EC rebuffs Microsoft over open-source report

The European Commission has resisted efforts by Microsoft to make it abandon its report into open-source software, it was revealed this week. But the Commission was swayed into allowing a 10-day period for feedback before completing the report. Harnessing the opportunity to provide feedback, Microsoft produced 25 pages of arguments as to why the report — which quantified the benefits of open source to European organisations — should be shelved. The software giant also commissioned a respected university academic to back its case and enlisted the help of a trade association, CompTIA. The academic produced 45 pages of evidence supporting Microsoft's case, while CompTIA wrote a 40-page submission.

The authors of the Commission's report, headed by academics from the United Nations University in Maastricht, made several amendments to the report as a result of those comments, and comments received from other interested parties. But the Commission remained committed to publishing the report, according to its lead author Rishab Ghosh.

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I'm not objecting to whatever it was Microsoft commissioned to be said.

The biggest objections I see in this article is that Microsoft objects to a positive light being cast on Open Source.

A company as big and monolithinc and monopolistic and Microsoft doesn't want any positive light being cast on anything except their own stuff. OSS is a threat to them. While at this point in time I don't particularliy care for *nix based systems for general/professional use (doesn't have the software that I like and have to use for my job), I do think interoperability to an extent is quite fair. Everything should be on a more level playing field. Microsoft, as past and present history of the company shows, that will likely never happen with them.

"quantified the benefits of open source to European organisations "

Must be a very short report.

It's too bad that in order for people to get it through their heads, Microsoft has to enlist professionals from outside universities and organizations.

But, as you can see from the comments here, you can't force people to understand. All you can do is give them the information and they either accept it or live in ignorance.

C_Guy said,
Must be a very short report.
287 pages

C_Guy said,
But, as you can see from the comments here, you can't force people to understand. All you can do is give them the information and they either accept it or live in ignorance.
So, one must agree with Microsoft, or else be ignorant?

C_Guy said,
Microsoft has to enlist professionals from outside universities and organizations.

Don't you mean pay large sums of money to 'professionals' (term used very lightly) to come up with predetermined conclusions that only benefit Microsoft? I think it is good that entities are researching alternatives to monopolistic products. Diversity in the industry is beneficial.

markjensen said,
287 pages

So, one must agree with Microsoft, or else be ignorant?

That's kind of amusing if you think about it. How long did the EC take to get those 287 pages together? And in 10 days it took MS and just two other companies to hand out 105 pages that actually changed the EC's minds on a few of the things in their report.

Open Source is nice, but it doesn't exactly lend itself to the economy if everyone can get all the code everyone else writes. I'm all for MS charging for what they make and not releasing all of it. It's their IP and they spent a heck of a lot of time on it all. It's not like they don't deserve the money, despite the fact that they probably don't need it.

-Spenser

Open Source is nice, but it doesn't exactly lend itself to the economy if everyone can get all the code everyone else writes.

????? You really don't understand what open source is, do you? - open source != free... thousands of people/organizations make money off of open source. If you create an open source product, you still own the intellectual property rights.

stifler6478 said,
That's kind of amusing if you think about it. How long did the EC take to get those 287 pages together? And in 10 days it took MS and just two other companies to hand out 105 pages that actually changed the EC's minds on a few of the things in their report.

Open Source is nice, but it doesn't exactly lend itself to the economy if everyone can get all the code everyone else writes. I'm all for MS charging for what they make and not releasing all of it. It's their IP and they spent a heck of a lot of time on it all. It's not like they don't deserve the money, despite the fact that they probably don't need it.

-Spenser

You are comparing the turnaround time for two very different papers for two very different purpose, and expect some sort of conclusion in what way? The EC is a bureaucratic study, which lends itself to lengthy investigations and data gathering/sorting/analyzing. The Microsoft-pushed paper is merely a counterpoint meant to table the first study. As a "no it isn't!" type of document, it does not require the same sort of process as the initial one did. You just need to refute the conclusions - you are adding onto some other group's work.

As for your opinions on Open Source, no one here has promoted the idea that Microsoft and others need to or woudl benefit if they opened their source. This is a study on how the EU can benefit from using Open Source. So you concern for Microsoft's IP can remain as they are - the paper (scan through it, since you haven't seemed to already) does not ask Microsoft to change their coding and licensing practice. This isn't even a EU policy or anything; it is just an exploration of possible EU benefits to using Open Source.

markjensen said,
As for your opinions on Open Source, no one here has promoted the idea that Microsoft and others need to or woudl benefit if they opened their source. This is a study on how the EU can benefit from using Open Source. So you concern for Microsoft's IP can remain as they are - the paper (scan through it, since you haven't seemed to already) does not ask Microsoft to change their coding and licensing practice. This isn't even a EU policy or anything; it is just an exploration of possible EU benefits to using Open Source.

