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Computer Business Review: Danger Zone

Sep 24, 2003, 15:00 (5 Talkback[s])

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[ Thanks to Matt for this link. ]

"When CEO Steve Ballmer visited Munich's Mayor this year, Microsoft was wheeling out the big guns. On Mayor Christian Ude's table was a study advocating that Germany's third largest city rip out Windows NT and Office from 14,000 machines and replace it with Linux backed by IBM, for a better return on investment (ROI).

"According to SuSE Linux, who worked with IBM on the Munich contract, Ballmer came armed with offers of extended support options and use of the unreleased Office 2003. Ballmer's offer, however, was rejected and a $35m IT contract, plus a major public relations coup, was handed to the open source community.

"Munich's officials wanted to regain control over their IT infrastructure. One way the city feared it might lose that control was by being forced to upgrade its software at the behest of the incumbent supplier--Microsoft. That fear appeared all too real with the introduction of a software upgrade program by Microsoft last summer, which introduced a fixed-term subscription upgrade program, Software Assurance (SA), and generated a wave of protests among customers..."

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