France Challenges Microsoft in Software Re-Fit

France to Microsoft: Best price wins. Give us a better deal or we go open source.

France's cash-strapped government is giving alternative software firms the chance to win state business from Microsoft in a pioneering drive to challenge the U.S. software giant in the public sector. Civil service minister Renaud Dutreil told Reuters France wanted to use "open-source" software providers to resupply part of the almost one million state computers under a government cost-cutting drive designed to trim a bulging public deficit.

"We are not starting a war against Microsoft, or against American companies in the software sector," Dutreil said in an interview. But he added that Microsoft "must return to being one supplier to the state among others."

"The competition is open," he said. "My estimate is that we can cut the state software bill at least in half."

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News source: Reuters

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