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Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software 159

walterbyrd writes: Fresh on the heels of the entire Munich and Linux debacle, another story involving Microsoft and free software has popped up across the world, in Chile. A prolific magazine from the South American country says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software. "An independent member of the Chilean Parliament, Vlado Mirosevic, pushed a bill that would allow the state to consider free software when the authorities needed to purchase or renew licenses. ... A while later, the same member of the Parliament, Daniel Farcas, proposed another bill that actually nullified the effects of the previous one that had just been adopted. To make things even more interesting, some of the people who voted in favor of the first law also voted in favor of the second one. ... The new bill is even more egregious, because it aggressively pushes for the adoption of proprietary software. Companies that choose to use proprietary software will receive certain tax breaks, which makes it very hard for free software to get adopted."
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Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software

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  • It seems like... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by toonces33 ( 841696 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @03:54PM (#47723365)

    The legislators were mainly interested in getting a price break from Microsoft, and they found a way to do it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @03:58PM (#47723391)

    I pretty much don't. "Certain tax breaks" is a choice of words that could mean any tax deduction of expenses. "Would allow the state" can well be a euphemism for "forces the state". Sadly, I don't trust the FSF crowd to use words reasonably.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @04:02PM (#47723417)

    Isn't there a US law that forbids US companies from engaging in foreign corrupt acts, even if those acts are the norm there? Or is applying money toward foreign politics exempt just like for domestic politics?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @04:14PM (#47723519)

    Munich isn't ditching Linux.

    Not often that SN gets the drop on /., they must be improving.

  • Plus, just in the summary, two MPs are conflated, and following that, we have the idea being pushed that legislation to promote free software in government is somehow hobbled by more legislation to provide businesses with tax credits to offset software purchase costs?

    Last I knew, the Chilean government wasn't a federation of businesses, and the second bill just makes commercial software look more like free software (in terms of purchase/license cost) to businesses.

    Seems to me that the second bill could also be used to offset purchase costs of free software that comes with support, making it an extremely lucrative option.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @04:28PM (#47723613)

    I'd argue that using windows is easier for most people than it is using Linux....

    Why is Microsoft afraid of allowing the marketplace to decide?

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @04:40PM (#47723715) Journal

    But what about military secrets?
    What about ongoing stings of organized crime syndicates, and the undercover police who might threatened?

    Both eventually become open records to the public anyway (after an expiration date, naturally), so aside from keeping such exceptional data sufficiently isolated from the public until their expiration dates (which happens anyway), what do you think detracts from GP's philosophy as per data format?

    Back in the Bad Old Days, everything was typewritten on paper... a completely open data format. So...

  • by Kabukiwookie ( 2677869 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:17PM (#47724003)

    In some cases the TCO will be lower,

    That is true, but only when looking at TCO in the short term. In the longer term, proprietary software will always turn out more expensive. Either because licencing fees go up or the business eventually goes out of business and expensive projects will need to be started to replace the functionality of the now unsupported software. Using free open source software, means that the user always has access to the technology and is able to ensure the product continues to perform the function that it was intended to perform, which in turn improves business continuity.

    Unfortunately, most people don't plan beyond the next couple of years and short term gains have become more important than long term continuity.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:41PM (#47724171)

    > I'd argue that using windows is easier for most people than it is using Linux.

    Why? When I want to launch a browser, I click the browser icon. What is so difficult? When I want to print, I can clink the printer icon. And so on. I would say it is *much* easier to go from Win7 to Gnome2, than from Win7 to Win8. People keep posting about Linux being difficult to use. Why? What is so difficult about it?

    > Not to mention, they would need to retrain all their personal to use linux

    You mean like having to retrain people to use Win8? Win8 is radically different than previous versions of Windows. How about retraining people to that "ribbon" crap in ms-office. Why is it: if somebody does not want to learn the new MS whatever, that person is lazy and stupid. But, nobody should suffer the burden of learning Linux?

    > make their own variant for security purpose


    > and then actually Support that version of linux. In the end, that would cost too much.

    What makes you think so? What makes you think supporting Linux would cost more than supporting Windows?

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @06:12PM (#47724381) Homepage

    There's a vice-mayor that heard stories of some city workers having trouble with the compatibility of certain file formats and he wants an investigation into it.

    This says nothing about the Linux OS or something else OSS being ditched, it doesn't even mean he's getting his investigation!

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.