[Linux-aus] (NOIE) `Microsoft schmoozes governments'

Gordon Hubbard gordon at customtech.com.au
Thu Feb 20 08:14:02 UTC 2003

On Thu, 20 Feb 2003, Con Zymaris wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 20, 2003 at 07:34:45AM +1030, David Lloyd wrote:
> >
> >
> > Leon,
> >
> > >     IN town for NOIE's open source seminar, Microsoft's most senior
> > >     female executive said government would be the big "schmooze" area
> > >     for the software giant going forward.
> >
> > Apart from not saying anything and containing a flash plugin, just what
> > does gender have to do with? If this were, for example, someone like
> > Steve Ballmer [spelling], would we see "Microsoft's most senior male
> > exective"...I think not. And we certainly wouldn't see something like
> > "Microsoft's most senior black American executive"...
> >
> > I'm not being politically correct--I'm sure that the executive is very
> > competent and got her job by merit--but it's amusing that the reporter
> > chose to emphasise this aspect.
> Quite correct about her competence. Wilderotter was by far the best
> presenter on the day, and one can see why Microsoft decided to ferry her
> out from the US for the occasion.
> NOIE asked that no journalists be present to report in detail about the
> symposium, so in keeping with the spirit of this request, I'm not able to
> give away too much. However, here is an attendee-level perspective on what
> happened.
> NOIE officials (including John Rimmer, the head of NOIE) did an excellent
> job in opening and chairing the day.
> IBM's Linux strategist (Mary Ann Fisher) was the first speaker, and
> deliver a solid performance. Her material was most impressive. It
> vindicated our (AUUG's) decision to run with little or minimal
> pro-Linux/FOSS content, as Mary Ann had so moch of it. In fact, her
> presentation content would make an excellent management-level presentation
> to any organisation seriously looking at deploying Linux/FOSS in the
> enterprise. Anything AUUG or Linux Australia would have added to this
> relentlously positive message would have been superfluous and would have
> smelt of overhype.
> Microsoft's Wilderotter was up next, and her content was like nothing
> you'd seen from Microsoft before now. Let me para-phrase:
> o Governments are not commercial entities
> o Governments need transparancy of information
> o Governments need accuracy of record keeping (i.e historical documents)
> o Governments need source code access (!)
> o Governments need open data formats (!!)
> o Services provided to all citizens
> o Presented a description of how closed-source works
> o Presented a description of how open-source works
> o Commercial software fuels 'in-country' growth
> o Microsoft makes tons of money. This is good for governments
> o Open Source cannot be sustained on GPL alone
> o Microsoft has learnt from Linux/FOSS
> o Benefits to .gov of closed-source: ease-of-use. interoperable. secure.
>   low TCO. transparent (!!!)
> o Lots of talk about Shared Source Initiative (SSI)
> o SSI can be distributed with mods (non-profit) to Windows, CE, .NET
> o Government Security Program. Full access to source (!)
> o Governments should encourage open standards (!!)
> o Governments should encourage interoperability  (!!!)
> o Governments should encourage procurement choice (!!!!)
> Yes, this is only part of the message Wilderotter delivered, but the
> remainder is along similar lines. Now, please take the time to re-read
> this, and tick off all that you agree with. Amazing, isn't it?
> During Wilderotter's Q & A, I asked the following question:
>  "Maggie, it's wonderful to see that Microsoft is recommending open
>  standards, interoperability and open document formats. When can we expect
>  to see the full protocols and formats for the proprietary MS Exchange
>  RPC calls and for MS Office XP published openly?"
> Her response was that she wasn't sure, and that Micosoft Australia's
> managing director, Steve Vamos (sitting a few seats away from me) would
> find out and let me know. I subsequently had a chat with Steve, and
> we exchanged cards. I'll let you know how this pans out (I would suggest
> you don't hold your breath...)
> AUUG followed next, and our presentation will be made available online in
> the near future. Also, I have collected a significant bundle of material
> which wasn't included in the AUUG official presentation, which I will make
> available as an ancillary tool for pro-FOSS-in-government evangelism. I
> believe that our presentation was well received, but it's difficult to
> make that call from the podium. Can others who were there in the
> audience comment?
> Next came some in-detail presentations from federal government people who
> had deployed or were deploying Linux and were happy thus far.
> Another interesting presentation was from Gartner's Robin Simpson, who
> delivered a 85% positive analysis of Linux/FOSS in the enterprise
> server-space and 35% positive for the desktop.
> More views:
> http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-feb2003.html#18
> (the following collated by AUUG OCG's Gordon Hubbard.
> "Government looks to Linux"
> http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,6007800%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.h
> tml
> "Open Source gets a hearing in Canberra"
> http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/19/1045330650080.html
> http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/19/1045330650080.html
> "Government is open to open source"
> http://www.itnews.com.au/storycontent.cfm?ID=3&Art_ID=11552
> "No open source mandate: Aust govt"
> http://www.zdnet.com.au/newstech/os/story/0,2000024997,20272191,00.htm
> 17/2/03
> "Australia at Linux leading edge"
> http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,5996924%5E15441%5E%5Enbv%5E15306
> %2D15319,00.html
> 13/2/03
> "AUUG launches Open Computing Directory"
> http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/13/1044927720277.html
> http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/13/1044927720277.html
> - - -
> Cheers,
> Con Zymaris
> Cybersource
> --
> _____________________________________________________________________________
> Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377
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Thanks Con,

Just a couple of clarifications ...

I believe it is NOIE's intention to post all the presentations on their web
site, probably on this page -
So far we have only seen John Rimmer's opening remarks:
http://www.noie.gov.au/publications/speeches/Rimmer/oss.htm these are well
worth reading as they set the scene from the Government perspective.

AUUG will also be posting our presentation on the AUUG OCG web page
http://www.auug.org.au/ocg/ ASAP.

As Con mentioned we have amassed quite a lot of material which we could
not include in the presentation, but it will be added to the web site as
soon as time permits, and should form a good resource for anyone
interested in this area.

Gordon Hubbard <gordon at CustomTech.com.au>
AUUG Treasurer and AUUG OCG Chairman

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