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Government Microsoft Patents Apple Politics

Lobbyists Attack UK Open Standards Policy 168

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the big-surprise-there dept.
superglaze writes "The Business Software Alliance, a lobbying organisation representing the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, has laid into the UK's recently-adopted policy of mandating the use of open standards wherever possible in government IT systems.The policy describes open standards as being "publicly available at zero or low cost" and having "intellectual property made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis" The BSA said this would "inadvertently reduce choice [and] hinder innovation", and even went so far as to claim open standards would lead to higher e-government costs, but open-source advocates say the policy reflects how much the European Interoperability Framework is weighted in favour of the proprietary software companies."
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Lobbyists Attack UK Open Standards Policy

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  • Extended warranties (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @06:45PM (#35352256)
    Sounds a bit like extended warranties on consumer electronics. If the deal is really a benefit to you and not some money-grubbing scheme, then why do they try SOO hard to sell them to you?
  • Re:Logical (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @06:59PM (#35352382) Homepage

    It's really very simple. Any lobbyist for a business or industry has one message for their politician targets: "We want more money, and we'll make it worth your while to give us more money."

    Any other message coming from lobbyists or corporate spokespeople is basically nonsense used to create a false explanation for the politician's actions which just so happen to benefit the lobbyist's industries.

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @07:39PM (#35352734) Homepage

    In my experience, no one trains anyone on shit, which may be your point.

    New computer, new OS, new office suite. It looks different? Tough shit, get back to work. Whether it was XP to Vista or 7. Or from Office03 to Office07 or Office2010... It may as well be OpenOffice, the same grumbling about menu items and behaviors that gradually subsides as people get back to work.

    Hell, I deployed a bunch of ubuntu boxes in elementary schools for student use and purposely didn't tell anyone anything more than the logins just to see what would happen. They just figured it out, teachers and students alike. Not like they are doing VBA programming or something.

    The "training" thing is a red herring MOST of the time.

  • by kwolf22 (825499) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @08:02PM (#35352880)
    Sure Apple's consumer software is all closed up & proprietary, but come on most of OS X is Open Source & relies on open standards - that's one of the reasons that my government employer bought into Apple's enterprise offerings. Heck, even the text editor that is built into OS X supports the OpenDocument Text format (.odt).

    Considering all of the other BSA members, this seems to me like it should have been posted in a different category...
  • Re:Logical (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @08:43PM (#35353128)

    It's really very simple. Any lobbyist for a business or industry has one message for their politician targets: "We want more money, and we'll make it worth your while to give us more money."

    Any other message coming from lobbyists or corporate spokespeople is basically nonsense used to create a false explanation for the politician's actions which just so happen to benefit the lobbyist's industries.

    That's not true at all. There's at least one other kind of message that comes from, in particular, media companies: "Do what we want or we'll publish unfavorable things about you to media consumers in your constituency."

  • by atomicbutterfly (1979388) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @09:24PM (#35353390)

    How do you think the cost of cross-training from Word 2003 to OpenOffice.Org (or LibreOffice) Writer would compare to cross-training from Word 2003 to Word 2007?

    Apart from the fact no-one is trained to use a word processor anymore, keep in mind that the transition from Word 2003 -> 2007 would be easier as well on the file format. Open/LibreOffice parses .doc files more accurately in every new release, but nothing compares to the real thing. No-one uses .odt in the real world, except for perhaps a newer company who uses Open/LibreOffice and can use the format for internal documents which aren't designed to be sent to MS Office users.

  • by atomicbutterfly (1979388) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:44AM (#35354566)

    Companies sending documents to each other? I've had application documents for various services, invoices, technical reports, all in .doc format. Doesn't mean they wouldn't have been served better with PDFs, but I'm not going to tell people how to do their job. Better to have the tools available and ready to deal with them. I also work for a significant Government department and we use a shitload of .doc files.

    Maybe you're just isolated (no offense, but geeks have a habit of not being in the environments where most of these issues appear, and hence think their experiences are typical).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @02:45AM (#35354724)

    This is about open STANDARDS, not open software. The whole point is that by using open standards you can actually CHOOSE the best software for the circumstances, instead of being locked to one product.

    What do you do when the development of a proprietary product stagnates and all your data is in non-open proprietary format? You pay whatever the vendor asks for, and hope for a miracle. At least with open standards you have the choice to do something about it.

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