Microsoft Issues "Microsoft on the Issues"
Published 10:35, 04 February 09
Today we are launching "Microsoft on the Issues" to open another, more direct line of communication that will enable us to quickly and succinctly provide our perspective on the pressing technology matters of the day. We do not want this to be a one-way conversation. We want to create a transparent dialogue with readers and stakeholders. We want to enhance our participation in discussions that propel policy-making at local, national and international levels.
In the weeks and months ahead we’ll pay particular attention to the next wave in the computing revolution and its potential to use the power of software and the Internet in new ways to enhance choice for consumers, businesses and governments. We’ll share our thoughts on how this computing revolution can accelerate economic growth by enabling companies and individuals to increase productivity, collaboration and job creation. And we’ll outline the policy framework that we believe will give this next wave of computing the greatest chance of success
What I think this shows is that Microsoft recognises that it is losing the battle for the minds of the public, and wants to try to engage with more of them more directly. Put another way, it realises there are a lot of critical voices out there that are beginning to convince people there may be a reality beyond Microsoft's old mythology.
This will be a site to watch in the months to come, since it will function as a canary in the coalmine, flagging up those issues that Microsoft is most concerned about.
Posted by Glyn Moody at 9:43 AM
Canadian Government Considers Open Source
The Canadian Government has put out a "Request For Information" (RFI) - essentially, a formal invitation for feedback on the topic.
Rather amusingly, the RFI speaks of "No-Charge Licensed Software":
Canada has a Request for Information (RFI) related to No-Charge Licensed Software (typically referred to as Free and Open Source Software or FOSS and also applicable to freeware). For the purpose of the RFI, No Charge Licensed Software means Licensed Software that is available at no charge for the Licensed Software and is typically made available as a free download from the Internet. No Charge Licensed Software may also have No Charge Software Support Services (NCSSS) available at no charge from the Internet.
The general aim of the request is as follows:
The purpose of the RFI is to help the Government of Canada (GC) put together guidelines related to the planning, acquisition, use and disposal of No Charge Licensed Software (NCLS). While there is already significant interest for No Charge Licensed Software within the Government of Canada there are many questions being asked, see below. There exists operationally a requirement to produce common guidelines that are fair, open and transparent and can be applied consistently across departments.
The objective of the RFI is to provide an opportunity for those interested to provide information they feel Canada should be aware of when developing internal guidelines related to the planning, usage and disposal of No Charge Licensed Software. Information that would be relevant to the development of guidelines will be appreciated. The information provided will be reviewed by Canada, as part of a process of producing No Charge Licensed Software Guidelines for Government of Canada End-Users.
There are also a series of specific questions the Canadian Government would like answered, which give a better idea of what its thinking about:
Q1. In the Overview, the Crown provided a definition for No Charge Licensed Software. Is this an appropriate definition?
Q2. What are reasonable criteria that the Crown should consider in a decision process for acquiring No Charge Licensed Software? Are there circumstances in which the acquisition of No Charge Licensed Software would not be advisable?
Q3. What factors other than price should be considered as part of an evaluation guideline for No Charge Licensed Software? Are there other factors beyond those outlined in Appendix A & B that the Crown should consider?
Q4. How should existing Government Furnished Equipment, Services, Service Level Agreements and internal resources be considered when evaluating the usage of No Charge Licensed Software?
Q5. How practical is No Charge Licensed Software? Are there hidden costs that need to be considered as part of the process of evaluating the alternatives available?
Q6. What are the general financial, technical and security risks associated with acquiring and using No Charge Licensed Software?
Q7. How do Open Standards and interoperability factor into evaluation considerations?
Q8. How does the technology factor into the evaluation consideration, such as ability to maintain and evergreen?
Q9. How does the Crown evaluate the flexibility of the licensing models for No Charge Licensed Software?
Q10. What impact will No Charge Licensed Software have on Government Licensed End-User Networks?
Obviously the Canadians are taking a rather cautious approach here, but it seems that they are seriously considering using more free software. You can submit your comments (in English or French) until the 19 February.
Posted by Glyn Moody at 8:23 AM 0 comments
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