"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,