I do realize that, and no I haven't read, nor do I plan to even begin to try to scan a 287 page document. It kinda doesn't fit into my college schedule as any priority, sorry to say. But what do you think the EU is going to do with that document, sit and smile? Not by a long shot. They're going to publish it and then spin it to go after Microsoft just as they have been the last couple years. Why do you think Microsoft got two other institutions to back them up in a counterreport in the first place, or even moreso, do a counterreport at all if the EU's report would have no effect on them?

-Spenser

stifler6478 said,
I do realize that, and no I haven't read, nor do I plan to even begin to try to scan a 287 page document. It kinda doesn't fit into my college schedule as any priority, sorry to say. But what do you think the EU is going to do with that document, sit and smile? Not by a long shot. They're going to publish it and then spin it to go after Microsoft just as they have been the last couple years. Why do you think Microsoft got two other institutions to back them up in a counterreport in the first place, or even moreso, do a counterreport at all if the EU's report would have no effect on them?

-Spenser

Oh, yes! It is a conspiracy! They are going after an entity that has a stranglehold on their computing technology. They are proposing that it may be cost effective to consider alternatives. And, if alternatives are given a "blessing" as being acceptable, who knows? They might even quote out some jobs in a competitive bid! Then the provider who truly provides the necessary product at the lowest price will win out - be it Microsoft or some other company.

You certainly don't object to officially stating that alternative products may provide a cost benefit, and are acceptable to use? The only ones who should be objecting with their panties in a twist would be those who solely benefit by vendor lock-in.

stifler6478 said,
Why do you think Microsoft got two other institutions to back them up in a counterreport in the first place, or even moreso, do a counterreport at all if the EU's report would have no effect on them?

Because they were paid. One of CompTIA's largest financial backers is MS. These two did not volunteer, they were hired to come up with an opinion favorable to Microsoft's views.

yo, americans, get it through your heads, europeans came before the americans (hell, we discovered you) ... so, they simply want other options and shelve the MS monopoly .. which is cool, (go canada go)

Check your history. When Europeans came over here, there were already people occupying the land.

Nothing like a bit of warfare and disease to try to take care of that "problem" though.

markjensen said,
Check your history. When Europeans came over here, there were already people occupying the land.

Nothing like a bit of warfare and disease to try to take care of that "problem" though. ;)


He's a tard like most other people.

Microsoft shouldn't have to do anything open source; it's their property, and they have the rights to it. Programmers seem to be fine working with their OS and making software for it, drivers for their hardware, etc. I don't see who's getting hurt here. Only one getting hurt is Microsoft being forced to run their company on stupid standards. Good standards are pollution control, safe work environments, food regulations, etc. While being a fan of Open-Source software, I don't think it's something to push companies to do, much less fine them for not doing so.

I think it's more like "pushing the use" of OSS.
Companies can release their products under the license they see fit, but the benefits a government gets from not being tied to a company are obvious.

The EU aren't push Microsoft to use open source, but market pressures may be. They (and many other countries and some US states) are pushing for the use of open standards.

The EU haven't fined Microsoft for not using open source, they've been fined for unfair competition - giving their own products (such as Office) "inside" help to make them work better on Windows than the competition can. Theres arguments for and against this, but it doesn't benefit consumers if they're forced to use Microsoft Office because all the other competitors can't work as well because Microsoft don't provide them with the documentation they need.

Why should software be made free? What is it about software? I say gasoline should be free. Lets mandate that.

Hell, half of the entire forum members here would be homeless if software was mandated by governments to be freely available and we (the software industry) had to resort to redhat style tactics.

Careful what you wish for.

-d

Even "Free Software" extremists, like ESR, justifies reasons for closed source applications in his The Magic Cauldron analysis (it is a good read).

It also should help you learn the difference between "Free Software" and "making no money".

Not sure what you mean by "Red Hat" style tactics.

This is all political.....MS is not a EU company.....They don't have any hold on the computer industry...The US own the internet and also the the worlds most used OS.....

