenOffice - with the figures stemming from reports in Italy and the City Council of Pesaro. The Redmond giant claims that to roll out Open Office, Pesaro incurred a one off cost of about €300,000 and had lots of problems with document formatting.
But equally how would you convince a public sector organisation to migrate to your cloud services instead of using 'expensive' open source software?
The obvious way would be to present a case study from a similar organisation together with a well written report commissioned to an "independent" consultancy firm. At this point your future customer has all the data and justifications required to sign on the dotted line.
And some journalists are now presenting this case as fact of Microsoft Office 365 being 80% more economical than open source alternatives.
I would argue that this is an isolated case and the PR efforts by big technology vendors, like many other methods, are being used to trick private and public organisations into signing contracts based on data or claims that may be not completely true.
The latest LibreOffice 5.0 is out for some time and it looks like the feature parity with Microsoft Office 2013 is now a lot better. The official wiki from The Document Foundation that shows off the differences and similarities between the two office suites has been updated, and it paints a pretty accurate picture of the progress that's being made.
The vice speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Nikolai Levichev, has written to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asking for the Russian government to ban the use of Windows 10 amongst Russian civil servants. Levichev is concerned that Microsoft may allow US agencies to access data collected from Russian officials.