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<html newsdate="2011-05-11">
<title>German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free Software?</title>
<h1>German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free
<p>In the case of the Foreign Office turning away from Free
Software, the German Government is entangling itself in contradictions. The
reaction of the Government to an inquiry by "Bündnis 90/Grüne" has led to
more pending questions than answers.</p>
<p>"Many replies show that the government either doesn't understand important
aspects of Free Software or is deliberately offending Free Software in
general as well as Free Software companies in particular" says Matthias
Kirschner, Germany coordinator of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).
<p>The government argues that the developments in the Foreign Office
constitute a "turning away from the policy of exclusively using open source
software." At the same time, the government has confirmed that they will
migrate to Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010. </p>
<p>"The statements that Free Software would be worse to use, would cause
additional expenses on hardware, and that a lack of warranty would exist are
imaginative perceptions rather than fitting into a serious reply from the
government" said Elmar Geese, president of the "Linux-Verband". </p>
<p>Furthermore the response of the German Government has raised new
questions. The government mentioned that 4.3 million Euro have been spent on
a Free Software federal GNU/Linux distribution which apparently has never
been finished. "We wonder what has happened to that project and what the
money has actually been spent on" said Matthias Kirschner.</p>
<p> The FSFE and the "Linux-Verband" will work on an analysis of the reply
together with those who are interested. </p>
<li><a href="">The reply of the German Federal Government (German)</a></li>
<li><a href="">Some comments in a blog entry (German)</a></li>
<li><a href="">Public plattform to comment the questions (German)</a></li>
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<tag key="openstandards"/>
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