Despite Financial Destruction, Greece Not Favoring Open Source Software

from the all-inclusive dept

As you may have heard, Greece isn't having the best fiscal time of things these days. Oddly, as Glyn Moody noted previously, such dire straits haven't really gotten the country to focus on the important things when it comes to the internet and technology. Now, unless a few open source software groups get their way, it appears that the country with money problems will once again turn a blind eye to open source software in upcoming government purchases.
The ministry published a request for tender in November, seeking suppliers of 26,400 laptops, 1760 servers and 1760 wifi access routers. The value of the contract is set at just over 15 million euro. The purchase will be partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The ministry is asking for laptops and servers that can run either a ubiquitous proprietary operating system or Linux. But, say the Greek Linux User Group (Greeklug) and Eel/lak, a Greek open source advocacy organisation founded by 25 universities and research centres, the technical requirements clearly favour proprietary solutions over open source. "The specification is a copy of the proprietary vendor's e-mail and office software."
As someone who gets to deal with government bid contracts, I can assure you that this is extremely common. It's often the case that these kind of request for bids begin with an end product in mind and then develop the bid language to conform to that product. For anyone who wants to actually put together their own effective solution for consideration, it's incredibly annoying. But for a country with the kind of money problems that would make a homeless guy with an addiction to gambling on crack consumption laugh, to linguistically exclude an open source and less expensive software option is simply dumb.

Unfortunately, Greeklug and Eel/lak aren't expecting the Greek government to listen, so they may have to take their complaints elsewhere.
Both are also appealing to the European Commission, hoping that Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes and Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn will pressure the ministry to correct the tender request. "To give free and open source a fair chance, the technical specification will have to be improved", the groups plead.
We'll see if that route works. Regardless, to have money trouble and not consider open source software is just plain irresponsible.
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Filed Under: greece, open source


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2013 @ 10:13am

    Re:

    they always take cost analysis into account, and that is WHY they chose NOT to go with Linux.

    It is clear, (although many will say otherwise) that the cost benefit of OSS over commercial alternatives holds any great advantage, if any.

    sure Linux is free at the start, but you have to maintain it, and keep it operational, and fact is there are few fewer Linux techs than there are able Windows techs.

    A Linux tech is a hobbyist who thinks he knows how to build a spread sheet but really does not know much beyond what he is interested it.

    whereas you can find windows techs (and good ones) everywhere. Also the overall finish and quality of Linux just looks cheep, that is because IT IS.

    Linux has nothing the commercial alternatives cannot offer, as OS requires it to be developed commercially first so they can use that idea.

    There have been some European countries that have been blinded by the Linux fanboys, and have invested in Linux systems only to ditch it soon after wards. (TCO to high).

    You really do get what you pay for in software, that applies equally to something touted as being free, you get what you pay for, and free = poor quality and little support and no responsibility.

    Free is just too high a price to pay, Good move Greece.

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