"Microsoft has failed to renew a key government-wide purchasing deal
for Windows, opening the door to greater use of open-source software. .. A government spokeswoman said
the government looks for value for money, fitness for purpose, and
strategic benefit in its negotiations. "We didn't feel we got the
appropriate levels of benefit from the negotiations," she told Computerworld." (http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/5FA015D542415324CC2575C100804A31)
"According to the RFI, Canada is exploring no-cost software options onthe desktop as well as the server, in categories that include operatingsystems, office suites, and automation systems."
"Respondents are asked to comment on the potential for hidden costs, howto evaluate and manage compliance with open source licenses, and howopen standards and interoperability should factor into thedecision-making process."
There are references to more governments in the same website: osor.eu
Meanwhile the Dutch government minister for Foreign Trade Frank Heemskerk said: "Open standards offer long term benefits, including interoperabilityand lower costs. At times a migration to such software can be tricky,but public administrations will be supported in these cases", theminister wrote in reply to questions regarding software procurement bythe city of Utrecht.
The Finnish governmentwants the country's public administrations to increase their use ofopen source and open standards. On Monday the government published apolicy document to help public bodies with procurement and deployment. The French police, in the year 2008 alone deployed 5000 new workstations, allrunning on Ubuntu. Every new workstation will ship with the same setup.During 2009 the Gendarmerie is planning to migrate close to 15.000workstations in total. [Read More]
"Citing concerns over cost and compatibility, the top technology official at the federal Department of Transportation has placed a moratorium on all in-house computer upgrades to Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, as well as Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007". "The DOT's ban on Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and Office 2007 applies to 15,000 computer users at DOT proper who are currently running the Windows XP Professional operating system. The memo indicates that a similar ban is in effect at the Federal Aviation Administration, which has 45,000 desktop users."
And the IT Director for Germany's Foreign Ministry reports in Heise magazine that per-user licensing costs for its employees, who all use Open Office, is only 1,190 Euro. Other German ministries, which use Microsoft Office, tend to spend more than double that amount, or even as much as 5000 Euro. http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/85977/from/rss09
I am doing a bit of catchup here, but take a look at this.
According to IDG Newswire in InfoWorld (http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/02/06/HNtexasminnodf_1.html ), Texas (by Sept 2008) and Minnesota (by July 2008) are moving towards adopting ODF (Open Document Format). "Minnesota State Senator Don Betzold, confirmed that his state's bill was written with ODF in mind. 'ODF is the standard intended,' he said. 'It is my goal to make sure that the public has access to electronic documents in the years to come and that we do not have to rely on licensing agreements or code access.' "
Malaysia is the latest in a growing list of countries that have expressed support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF). This past week, Malaysia's standards body voted to propose ODF as a country standard. After a public comment period that ends in October, Malaysia's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is expected to formally endorse ODF by year's end, recommending the format for use by the public sector.
ODF was recently voted by ISO to be an international standard. The ODF Alliance that comprises of corporations such as IBM, Google, etc. was launched on March 3rd 2006 with more than 35 initial members (www.odfalliance.org ). They currently have around 280 members from 40 countries.
Belgium, France, Denmark, Norway, India and Thailand, as well as the Bristol City Council in the UK and the American states of Massachusetts and Minnesota, have moved, or are moving, toward requiring software based on open standards. ODF is specifically identified in a growing number of these places as the universally compatible format to use to ensure access to their own electronic public records years from now!
Where is Microsoft heading with OpenXML and ODF?
Recently, Microsoft announced that Office users will be able to save documents as ODF files. Some critics, however, saw the move as half-hearted, and the product as half-baked -- little more than an attempt to avoid being shut out from government procurement efforts. For example, see this article in eWeek: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1994141,00.asp
" the .1 release of the plug-in translates from ODF word processor documents to Word 2007's OpenXML format and not vice versa."
... "What's more, rather than add ODF as a standard format option in Word—like RTF (Rich Text Format) or WordPerfect—there's a separate menu line in the file menu for ODF. Users can't configure Word to save to ODF by default, which relegates the format to a sort of second-class citizenship."
... "Another limitation is that the plug-in requires Word 2007. And since it converts between ODF and OpenXML, the translator does nothing to help with the countless documents already stored in Microsoft Office binary formats."
The department of management sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in association with NIC, conducted the first National Seminar on Open Document Format, on June 23rd. The event focused on the impact of ODF on India and the Indian governments. IBM, TCS, Red Hat, Novell and other members of India-ODF Alliance as well as institutions like IIT Bombay, CDAC, OSSRC, ICEG, ODFAlliance, and IIM Ahmedabad participated.
Inaugurating the seminar as its Chief Guest, Mr. R. Chandrashekhar – Additional Secretary, MCIT, Govt. of India, welcomed the initiative and emphasized the need to adopt open standards as well as ODF – specifically in national e-governance projects.
Some of the key presentations made at the National ODF Seminar included:
Role of ODF in E-Governance – Mr. R. Chandrashekhar (Additional Secretary, MCIT, Govt of India)
Relevance of ODF for Indian industry – Rajdeep Sahrawat, VP, NASSCOM
Economic Impact of ODF – Prof Dass, IIM Ahmedabad
Role of ODF in Common Service Centre (CSC) project – Ms. Aruna Sundarajan, IL&FS/NeGP
The ‘Tamil Nadu’ experience – Mr. Umashankar, MD, ELCOT
Impact of ODF on India – Mr. B Singh, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
ODF & E-Governance – Dr. M. Moni, National Informatics Centre (NIC)
EFY News Network (India) National Seminar On Open Document Format