Great article on CBC.ca about the provincial government’s moronic purchasing practices around software. When they make a purchasing decision, they are required to accept bids from varoius parties and have to weigh them before deciding, but there is a loophole stating that in the absence of any other options they are allowed to just make the purchase from the sole contractor.
Now, this might make sense when there actually is no competition, but they’ve been invoking the loophole as an excuse to buy Windows Vista without even considering other options. Not only could they instead be buying Apple computers (which are completely comparable and have great service available) but it completely disregards the fact that they could buy NOTHING and just install Linux. They complain about lack of service and support for Linux, but there are tons of reliable companies offering support for Linux in all its forms, and you only need to pay for the support when you need it, rather than paying for every copy of the software on the assumption that you might need support (i.e. Windows, where most users will never get support from Microsoft but rather from the IT employees that the government is already paying!).
This is of course made worse by the fact that buying Microsoft products not only enslaves Quebec’s tech infrastructure to a U.S. corporation, it deprives local and international organizations that support and develop Linux from having a chance. If Quebec is serious about independence and solidarity they need to seriously rethink their attitudes about how the knowledge society/economy is going to play out.
Ignoring everything but the entrenched corporate players makes them seem blind and intellectually lazy. Think about it Quebec, you’d love it!
(Thanks to Lloyd Budd for the link)