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The Register: Nader urges Feds to Get Into Productivity Software Publishing

Jun 05, 2002, 23:30 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

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"After a short layoff Ralph Nader and his oppo at the Consumer Project on Technology, James Love, are back on Microsoft's case, this time loudly lobbying the US federal government to use its purchasing power to squish the dreaded Microsoft monopoly...

"The letter purports to be a follow-up to a meeting Nader and Love had with Daniels on April 8th, and asks whether "the federal government [could] use its purchasing power to solve issues concerning security and competition in the software market".

"The question is of course rhetorical, and the pair go on to query how much the government has spent on Windows client licences in the past seven years, the percentage of federal systems using MS Office products, how much it would cost the government to just buy 'high quality' productivy code outright (an intriguing notion this, but one we fear would inevitably end in a train-wreck if pursued - they later suggest purchased code should then be released 'into the public domain'), whether lack of competition in the client market is a threat to security, and whether it would be easier to manage security using open source client software.

"Couldn't they have asked this back in April, one wonders? But we can't help noticing the appearance of the word 'monoculture' with reference to Windows. This word also showed up in the documentation for Monday's German open source announcement, so may be becoming the open source riposte to Redmond's current fave, 'ecosystem...'"

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