Libération: For Microsoft, It is Paris at All Costs
Jun 28, 2004, 15:15 (29 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Florent Latrive)
Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame
[ Thanks to Basil
Fowler for this link. Translated by Brian Proffitt, Cynthia
Proffitt, and Babel Fish. ]
According to the French publication Libération, the
objective of Microsoft is clear: at the time when an increasing
number of public administrations around the world are choosing to
use free and open source software, Microsoft considers losing the
City of Paris to open source out of question. And they'll do
anything they can to prevent it.
According to a document to which Libération had access,
Microsoft proposed a price reduction of almost 60% to the Paris
city leaders for the 15,000-computer city contract.
The battle around the city's software was precipitated by the
arrival of Mayor Betrand Delanoë's team at City Hall. The new
administration found the current software systems "decayed,"
according to François Dagnaud, assistant in charge of the
general administration. A new plan was implemented to modernize the
system which, following the current majority of the administrations
and companies worldwide, was a good fit with Microsoft's product
Then Munich occured: last month, that Social Democrat city
government chose a radical turn. From now until 2008, 14,000 PCs
will be equipped with Linux, the free operating system competitor
of Windows. This was the largest such move away from a Microsoft
installation, and a humiliation for Microsoft as well.
In spite of the costs of migration, Munich hopes to save money.
In particular, it hopes to gain independence from a single and
ultradominant supplier. One of the characteristics of free software
is that it can be conceived by thousands of programmers, often
voluntary, and the code can be copied and modified with leisure
according to the user's needs.
In October 2003, the town hall of Paris decided to launch a
study on the possibility of a migration from Windows towards free
software. The study was entrusted to the service company Unilog,
the same one which consulted for Munich. For Microsoft, the tension
went up. On January 14 of this year, a "commercial proposal" from
Microsoft was addressed to Philippe Schil, the data-processing
director of Paris.
The proposal indicated that with Paris' 15,000 PCs, the cost of
of Microsoft software would normally be approximately 13.27 million
euros over three years. The actual price Microsoft proposed was
5.65 million euros, which is a 57.4% reduction... a figure which
could still drop, so much does Microsoft fear the loss of Paris.
"They fear the symbolic effect of losing Paris more than anything,"
indicated one of Mayor Delanoë's staff.
Reuters: France Challenges Microsoft in Software Re-Fit(Jun 18,