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Government Software Linux News

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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  • by StCredZero ( 169093 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:52AM (#27964775)

    Someone needs to pull a John Stewart/Jim Cramer on Gartner. These guys spread so much BS, yet continue to be considered an authority.

    • by noundi ( 1044080 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:59AM (#27964855)
      Sure you can arrest the drug dealer, put him in prison for a few years and then release him without changing anything or you can go after the head [] of the operation and solve the problem permanently. The only party that benefits from this is Microsoft, no fucking bullshit-FUD-internet-forum-made-up word doubt about it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Unfortunately, their cutting public humiliation, while well deserved, would probably be a ratings nightmare. If you aren't familiar with the jargon, correct technical analysis and bullshit technobabble look virtually identical. Stewart owned Cramer because Cramer made the mistake of fucking up in a domain that virtually everybody cares about, and most people know at least a little about.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Stewart owned Cramer because Cramer made the mistake of fucking up in a domain that virtually everybody cares about, and most people know at least a little about.

        Stewart owned Cramer because Cramer spilled the beans about how easy it is to manipulate the market and gave examples of things he would do as a hedge fund manager.

        It was a video for or something like that. I guess back then he thought the internet was just full of investors and pedophiles and there would be some sort of honor among thieves and they wouldn't rat him out. But once the web was replaced by tubes, people that were afraid of spiders started joining the party.

        There's some guy that p

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 )

      But... But... Gartner says they're a useful institution. Gartner!

    • by bosson ( 793519 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:25AM (#27965131) Homepage
      Gartner also made the case that EU governments should not abandon open standards, but rather redefine open standards by removing royalty free use. Thats basically tossing the success story of the Internet out the window and still using it as branding name for the new EIFv2 "European Interoperability Framework" See EU-commission pages at: [] and a post about it here: []
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:25AM (#27965137)
      Well, ARE there any "sizable deployments of Linux on the desktop" in Europe (in companies and government, I mean--not on some geek's home PC)? It seems to me that if you're going to refute a study, you should start by showing they're actually wrong.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by c-reus ( 852386 )
        is LHC running Windows?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          is LHC running Windows?

          Do they have a large deployment of Linux desktops? Sounds like they're just using it for their grid.

      • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi&evcircuits,com> on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:44AM (#27965433) Homepage

        Yes there are. They have been in the news. There have been instances in the UK and France since 2006, there are many schools and educational institutions as well as companies that have made the switch. I know in the Netherlands and Belgium government agencies have been looking into it and if I'm correct a lot of the ex-Soviet countries that are now part of the EU (Hungary, Poland, ...) and the Scandinavians have less advertised but nonetheless important conversions.

        Gartner is a sock puppet for Microsoft and everybody in the industry knows that (they made the analysis that Windows XP before SP1 was safer than Linux by comparing it to Red Hat Linux 5.3 (not RHEL, the original 5.3))

        • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:04AM (#27965795) Homepage

          The study was in 2005, so to show it was wrong you need to find examples of widespread Linux deployments in Europe that existed then. Not deployments that started in 2006, or governments that 'have been looking into it'.

          • by Kulfaangaren! ( 1294552 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:15AM (#27967055)
            80000+ desktops + 33 datacenters in Spain in 2003 ? Qualifies :) ?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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.

      • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

          all government and schools in extramadura in spain
          This started in 2006/2007 [] so of course the study in 2005 didn't notice it.
          schools in gran canaria
          I couldn't find details of this on the web, but are you sure it was up and running in 2005?
          french police (still migrating)
          This was announced in 2008 [].
          I believe the migration started in 2006 [].

          I know we all hate the Gartner Group and all that, but seriously, was it such a gross error to say there were no widespread public (that is, govermnent or municipal)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        french police []
        french railway []
        cern []
        900 pharmacies []
        Thats 5 minutes of googling (im sure EU offices of google also use linux) if i got paid to do a study, I'm sure i could find more.

      • by Kulfaangaren! ( 1294552 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:23AM (#27966125)
        In goverment...
        * 1000+ in French parliament : []
        * 11000 at German Foreign ministry.
        * 14000 in Munich.
        * 13000 at The Federal Employment Office of Germany
        * 80000+ in Spain 2003: []
        * 90000 at France's national police force in 2007

        In education...
        * "Germany has announced that 560,000 students in 33 universities will migrate to Linux."
        * "Russia announced in October 2007 that all its school computers will run on Linux."
        * "9,000 computers to be converted to Linux and in school district Geneva, Switzerland by September 2008"

        In business...
        * "Peugeot, the European car maker, announced plans to deploy up to 20,000 copies of Novell's Linux desktop."

