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Secret EU Open Source Migration Study Leaked 311

Elektroschock writes "For 4 years MEP Marco Cappato tried to get access to the EU Council's 2005 open source migration study because he is a member of a responsible IT oversight committee in the European Parliament. His repeated requests for access were denied. Now they have finally been answered because the Council's study has escaped into the wild (PDF in French and English). Here is a quick look. It is embarrassing! Gartner, when asked if there were any mature public Linux installations in Europe, claimed that there were none. Michael Silver said, 'I have not spoken to any sizable deployments of Linux on the desktop and only one or two StarOffice deployments.' Gartner spread patent and TCO FUD. Also, the European Patent Office participated in the project, although it is not an EU institution."
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Secret EU Open Source Migration Study Leaked

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  • Case for fraud? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:02AM (#27964889)

    Isn't there an EU action for fraud, if Gartner was a contracted and paid consultant to the EU for this study? I'd love to see an American company get financially shitcanned by the EU. Not just fined but wiped out.

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:03AM (#27964899) Homepage Journal

    Essentially, a 6 year old and a 96 year old need to be able to use the system.

    Actually, those two demographics are the easiest to convert. While my mom isn't 96 by a long stretch, she uses Ubuntu and has no problems whatsoever. Her computer literacy is close to 0.

    The problem users are those we call "power users". People that have used Windows for years and know the ins-and-outs, but do not know them deep enough. They can pretty much be found in the 20-65 demographics, also known as those of working age. My dad falls in the power-user demographic and he still uses WinXP. That said, he is very open to Linux and understands it well enough to use it.

    Do note that you said "use". The system still has to be set up by someone who knows what he does.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:08AM (#27964947) Homepage Journal

    Sue Silver for fraud; also he has a conflict of interest because he is a self-declared Windows tool and Linux is the main competition (sorry, Mac users.) Finally, never ask an all-business BA+MBA for technical information. You will only get statistics.

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:22AM (#27965095)

    In other news, cars need to be easier to drive to reach the 6-year old market, knives need to stop being sharp if they really want to catch-on, and watches need to stop having numbers on them if they want to appeal to illiterates.

    How about we keep Linux awesome, and let it stand on its merits, rather than turning it into something it is not?

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by muckracer ( 1204794 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:34AM (#27965263)

    > precisely what Ubuntu is trying to do. It is a matter of opinion
    > as the whether they are succeeding, but I believe that they are.

    At the latest when my GF wanted to burn a simple mp3 file and Brasero mumbled something about an "missing gstreamer plugin" she said, that (Ubuntu) Linux is still too complicated for normal users. I couldn't really argue with her, just explain the Why's and How's of proprietary stuff and the legal issues of their use. Installed the restricted stuff (which she'd have had no idea to even look for!) and she was set and likes it.

    Another point in the slides of TFA was, that just because Linux is free it's not inexpensive. True that. Just spoke to the director of IT for a large/well-known european city and he too said, he doesn't see a business point for Linux (and he likes it personally). Basically the Unix side is taken by AIX (license costs per WS/Server are negligible, especially for a rich town) and the Windows side is, well, gonna stay that way (all city desktops are going Vista).
    So Linux, despite the fact that the official city site runs on it is basically kept on board just to have the know-how around. That, however, costs salaries and if several admin's pull 100k/y each then I can see, how from a business point of view Linux doesn't make sense atm.. Rock and a hard place for adoption and likely in other locations you'll find similar situations.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:35AM (#27965273) Journal
    Actually, I think that redhat AND Novell/SUSE would have the capability to sue them. Gartner can not really afford to have their reputation destroyed.
  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MadKeithV ( 102058 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:39AM (#27965337)
    The show-stopper is store salesmen who don't actually believe that a "layman user" could get along just fine with Linux and not XP or Vista.
    My job is an MS only shop. I still use a Linux netbook for presentations. It works just fine, and cost about as much as a non-OEM version of Windows Vista Home Basic alone..
  • by jernejk ( 984031 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:42AM (#27965385)

    for over a year now, I must say I agree. Sadly, linux is not mature.

