[News] [Rival] More on Likely Microsoft Corruption in Romania

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Romania Issues €100 Million To Microsoft Without Bids

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| The government has announced it will pay €300 million (£262 million) to a 
| Romanian IT company for PCs and Microsoft software licences for use in 
| education (see Google translation), while also directly paying Microsoft €100 
| million (£87 million)  for software licences to be used in government 
| agencies between 2010 and 2012 (see Google translation). The country is also 
| paying €58 million (£50 million)  this autumn for its existing 2004 to 2009 
| framework agreement.      
| The problem of contracts that are not tendered properly is rampant across 
| Europe, and wastes public funds that could be better spent elsewhere, says  
| Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The 
| Swiss government issuing a contract to Microsoft for £8 million a year, 
| without a tender), and cases may be more extreme in Eastern Europe, he said.    
| "This decision of the Romanian government seems careless and endangers the 
| country's sustainable economic growth by increasing its dependency on 
| proprietary software and by wasting funds that would have been better used 
| elsewhere, for instance on infrastructure," said Greve.   



Microsoft Makes Itself at Home in Transylvania

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| In what is perhaps a sign of desperation, Microsoft is really pushing
| governments around the world to sign up to el cheapo mega-deals that they
| think they can't refuse. The FSFE's Georg Greve points out to me in an email
| that there's an interesting angle to this story in Romania...


RO: Proprietary licence deal draws ire open source proponents

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| The Romanian government is about to spend millions of euro on proprietary
| software, drawing flak from the country's budding open source movement. "This
| government is out of touch with reality."
| The Romanian government announced its renewal of a framework software licence
| with Microsoft in the middle of May. The framework licence deal is worth 100
| million euro in software licences to be used by government agencies between
| 2010 and 2012. Romania will also pay the software giant another 58 million
| euro this fall, as the final payment for the 2004 - 2009 framework licence
| agreement that expired last month.



Status of Ubuntu Romanian Localization Team

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| This is the first post from a series of status updates for the localization
| activity of Ubuntu Romanian  Localization team.
| Right now Ubuntu is translated into Romanian in 27.5 %, with almoust all
| GNOME and configuration utilities translated, including the live cd menu,
| installation program and Ubuntu guides.


"Then, they fight you"

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| I asked the organizers if our Free Software Group could hold a short session
| about the benefits of FOSS in education, with references to Ubuntu, Edubuntu
| and Kiwilinux and we were given a slot after the ones which had already been
| planned a while ago - those of Microsoft, Cisco and a local company that
| sells education software for Romanian schools.
| [...]
| It is sad to know they are resorting to this sort of coercing and that they
| have such influence over the educators but looking on the bright side of it,
| and that's how I perceived it after thinking a bit about it, THEY ARE


OOXML vote in Romania, signs of committee stuffing

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| Today four have joined the committee, all of them seem to be MS partners
| (Fujitsu-Siemens is one of them, the others are local software companies).
| The sad thing is that these companies or people have not shown interest in
| the subject so far, have not participated in the 6 months online debate but
| are probably going to cast their vote in favor of OOXML . What they are doing
| is perfectly legal, after all anyone can join the committe, but it's sad to
| see attempts at public debate and the chances of it changing something
| getting offset by throwing money at the problem at the last minute.
| I'll keep an update on how things are progressing and the results and details
| of the vote when it happens.


Romania says yes to OOXML once again

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| For months, OOXML and Microsoft have taken over any other subject on this
| forum. The pro and con debates were heated, numerous and lengthy.
| In all this time, OOXML supporters have utterly failed to offer any solid
| argument for OOXML’s adoption, while opposing arguments were abundant. The
| only coherent pro-OOXML statements boiled down to the same tired FUD that
| Microsoft has put together, repeated ad-nauseam, in spite of all the rich and
| detailed counter-arguments.
| [...]
| Therefore I feel justified in believing that “ballot-stuffing” was performed
| by Microsoft-friendly entities with the purpose of swaying the vote to an
| OOXML-favorable outcome.
| [...]
| It will come as no surprise that many of the other recent members are
| Microsoft business partners.
| Therefore I feel justified in believing that “ballot-stuffing” was performed
| by Microsoft-friendly entities with the purpose of swaying the vote to an
| OOXML-favorable outcome.
| I will stress, for the sake of clarity, that there has been neither public
| nor official statement so far regarding the CT210 members. We’re not supposed
| to even know who they are, officially.
| [...]
| I repeat: there’s a total lack of transparency. So far, the way I understand
| it (and I Am Not A Lawyer) ASRO seems to put its internal regulations over
| the laws of the state, one of which states: “the following basic principles
| must be followed in national standardization: […] transparency and public
| availability”.
| If I am wrong and ASRO’s position holds water, it will mean that the Romanian
| states is confortable entrusting its standardization to a body who can act in
| a completely opaque manner should it choose so. A very strange and disturbing
| notion, but there you have it.
| <h3>3. The conclusion</h3>
| The public debate on TIC-Lobby in the months leading up to the March vote
| have shown a staggering amount of arguments against adopting OOXML as a
| standard. There were links, tehnical details, technical experiments.
| The counter-arguments have been weak, obstinate and often repeated. Even when
| begged to do so, OOXML supporters have failed to put together even the
| smallest document containing arguments for their position.
| In the end, CT210 fell victim to ballot stuffing and ASRO is currently
| refusing to disclose any information other than the vote distribution.

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5/30/2009 12:01:20 AM
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