        Read more about adoption of Linux at Wikipedia: []
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jimicus ( 737525 )

        The company I worked for immediately after I graduated in 2002 had Linux on all desktops in the branches - and it was already mostly rolled out when I started.

        That was something like 2-300 branches and about 1500 staff altogether.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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?

    • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:29AM (#27965177)

      While I dislike Gartner about as much as anyone on this list, we must remember that this report is 5 YEARS OLD. I would be surprised if there WERE any large-scale mature Linux desktop sites back then.

      Still, it's a steaming pile of FUD: before companies started rolling out Windows in a big way, how many large-scale Windows sites were there?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Cern would have been a large scale mature system even back in 2004, and AFAIK most of their desktops run linux, granted it is because they need scientific tools, but if you were paid to do research you could of atleast taken a look at their system.

      • by wisty ( 1335733 )

        Warty Warthog was out in October 2004. I'm not sure when in 2005 that report was released, but it can't have been after Dapper Drake (2006).

        Remember those day? All the newcomers would agonize over KDE / Gnome, then break their X Server (or X client - which were always named back to front), and not be able to surf onto the forums for help, so they just re-installed Windows.

        Monopolizing Linux (the way Canonical has) sure made things a lot smoother.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I used to work for a small company that developed an enterprise software package that competed successfully with incredibly expensive products from the big players (IBM, CA, etc.) Yet a certain IT research company never mentioned our product in their comparitive reviews. Until, at their suggestion, we took out a subscription to their BS reports. I've always been amused by this coincidence.

    • Someone needs to pull a John Stewart/Jim Cramer on Gartner.

      When it comes to the Machinations of government and open source vs. corporate products, something tells me that Woodward & Bernstein would be more appropriate.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Being consistently wrong isn't illegal or anything. At least, as long as you're not a doctor or an engineer, anyway. Given their apparent level of technical expertise, I assume it's just marketing people there. I just watch what they're saying and assume that no matter what the market does in the next couple of years, it won't be doing that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Locutus ( 9039 )

      Gartner is the former DataQuest company, the came company people used to call DataGuess. They're just a place for companies to purchase "Gartner Research" papers using the following form:
      1) What is it you want research on?
      2) How many pages do you require?
      3) What is the target result you're looking for?
      4) How quickly do you need the research paper?
      5) Price is based on the following formula:
      cost= number of pages * $1,000 * needFactor
      needFactor = 10 * inverse of #weeks needed

      If you want to stop them, advocate

  • Oh noes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EveryNickIsTaken ( 1054794 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:56AM (#27964801)
    Mod me down if you want, but Linux needs to go "full retard" in order to reach the masses. Essentially, a 6 year old and a 96 year old need to be able to use the system. If they can't, start over.
    • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:00AM (#27964859)

      Mod me down if you want, but Linux needs to go "full retard" in order to reach the masses.

      Essentially, a 6 year old and a 96 year old need to be able to use the system. If they can't, start over.

      And that is 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by muckracer ( 1204794 )

        > 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 n

        • The catch all with the AIX/Linux argument is that IBM gets you on the hardware. They want you to run AIX because the hardware required to run it is expensive.

          Now that doesn't mean you aren't getting your money's worth in hardware, but IBM isn't stupid. They would much rather keep you interested in AIX and see that it's TCO is about that of Linux on their hardware, but then they're locking you into their hardware.

        • 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.

      • So *this* is, why Ubuntu and Gnome are becoming pretty much unusable for an educated human with an own will? Removal of options, of settings, and the imitation of every Windows-retard-assistant out there... How *genius*. And the best thing: They copy others in a worse way than Microsoft themselves do it.

        I'm just waiting until they present a 1980-style badly rendered animated "desktop assistant" called "Tuxxy".
        I swear, when this happens, I'm going down there, to gift them with a first-class Hulk-style one-ma

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      A modern 6 year old can move between Windows, Linux and MacOS and not even realize they are different operating sytsems.

      • by sukotto ( 122876 )

        That's mainly because they mostly only care about the web browser.

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

      by noundi ( 1044080 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:01AM (#27964881)
      Was the article not clear in any fucking way? Linux needs Microsoft to stop manipulating parliaments to reach the masses. Period.
    • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DeBaas ( 470886 )

      Actuall a PC system ( created especially for the elderly is based on Linux (Gentoo to be precise). That little device has a UI that is kept very simple and foolproof. Read only system, just some user files locally and remote (synced)

      Same concept can easily be used for six year olds. I believe in this way Linux is even more suited for the 6 and 96 year old.