    In the times pre windows nt/2000, yes, linux was more stable and had far better up time. But after windows 2000 came out, stability was greatly improved and is simply a non-issue these days.
    When that happened, linux lost its strong point and the direction where it's going. A few weeks ago, Mark Shuttleworthd said "Linux must not be just better Windows" or something like that. That of course, is wrong. No matter what you want linux to be or not be, it's just a freaking OS. It deals with scheduling processor time and resources, and IO (and sadly, there's a IO bug in kernels after 2.6.18 that still hasn't been fixed IIRC). Anything more than that is not linux any more. It's either gnome or kde or whatever.

    What I really care about as the user is that the os can run my software of choice. For example, MS office is my software of choice. I prefer MSO to any other solution I've seen. Specifically: i also like the look and feel of office 2007 (and since MacOS is forcing me into something else, Mac is off my OS list). Now, should linux run my app or should linux provide "an alternative" to any single pice of software there is? Dear god, speak about reinventing the wheel).

    I currently use linux (or should I say Gnome, since linux really doesn't matter that much) because Vista has a really really REALLY stupid memory management (I don't understand what's the point of prefatching software you MIGHT use and then swapping programs you actually do use. I mean, how brain dead is that??). I like having multiple desktops (hello MS it can't be THAT hard), love powerful shell and SSH integration into nautilus.

    But the more I use linux (Ubuntu in case you are interested), the more unhappy I am. It's the little things, like, keyboard not processing input on dual screen when there's no window open on that desktop. And configuring / changing (external) display configuration is simply broken. And high IO really brings system on the knees (even surfing is not possible while writing to a CD). Firefox is sloooooowwww. No exchange client. No out of the box AD integration. And so on and on and on.

    It's really strange. Currently, there's no desktop OS i'd like to use. I don't get why people are sooooo amoused over mac os. I've tried it but didn't really liked it (yes, i'd prefer windows). On the other hand, MS doesn't know wher to go with Vista/7, but they don't implement a simple virtual desktops and tabs in windows explorer (yes, I'd buy 7 for these simple features).

    Based on my experience I agree with gartner, windows is the better choice for EU's cuncil IT environment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:51AM (#27965521)

    let's see from the top of my head:
    - all government and schools in extramadura in spain
    - schools in gran canaria
    - french police (still migrating)
    - munich

    and those are just the ones that immediately come to mind, there's undoubtfully more if you dig a bit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:08AM (#27965875)

    What did they expect?

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:11AM (#27965923) Homepage Journal

    I'm not saying you're wrong but you haven't refuted the claim regarding large desktop deployments in the EU.

    Here's one [] that is large but probably hasn't been deployed and isn't in the EU.

    Also, since the study is 5 years old, you would need to find references of large desktop deployments in the EU that are at least that old.

  • Re:Case for fraud? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @01:12PM (#27969405)

    All Gartner has to do is prove that the study really IS the opinion of its authors, who happen to work for Gartner. Although there are a few whoppers in the study that can be disproven, it will be tough to prove deliberate misrepresentation unless they can link it back to MS.

    I doubt it will play out that way, because the manipulation is much more subtle. Think of the individual authors. When MS knowledge is all you HAVE, MS is what you SELL. All these "plants" require is some fertilizer - a free copy of this, free training on that, and an occasional ride on the corporate gravy train to network with peers and soak up the latest propaganda.

    Although major IT vendors have used this process for decades, MS discovered how to achieve massive economies of scale. Instead of spending a vast amount of money on a small number of senior management (and risk getting in trouble), they spend a tiny amount of money on a vast number of people. As an added bonus, the expenditure per person often slides underneath the corporate anti-gift radar.

    I have seen people bark like trained seals just because they got a desktop paperweight and free lunch at a propaganda seminar. Hell, some of them are posting to this discussion!

    Realistically, the casualty here is Gartner's credibility -- but only if the weakest parts of the study are thoroughly disproven. That process started when the study leaked. Time will tell if they get thoroughly bruised or not. My guess is probably not.

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @01:16PM (#27969481) Homepage Journal

    Windows Media Player does not play MP3 files by default and I believe you don;t have a CD/DVD burner out of the box.

    Lets start from the point where the systems are configured equally for the most common tasks and see how systems fare from there.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @01:26PM (#27969621)

    A recent report has revealed that France's national police force has saved an estimated 50 million euros since 2004 by adopting open source software and migrating a portion of the organization's workstations to Ubuntu Linux. They plan to roll out the Linux distro to all 90,000 of their workstations by 2015. []

    Does this count, Gartner?

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