Houston Tells Microsoft To Shove Off

from the caught-with-their-computers-down dept

An in-depth article from USA Today looks at the story behind the city of Houston telling Microsoft goodbye in favor of a small Office-clone maker named SimDesk. Microsoft had been bullying Houston about upgrading to their “Software Assurance” scheme, where they force you to upgrade regularly – or force you to pay full price later. Through a chance meeting on an airplane, the city’s CIO found out about SimDesk, and decided it was worth checking out. After experimenting in local libraries, they decided to move many city computers over to SimDesk. Microsoft hadn’t been paying attention, and suddenly freaked out, threatening all sorts of actions. Eventually, they even came forward with accusations that Houston was using some of their software without licenses. The city checked it out, and, instead often found that they had paid for too many licenses. Of course, through the whole story, I kept wondering why they bothered paying $5 million for this other Office suite, when they could have gone with OpenOffice for free.

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