      • Actually a PC system ( created especially for the elderly is based on Linux (Gentoo to be precise).

        I imagine updating will be fun for them.

        [I use gentoo myself and it is awesome, yet not for everyone.]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jawn98685 ( 687784 )
      Why would I mod you down? I have the points to do it right now, BTW. Your argument is sound. Your knowledge of the current state of Linux desktop distributions though, not so much. The Xandros distro that came on my Eeepc is nothing if not "full-retard". Big friendly buttons that enable commonly used functions. Clearly, "ease of use" is not the show stopper here.
      Start over.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MadKeithV ( 102058 )
        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..
    • I think this is completely wrong. Linux needs to go after the closest thing to its natural demographic first: power users who care about software freedom. Its got a lot of slack to pick up there before it starts to go after the much harder "full retard" end of the market. Unfortunately, I think the attitude of a lot of people seems to be that you either know everything (and can be treated as a peer), or nothing (and are therefore an idiot).

    • They are already doing that, with some success. Of course windows being bundled with new computers and incapability of running win32 apps (and i am not talking about office) are other pieces of the puzzle for which, i believe, we have to wait a little longer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      Installing new software and new hardware is now easier on the latest Ubuntu than it is under Windows Vista. Linux is not mature : it is simply superior. As a pre-installed OS it would be a dangerous competitor for wiindows on the non-gaming market.
    • I think you must have missed this awesome product called UBUNTU.

    • by Ektanoor ( 9949 )

      My son used Mandrake\Mandriva since 5 years old.

      Lots of old people do use Windows. But I knew a lawyer, soon going into retirement, who said me that Linux was relatively acceptable for use on documents if it was not the fact that one has to deal with lots of M$ Office stuff. Anyway she could not use Linux, not because it was difficult but because it wasn't allowed at her department. Anyway, at home she kept a special Linux box for the most sensitive stuff. "It's a lot more secure there" she said.

      So your bro

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't you know.... you never go full retard, never.

    • Ok you people! Now anyone may call me troll, racist, animal hater or anything worser. But I'm really fed up with people like this one. It is the very same song since the old 90's. And it is one of the reasons why I haven't been here for years.

      Now, I have to confess, this is a never ending story - brawling all over what 6 year, 30 year, 90 year oldies may or may not able to use Linux. No one is going to give up.

      But I think there is a way... The TEST!

      Let a chimp try to use both systems. Really, Sincerly it wo

    • Hell no!

      As I said before: There is absolutely no reason for Linux to be the main OS for every retard out there! No way!
      Repeat after me: There is no NEED for this. It is all some made-up drift.
      It's the same bullshit as the rule that every company always has to grow. Even if there is no reason. Even if the market does not support it and is saturated. Always.
      it seems, people think: Even if the world falls apart, we *have* to grow. We don't know any reason for it, but that does not stop us!

      If you want to build

    • by pbhj ( 607776 )

      My MiL (60-ish) and my son (3 years) both used my Kubuntu desktop without a problem. Granted they were only putting it on to surf the web (Hotmail for the MiL and iPlayer for my son). He does struggle with the mouse as I have it quite fast. The MiL uses Windows regularly at home, I must try J (my son) on Vista and see how he does - I can't imagine he'll struggle as the instructions are identical "just click the [fire]fox", though he won't have tuxcart or "tux-walking" (Supertux) on Vista so I don't think he

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

    by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • 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.

  • 2005 != 2009 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by firejump ( 1469371 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:08AM (#27964951)
    I'm in no way trying to defend Gartner and his study, but I believe there is a huge difference between Linux adoption in 2005 and now. Some slides from the pdf linked in the article suggest that major portions of the study were made even earlier, in 2003. Of course basing any technology-related decisions on such a outdated study is another matter...
    • You are correct. A core difference being that in 2005, SuSE Linux was a better respected distribution (based out of Germany, ffs) than it is now.

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )

      that was just the technique used to get the "right" results. They'd have to go back more than 5 years today to pull the same stunt and will have to use different techniques. Maybe they'd use info from Microsofts "Get the Facts" campaign where it's not obvious that Microsoft gave sweetheart deals to migrate people from Linux or away from Linux.

      People still think it was mostly the OLPCs fault they couldn't close any million unit deals even though they had dozens of MOU's. Little do they know that all those cu

  • "WinFS Arrives?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunkirk ( 238653 ) * <> on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:09AM (#27964957) Homepage

    I love it! Here's our infamous "Gartner" group in prime form. FTFPDF, we see that they are predicting the arrival of WinFS anywhere from late 2008 to early 2010.

