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Author Topic: Microsoft Formats Causing Issues Again...  (Read 956 times)
Renegade
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« on: January 24, 2011, 04:58:17 PM »

http://www.theaustralian....ry-e6frgakx-1225993876379

Quote
THE Australian Government Information Management Office has taken to Twitter and the blogosphere after being criticised for an IT policy seemingly biased in favour of Microsoft.

AGIMO last Wednesday finalised its Common Operating Environment policy for desktops and laptops.

According to AGIMO, the policy "defines the principles and standards that will apply to agency desktop operating environments" and ensure desktop standardisation across agencies.

The policy covers a range of areas, but what riled the software community was that document formats seemed to mandate a Microsoft-only environment.

Open source software advocate Jeff Waugh described it as an "arse-covering" exercise, an attempt by AGIMO to avoid using the word "Microsoft" in the policy. "I suspect that use of the term 'ECMA-376' (document standard) is almost entirely an arse-covering exercise, when what they really mean is docx and friends (including .doc) created with Microsoft Office 2007," he wrote on the Linux Australia list, comments that were repeated to the The Australian.

Here we go again...
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
zridling
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 04:29:30 AM »

Yea, taxpayers shouldn't fund proprietary corporate formats, much less their operating systems, and no government division or office should dictate such. Dictate ODF and if Microsoft can't read/write to the format, then it shouldn't quality for government purchase. I also support Italy's suit against Microsoft that says by merely turning on your machine and starting the software, you've already agreed to the EULA!
http://www.channelregiste..._consumers_sue_microsoft/
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 05:11:52 AM »

Yea, taxpayers shouldn't fund proprietary corporate formats, much less their operating systems, and no government division or office should dictate such. Dictate ODF and if Microsoft can't read/write to the format, then it shouldn't quality for government purchase. I also support Italy's suit against Microsoft that says by merely turning on your machine and starting the software, you've already agreed to the EULA!
http://www.channelregiste..._consumers_sue_microsoft/

Hmmm... Dunno... I way go with whatever works best for the particular situation, proprietary or not.

For the Italian stuff... Sheesh... I have a hard time with some of that:

Quote
The statement from the Italian authorities made it clear that they do not believe that hardware manufacturers are entirely blameless, but said: "the principal cause of the failure is Microsoft itself..."

That's simply BS. If you want a computer, you can buy one without Windows. I never buy computers with Windows on. (Well, my laptop is a different story, but none of my desktops.) Anywhere you go, you can get computers built with no OS.

It's like blaming trees because your house is made of wood. Damn trees~! If you don't want a wood house, buy one made of concrete!

Or like blaming Madonna or Prince Charles for being environmentally unfriendly because newspapers report on them a lot and waste paper.

It's not Microsoft that needs to pay anyone there. It's the computer manufacturers.

Quote
they do not believe that hardware manufacturers are entirely blameless

Huh? They're basically saying that they aren't to blame with a stance like that. The direction of the suit is obvious that they aren't blaming the carpenter for the warped floors -- they're blaming the trees.

Quote
The class action case says Microsoft makes it too difficult for people who buy a computer with Microsoft software on it to remove that software and get their money back. Most users do not realise that starting the software means you have accepted the end user licence.

If you don't want something, don't buy it. It's not that hard a concept.

I wonder if I can go out and buy a chocolate bar, eat it, then bitch and complain because I didn't want the sugar in it. I should get my money back for the sugar, yes I should~! tongue 

Actually, I want a refund for all the booze I've drunk here! I really only wanted the lovely taste, and I certainly didn't want the alcohol. So why should I be forced to pay taxes to the government for something I don't want? When I crave the lovely taste of some good ol' Tennessee bourbon, but I certainly don't want all that C2H5OH, I get rammed with a government TAX~! Where's my refund~! tongue

Come to think of it, the water from the tap has fluorine put in it, and I don't want it, so I should get a refund for that too!


Ok... I'm done being totally silly now. But I'm not that far off the mark.

What kind of an idiot would buy a black leather jacket, then demand a refund because they want a brown one? It's beyond stupid.

Sorry Zane, but the case really just sounds like a "let's pick on MS" circus. I'm all for people buying computers and getting the OS they want, but I'm not for people buying stuff knowing full well what it is then being idiots. It's just not that hard to get a computer without Windows.


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zridling
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 10:10:02 PM »

Here's the response to complaints by open source folks to the AIGMO:
"Government agencies in Australia should actively participate in open source communities and will be required to consider open source options equally when going to tender, under new policy announced Wednesday."
http://www.zdnetasia.com/...-open-source-62206328.htm
_______________________
Problem with "if you don't want it, then don't buy it," is that in the US, I have no retail choice except to first buy unwanted [Microsoft] software with my computer. I either build my own or buy online. Most folks would rather just walk in the store and walk out with a new machine. But then if you trick me into licensing your product [Windows] that you've already forced me to buy by merely turning on the machine, that's outright fraud. If that's the case, then be honest enough to put it in 72pt type on the outside of the box in a warning label. Worse, you're forcing me to buy what consumers like myself consider to be an inferior and cumbersome product. It's a lose-lose for the consumer, but all win for Microsoft.

It's not a matter of picking on Microsoft, simply because Microsoft has never changed its ways unless forced to by the EU or other such enormously long and complex legal actions. At the very least, let Microsoft give me a refund for choosing not to use their software on the system I buy. That's not an unreasonable transaction by any measure.
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 11:07:38 PM »

Microsoft doesn't make computers. How it's their fault that hardware manufacturers don't offer alternatives escapes me. "The Devil made me do it" isn't a real excuse.

