Slashdot Article on OSS and Governments

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An interesting Slashdot article was posted today. The basic idea is that a group is trying to embarrass the Australian government by detailing how much money they have spent on Microsoft products. The idea is that this will encourage OSS solutions.

Something about this strikes me as just plain silly. If the government spends X dollars for a product, and it's a fair price and a good product, then the money was well spent. Just because a product comes from MS does not imply that it is inheritly bad, evil, broken, etc. On the flip side, just because something is free, or open source, it does not mean that it is good software, or will end up costing more in support and man-hours.

This effort is as bad as some of the FUD Microsoft has been accused of in the past. If you are going to be fair, at least point out which software purchases could be replaced with OSS versions, and explain how the OSS version is better. Do NOT simply say "it's open source and free," that is not good enough.

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Vince collins posted on 7/24/2003 at 5:02 PM

I can't agree enough on this point. I am not a big fan of some of the tactics that larger coporations like Microsoft participates in but give me a break! There is a lot of open source garbage out there equalling the amount of non-free garbage... Stick to the one on one comparisons of OS or applications and not the "corporate versus non-corporate" points people tend to harp on too often.

Comment 2 by Raymond Camden posted on 7/24/2003 at 5:04 PM

So, are you agreeing with me or the tactics of the OSS folks? It sounds like you are agreeing with me, but I can't tell. :)

Comment 3 by Vince collins posted on 7/24/2003 at 8:05 PM

I am agreeing with you. In a nutshell, there are better and less destructive and heavy handed ways to sell concept of OSS.

They are not looking any better than the company they are trying to bring down in my humble opinion.