    Now, anyone who's been around as long as Gartner knows that Microsoft has been promising this "feature" since Windows codename "Cairo," which was announced in 1991, and publically demo'ed in '93. There was a lot of hope that it would be delivered in NT 4.0. That's roughly 16 years folks. WAY more time than they had to develop Duke Nukem Forever, and it's just a _file system_.

    If you want to talk about basing your corporate purchasing decisions on "features" like WinFS, then all this slagging off on Linux as not being "there yet" is directly hyporcritical, now, isn't it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nxtw ( 866177 )

      WAY more time than they had to develop Duke Nukem Forever, and it's just a _file system_.

      It's not "just a _file system_". It's not even a file system in the traditional sense. I would describe it as a very fancy metadata and structured data indexing system [] built on top of an existing file system and relational database.

      I suspect that the system would be too complex if fully implemented considering the benefits it would bring - lots of potentially "cool" features, but not a whole lot of stuff that is truly

  • by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:23AM (#27965113)
    * Linux will be less expensive than Windows because StarOffice/ can be used instead of Microsoft Office.

    * Linux is free.

    * There are no forced upgrades.

    * Linux will require significantly less labor to manage.

    * Linux will have a lower TCO than Windows because of available management tools.

    * Applications will be inexpensive or free.

    * Hardware can be kept longer if Linux is used, or older hardware can be used.

    * Skills are transferable. - Gartner
  • 'As an example illustrating this fact, the Commission officially uses "Linux RedHat Enterprise Version" in its "x86" (also called Intel-compatible architecture) based servers. The fees for "RedHat Enterprise Version" are actually more expensive [] than those of other proprietary alternatives'
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by cjalmeida ( 1148679 )
      Probably. But they DO cover more services. Bare MS licensing gives you not much more than the OS. Now add IIS support, Exchange, Office in every machine, etc. RHEL gives you an OS plus e-mail server, web server, directory server, virtualization, and all the free goodies packaged in RHEL. ALL WITHIN SCOPE OF THE SUPPORT CONTRACT.
      • A. ) there are no "free goodies", you paid for them as part of the support contract.

        B. ) what real reason is there to pay for a support contract through RedHat? What am I gaining (and I am being 100% serious) over installing the software without support?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Super_Z ( 756391 )

          B. ) what real reason is there to pay for a support contract through RedHat? What am I gaining (and I am being 100% serious) over installing the software without support?

          Support. I have had network performance problems running RHEL on DL360G4s which RedHat solved after a week. The new patch was then tested, commited and served through RHN - complete with driver patches delivered upstream. I have seen communities work just as commited (postfix is one), but RedHat gives you this on all the software it ships

  • 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

    • As far as the MS Office issue, Linux can run your app via Wine or Crossover Office. There are also alternatives with varying degrees of quality.

      It seems like a lot of your difficulties (No exchange client, no AD integration) have more to do with expecting Linux do things like Windows does when sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes there are ways of doing what you want to do that you just haven't learned about yet.

    • by Zashi ( 992673 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:08AM (#27965877) Homepage Journal
      You're unhappy with Linux because you're making the fatal mistake of trying to live a Microsoft life with a Linux based OS. It's like deciding you like nautical life so you buy an airplane. I had the same problem when I switched from windows 98 to Linux. I used XP along side Linux for a while, but eventually Linux (more acurately, POSIX) felt oh so more right and sensible than windows. Now, if it isn't POSIX compatible, it's a weird niche system to me. If you can let go of all your windows-isms and microsoft-isms you can be much happier with your computer. You can't constantly compare the two OSes, either. You'll never be satisfied like that, especially if you're really used to the first OS. It's like watching a really great movie many times and then years later watching a remake. Even if the remake is fantastic and new and has all the elements of the old that you like, it'll still be different. It will still feel like a shameless copy that doesn't quite work the way you want it to. You'll expect a line from your favorite character only to hear something different. Does the fact it was different from what you expected make it a bad line? Probably not, but it still leaves you a bit disappointed. I guess my point is to leave behind all your preconceptions about what an OS is and how it should behave, if you truly wish to switch to Linux--or any other OS for that matter--and be happy with it.

      Okay, enough bad analogies.
    • by lordandmaker ( 960504 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:40AM (#27966441) Homepage
      This is not that Linux is not mature, this is that Linux is not what you want.
  • Feel free to chime in guys:

    "It's from Gartner, so it is wrong"

    Yes, this is a repetition of what I'll always say when talking about a Gartner report. But obviously it hasn't been chanted enough.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.