If people don't want a computer with Windows on it, they can buy a Mac. Nobody is stopping them.

I'm also unaware of any legal requirements or human rights that dictate what manufacturers must manufacture and what retailers must sell.

If there were some actual, real principles at work here, they'd be suing Apple as well for the same thing. They're not. What does that say? It's a "let's pick on MS" party.

Apple is perfectly within it's rights to be dickheads. But it's overstepping to legally force them to not be dickheads. And nobody is trying to stop them from being themselves. So why persecute Microsoft for what hardware manufacturers and retailers are responsible for?

For the Australian government, well, I suppose that if an open source solution is a better fit, they should go for it.

From the article you posted:

Quote
In addition to this, suppliers to government agencies will also be required to equally consider open source solutions when sourcing requirements to respond to tender requests from government. The policy provided examples of clauses agencies could use to ensure suppliers take open source software into account when responding to tender requests.

That only seems like common sense. You'd have to be semi-retarded not to.

Quote
"The government's previous policy, established in 2005, was one of 'informed neutrality'," Gray said in the blog post. "This meant that agencies took an unbiased position that did not favour open source or proprietary software and procured the solution that was the best 'value for money' and 'fit for purpose' for their specific requirement."

That seems reasonable. However, if an open source and proprietary solution offered the same thing, it would be hard to choose a proprietary solution. The only thing I can think of would be support. But if you can get equal support, you'd have to be semi-retarded not to go with open source.

All things being equal, OSS is preferable. But the core job of what the software is supposed to do is the most important thing. It would be irresponsible of a government to use OSS (or proprietary software) that doesn't perform the job properly.


Dunno... Freedom and all is great, but you don't get freedom by stripping it from others.
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zridling
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 09:58:22 AM »

If people don't want a computer with Windows on it, they can buy a Mac. Nobody is stopping them. I'm also unaware of any legal requirements or human rights that dictate what manufacturers must manufacture and what retailers must sell. If there were some actual, real principles at work here, they'd be suing Apple as well for the same thing. They're not. What does that say? It's a "let's pick on MS" party.

I think you're confusing the seller with the license the consumer gets stuck with. No one objects to an Xbox with Microsoft software on it, because it's sold as a unitary system, as is Apple. If Apple made computers where you could put just any OS and software on them, that would be different. I'd be arguing the same if in every retail store, every time you bought a computer, it was stuffed with the most popular Linux distro -- even when it's free! You may like that Linux distro, but I don't, and I don't want it. (Microsoft likely sells each OEM copy to large manufacturers for roughly $40, which, while negligible, is guaranteed profit. But the downside is, that drivers remain proprietary, too, and are written and locked away for Windows compatibility out of convenience.)

Dunno... Freedom and all is great, but you don't get freedom by stripping it from others.

Forcing me to buy something I neither want nor need isn't freedom, it's a form of monopolistic competition. In other words, for the consumer, there is neither free entry nor free exit. Either way, I'm getting my wallet cleaned against my will by one company: Microsoft. No other.
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 08:14:21 PM »

I think you're confusing the seller with the license the consumer gets stuck with. No one objects to an Xbox with Microsoft software on it, because it's sold as a unitary system, as is Apple. If Apple made computers where you could put just any OS and software on them, that would be different.

I'm not seeing the difference. You can install a different OS on an Apple computer. A friend of mine has XP running on an Apple machine and has said it's the best Windows box he's had. When you buy an Apple, you're still paying for the OS and still have to accept the license agreement for it.

Sun tried selling Solaris boxes. Nobody bought them. Dell and others have tried putting Linux on machines. Nobody bought them. The market has basically spoken and said that they only want Windows machines. So, hardware manufacturers have continued that. But if anyone is to blame, it's still the hardware manufacturers for not having options and the retailers for not carrying different options.

But I can understand their predicament. Hardware is a cutthroat business with low margins. How can they differentiate and sell machines in the current environment? Retailers are not in the business of customer service anymore. They're in the business of moving product, and the will only stock products that sell well and that sell with high margins for themselves. Who wants a computer with no OS sitting on the shelf when only 1 in 100 buyers will be interested in it? And what retailer wants to get into the configuration business of modifying computers?

It's very very far from being Microsoft's fault. The brunt of the blame belongs to the retail system, and that system is dictated for the most part by retailers and distributors. You need to get into Techdata or Ingram Micro if you want to sell a product (or similar for whatever is in Italy). That's not easy and it's very costly. Then you have to deal with the big retailers and get them to carry your product. Again, not an easy task.

But those are the 2 main obstacles to getting a product into consumer hands. Those are the decision points for what is available to consumers at retail.

However, that exposes many different companies and it's not that easy to go after 50 companies when you can simply go after 1.

I really can't see it being Microsoft's fault for the lack of choice on the shelves when the main obstacles to getting on the shelves are the distributors and retailers.

Does it work out well for Microsoft? Sure. But it's not their fault.

The same argument can be made for almost any product on the shelves, substituting "Microsoft" for some component of that product.

It's like going to a restaurant and ordering a set menu, then complaining that you don't want to pay for the drink that comes with it. It's a set! That's part of the deal! If you don't like it, order a la carte.

The same thing goes for computers. If you don't want the "set menu", don't buy it. You can always get your computer a la carte somewhere.

Sorry Zane, I just can't see this being any more than a "let's pick on MS" party. If they really wanted to address the problem, they'd address it at the cause - retail and distribution. However, they'd be trampling on free market principles (which they are anyways), and they'd have more parties with vested interests speaking out. Instead, they can just ramrod 1 company this way and nobody will speak out because they have no vested interest.
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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
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