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Journal: CCAGW Rebuttal

Journal by Lord Custos
Mass. Taxpayers Hurt by Proposed Software Monopoly

[You obviously are using a very weird definiton of the word 'Monopoly' when you speak of Open Source software. One of the major tenets of that style of software development is that its not logically feasable for any organization, group or faction to ever *get* a Monopoly in the Open Source space.]

"Open-Source Software Preference Means Closed Minds," Schatz says (Washington, D.C.)--The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today criticized Massachusetts Chief Information Officer Peter Quinn for his stated intention to move all state and local government computers to open-source operating systems. The "Freeware Initiative" will require that all IT expenditures in 2004 and 2005 be made on an open-source/Linux format. Proprietary vendors will be effectively barred from competing for state contracts, limiting competition and raising costs.

[Oh, and I'm sure that if a Proprietary vendor gets a contract to write software for that state, they'd more than happy to step aside if someone else comes along later and offers Massachusetts a better deal. Suuuuuurrre.]

"Governor Mitt Romney must put a stop to this boondoggle," CAGW President Tom Schatz said. "People mistakenly refer to Linux as 'free' software because it can be freely altered and distributed. Yet while the software itself is free, the cost to maintain and upgrade it can become very expensive.

[First of all, maintaining ANY software from any vendor will cost you money. The crucial difference is that in many cases with Open Source, You can download ALL of the software and all the support for FREE. This might be the greatest windfall in tax savings in years in that already over-taxed state, and I'm befuddled that CCAGW doesn't support it wholeheartedly.]

Like all procurement decisions, the best policy on the use of software is to place all products on equal footing. It is critical that taxpayers receive the best quality programs at the least cost."

[Ah. Let's simulate what would happen if you put everyone on equal footing in this space. On one side, you have to choose between *> 3 or 4 backward, crusty, bureaucracy-addled proprietary vendors foisting a shiny new version of the same old crud, and asking thousands of dollars a pop, per CPU/Seat and then saddling the state with a draconian set of licences that rob the state of any of its rights. or..... *> More than 100 lean, efficient, bright-eyed Open Source vendors all offering a wide array of extremely stable, reliable, extensible, modular, bleeding edge software at intensely completitive commodity market prices; and then offering a flexible license that allows the user to modify, mix and match and customize to their hearts delight? In a truly free-market Capitalist economy, the choice is blindingly obvious. What you fail to realize is that Mitt Romney already ran this scenario through his brainpan and came up with the only sensible solution. It was a simple choice between staying enslaved to the tired, vaguely Socialist indentured Serf-itude to a bungling business model of expensive Proprietary software...or jumping headlong into the freedom and competition offered by Freedomware, Open Source and Open Standards.]

"It is ironic that Massachusetts, as the only state remaining in the lawsuit accusing Microsoft of antitrust violations, is creating its own state-imposed monopoly on software.

[Which company, pray tell, holds a monopoly in the Open Source Space? I'd really like to know? I'm sure the other 300+ competing Linux corporations would like to know about it.]

Under the state's proposed "Freeware Initiative," there would be no exceptions to the rule permitting only open source/Linux software. The old Soviet Union could not have done this any better," Schatz added.

[Oh, Christ! This 'OpenSource == Communism' meme has got to *die*. It's so utterly, utterly wrong that I'm appalled anyone, even someone as dumb as a United States Congressman, would fall prey to it. Communism stressed centralized control. Open Source is designed to thwart any and all attempts to impose a centralized authority. Communism thrived on secrecy and disinformation. Open Source is designed to remove secrecy, purge disinformation and encourage the free access to information. Communism was slow, thuggish, arbitrary and unresponsive. Open Source is quick, nimble, well-designed and attentive. Communism stymied innovation. Open Source has done more innovation in the last 12 years than Proprietary software has in the last 40. Deal with it.]

While the initial open source software may be "free," most studies conclude that acquisition costs represent only 5 to 10 percent of total cost of ownership.

[The studies which you cite are discredited adcopy foisted by sneaky Proprietary/Commie bastards. The 5-10% figure they posit has no relation to reality.]

Maintenance, training and support are far more expensive with open source than proprietary software.

[New users are just as dumb regardless of what new thing you try to teach them. Anyone who grew up using a Macintosh or a SparcStation would find Windows to be inscrutable. Anyone who grew up on Unix would find Windows and DOS to be inscrutable, inferior and broken. But anyone who grew up using Mac's, SparcStation's or Windows/DOS-based PC's would find Linux to be merely unusual but not insurmountable. And those who grew up on Unix can switch to Linux without even noticing they've switched.]

[Also: As for the "maintenance" aspect...My Windows box crashes nearly every day. My Solaris box acts up every week. My mandrake Linux box has not caused me problems in the last 3 years. Ask yourself, which costs more to maintain?]

"Massachusetts is proving itself the most technologically inept state in the nation.

[The true visionary is usually scoffed at by his peers. This to shall pass.]

In addition to attempting to impose a socialistic procurement system...

[There's that moronic 'Open Source == Communism' meme again...]

the state's record keeping on the Microsoft lawsuit was so abysmal that the judge in that case substantially reduced the proposed reimbursement of the state's cost,"

[So...the ineptness of his lawyers is relevant to Mitt Romney's Open Source policy...how...exactly?]

Schatz concluded. "It's time for Governor Romney to bring Massachusetts into the twenty-first century by dropping the lawsuit and opening up the procurement process.

[He is opening up the procurement process. That's the point. Up to this point, Proprietary solutions were the only ones he was allowed to choose. He took a look at them, and decided they were hopelessly inadequate. He made a valid value judgement and acted upon it. It's his choice as a Free Man to make such a choice.]

[And as for the cheesy crack about "bringing Mass to the 21st century": That's *exactly* what he's doing. Open Source *is* the 21st century. Microsoft is still stuck in 1984. Most Unixes are stuck in 1992. Even Apple is only up to 1997. The growth of Open Source isn't a "cancer" or a "Socialist plot"; The people who are telling you nonsense like that are the equivalent of the KGB of the software world. It's *them* you should *NOT* put your trust or faith in.]

The state's taxpayers deserve nothing less."

[They deserve cheaper, more reliable software. Freedomware offers this. You should be applauding Mitt Romney's courageous and patriotic decision, not deriding it]

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