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  2. <html newsdate="2010-07-02">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE: Bolzano, please don't waste your money</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Bolzano, please don't waste your money</h1>
  8. <h2>FSFE supports open letter from LUGBZ to Province of South Tyrol</h2>
  9. <p>Dear Minister Roberto Bizzo,</p>
  10. <p newsteaser="yes">On 25 May 2010 the regional government authority of
  11. Bolzano decided to spend 2.2 million EUR over the next three years to
  12. renew software licenses from Microsoft Ireland, and to buy additional
  13. licenses. All this was done without a public call for tender, making it
  14. impossible for competing suppliers of similar software to make offers of
  15. their own.</p>
  16. <p>We ask you to rethink this decision. It will influence your strategic
  17. position over a much longer time frame than the three years for which
  18. the licenses will last.</p>
  19. <p>The European Commission’s vice president <a
  20. href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/300&amp;format=HTML&amp;aged=0&amp;language=EN&amp;guiLanguage=en">Neelie
  21. Kroes said on June 13 2010 in Brussels</a>:</p>
  22. <blockquote><p>“Many authorities have found themselves unintentionally
  23. locked into proprietary technology for decades. After a certain point
  24. that original choice becomes so ingrained that alternatives risk being
  25. systematically ignored, no matter what the potential benefits. This is
  26. a waste of public money that most public bodies can no longer
  27. afford.”</p></blockquote>
  28. <p>With your decision to buy Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft
  29. Office communication server software without evaluating Free
  30. Software alternatives you will increase your organisation's
  31. dependence on Microsoft. You will take your IT systems further
  32. down the one-way street of proprietary formats and proprietary
  33. software, locking in your organisation's own data along with that
  34. of the citizens of Bolzano.</p>
  35. <p>You are also running the risk of accusations about the improper
  36. handling about procurement processes. The <a
  37. href="http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/news-solutions-applications/red-hat-sues-switzerland-over-microsoft-monopoly-963">
  38. protracted lawsuit against the Swiss Federal Administration</a>, which
  39. is still ongoing, provides an example of the possible legal
  40. consequences.</p>
  41. <p>The decisions you are making today will have an impact for the
  42. years to come. Breaking out of the lock-in will only become more
  43. expensive over time, as you risk turning more of your valuable
  44. data into digital toxic waste.</p>
  45. <p>Rather than throw good money after bad, we ask you to step back from
  46. your deal with Microsoft, and issue a public call for tender open to all
  47. suppliers. When making a choice about the future solution for your
  48. organisation, we urge you to consider the strategic freedom which Free
  49. Software, Open Standards and open file formats provide, rather than
  50. deepening your dependence on a single vendor.</p>
  51. <p>You might also wish to investigate the opportunities that such a
  52. strategy would provide for local businesses in the province of
  53. Bolzano-Bozen, which has successfully turned itself into a Free
  54. Software hub.</p>
  55. <p>In the interest of the citizens of Bolzano-Bozen, we urge you to
  56. accept the <a href="http://www.lugbz.org/news-categories/general-news/LetteraAperta/view?set_language=it">offer of a dialogue extended to you by local Free
  57. Software experts at the GNU/Linux User Group Bolzano (LUGBZ)</a> and
  58. the Free Software Foundation Europe. We stand ready to advise you
  59. on your strategic options in software procurement, and discuss the
  60. opportunities afforded by Free Software and Open Standards. </p>
  61. <p>Sincerely,<br />
  62. Karsten Gerloff </p>
  63. <p>President, <br />
  64. Free Software Foundation Europe <br />
  65. http://fsfe.org</p>
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