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.