So why not push Open Scource...where you take some control from the US.

callen said,
The problem is who decides what a standard is and how to enforce it. The golden rule?
Hmmm.. How about we create some sort of International Standards Organization? We could call it "ISO", for short, and this group could be based on the national standards institutes of 157 countries. And we could even set up a web page to find this group: http://www.iso.org

Certainly better than letting individual companies try to push their competing (and incompatible) "standards".

I support Open Source software. However, I don't see why the EU is pushing this direction so much, when the real issue here is Open Standards.

If files and communication protocols were interoperable, regardless of the Operating System used, then you would have a nice level playing field for all vendors, whether they provide Open Source or Closed Source software.

markjensen said,
I support Open Source software. However, I don't see why the EU is pushing this direction so much, when the real issue here is Open Standards.

If files and communication protocols were interoperable, regardless of the Operating System used, then you would have a nice level playing field for all vendors, whether they provide Open Source or Closed Source software.


I entirely agree with that, but the EU is not necessarily pushing towards open source.

The title of the report: "Study on the: Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU"

I guess the EC has ordered a study on the subject because open source software has become more and more important in recent years. Seeing as the European Commision plays an important rule in the decisions made in Europe, it would be important for them to know what the consequences of open source will be, and what's the best way to respond.

Open standards are much more important (I personally don't care if my software is open source or closed source, as long as it uses open standards), but that's an entirely different subject.

The study can be found here. Just look at the executive summary for the most important things

WTF. It's a report looking into open source - a fair, objective look at it. But NO, MS has to come along and throw bull**** about why it's a "bad idea", "possibly dangerous" and will "make our computers blow up".

and yet, there was made amendments to the report after MS counter report...

well that's obviusly not because MS provided valid points or anything, just a coincidence...

Again FUD by Microsoft. But you can't really blame them. It is all about profit and selling their software. Business is business.........

It would be nice, however, if MS would play with the facts and stop with the spreading of this dribble.

Barney

Guest said,
Or do you think CompTIA and this university guy just made it all up?

No, they were paid large amounts of money to come up with an opinion that was unfavorable to open source technology. MS is one of CompTIA's largest funders. Might as well change the name to MicrosoftTIA.

You could find a "University Accademic" to support you on pretty much any point, its not as if they're beyond corruption. Even if they're paid nothing to put their name to Microsoft's report, it doesn't make them right.

Ok i think you arent mature enough to understand,but ill try to explain.

EU yields about free competition,but why are they buffing MS?,well this have several reasons,including social and political rivalries between EU and America (commonly US),this is somehow SAD that this fights tracend to territories like the software industry.

EU goverment is just a farse,trying to benefit their own interests,behind a so callled free and social world lema.

EduardValencia said,
Ok i think you arent mature enough to understand,but ill try to explain.

EU yields about free competition,but why are they buffing MS?,well this have several reasons,including social and political rivalries between EU and America (commonly US),this is somehow SAD that this fights tracend to territories like the software industry.

EU goverment is just a farse,trying to benefit their own interests,behind a so callled free and social world lema.

EU government? Wow, that's news...

Anyway, I think a report of that sort should be welcomed, not least because it challenges the status-quo and the monopoly of an organization such as Microsoft who already have WAY too much control over our computing rights (look at the 'scandal' over the Vista EULAs).

EduardValencia said,
Ok i think you arent mature enough to understand,but ill try to explain.

EU yields about free competition,but why are they buffing MS?,well this have several reasons,including social and political rivalries between EU and America (commonly US),this is somehow SAD that this fights tracend to territories like the software industry.

EU goverment is just a farse,trying to benefit their own interests,behind a so callled free and social world lema.


Big words for someone coming from Colombia, where ignorance is bliss, irony at it's best... I see you are a very happy person.

EduardValencia said,
Ok i think you arent mature enough to understand,but ill try to explain.

EU yields about free competition,but why are they buffing MS?,well this have several reasons,including social and political rivalries between EU and America (commonly US),this is somehow SAD that this fights tracend to territories like the software industry.

EU goverment is just a farse,trying to benefit their own interests,behind a so callled free and social world lema.


You know, starting replies by using sentences like that, doesn't exactly lend you credibility...

Of course the EU tries to benefit their own interests. It's there for the European people, right? Not for the companies.
MS wouldn't be 'annoyed' by the EU this much, if they would cooperate a bit more.
(Edit: of course, the situation is much more complex than this, but the EU is far from a 'farce'.)

Oh, and it's funny that you took my reply so seriously, as it was merely a joke...