"TIG: Why do you think so many governments are
considering these kinds of policies and proposals?
"[Bob Kramer]: Well, I think that to a certain
extent a number of governments have been told that it's cheaper,
although there's been a number of studies both in the United States
and overseas that have raised that as a question. It really depends
on what application you're looking at, what kind of software and
what kind of environment it's acting in. You have to take in the
total cost of operating the software, not just the actual purchase
price or the licensing fees. If you only look at the licence fee,
sure, software that doesn't charge licensing fees is cheaper than
software that does. On the other hand, if you look at the total
cost of operation, including training, support, instalment and
service and so on, there has been a series of studies that have
shown that in some cases it's proprietary software, and in some
cases it's open source...
"TIG: Why are so many governments considering these
policies now, like in Peru and the state of
"[Bruce Perens]: The policy that they've been
attacking in Peru is just a reaction to not having any choices for
the software that's used in government. What the governments are
saying is, 'Well, gee, if we're going to have one vendor who just
wants to charge whatever they want, who doesn't necessarily give us
what we're interested in, maybe we should use free software
instead.' That community is one that gives us more control. No
government is really considering any preference laws. That is
extremely deceptive. The real situation is that governments are
considering rules that would allow their purchasing departments to
consider or choose free software as well as proprietary software.
That's not something Bob Kramer... and his crew should really be
fighting, but they are..."