Lodahl's blog: I was thinking ...

15 June 2007

I was thinking ...

For a long time, I have wondered why the Minister of Science and Technology and the National IT- and Tele Agency is so happy about Microsoft. Now the Minister of Finance has joined the list of Microsoft supporters.

Do they have a secret shareholder account or something ? I don't think so. I don't hope so.

What about other 'public' people. How can it be ? What is the secret connection between the Danish Government and Microsoft ?

Rumors says that there is a secret agreement between the Government and Microsoft about the Danish Microsoft development department in Vedbaek. This is the largest development department outside America. More than 1.400 jobs and they are expanding every year. Can this has something to do with it ?

Perhaps. But Microsoft must know, that a 'unwritten' agreement will not hold longer than the Government. If and when we get a shift (witch is expected at the next election), the connection or agreement will no longer be valid. OK then, Microsoft might be passed the troubles for now, but what about next time they are in trouble? A new government will probably be with Socialdemokratiet (Labour) in charge and one or two additional minor parties along. A government like this will not be so friendly to Microsoft in the future.

Do we have to wait for a new government ?

Yes, I'm afraid so. The current leaders are locked up with some very oldfashioned ways of thinking or some old agreements.

What is the background for this situation ?

I don't know. But I do have a suggestion. I would very much like comments on this:

Many years ago the local governments in Denmark created something called 'Kommunedata'. We are back in the very early days of computing. Later on, this data central was considered illegal, because private enterprise should have a chance to compete. Today it's illigal for local governments and other public agencies to create anything like an enterprise. Obviously because public tax money could help supporting low prices and thereby create unfair competition. It was decided that 'Kommunedata' should be sold away from the local governments in 2012 at the latest. To prepare this, the company was called KMD and was changed into a private limited company, owned by the local governments through an organization. KMD is now being prepared to become a real company. They have to present the account report every year and as we all know: A better result will give a better price on sale eventually. So KMD was asked to make a revenue.

Now comes the best part...

KMD has always been very kind to Microsoft. Four years ago KMD was announced Advanced Business Partner. I remember the press announcement from then, but today you can't find anything about this on KMD website, but if you ask Microsoft, you can find KMD on the list of partners.

When KMD has send so called 'IT-advisers' or 'experts' to the local governments, they are probably considered as friends. "They are payed by us" the local IT-managers must think. But did they know, that the advisers actually had a Microsoft budget ? That they have been partly payed by Microsoft ?

The agreement made just a few days ago by the Minister of Finance has nine possible 'resellers'. KMD is one of the nine.

Here is my point:
If OpenOffice.org becomes too popular because of B 103, KMD will lose the marketplace. KMD is very friendly to Microsoft and did NOT try to keep up with time, and investigate FOSS at all. Not even OpenOffice.org, when customers asked for it two years ago. So if OpenOffice.org and ODF is getting popular, KMD will lose value. Estimated price now is 20 billion Danish kroner but it could easily be halved if things work out wrong. This is money that the local governments would like to get their fingers on. And if they lose half of it, they might be a little disappointed. Don't you think ?

KMD http://www.kmd.dk


Anonymous said...

I know English is not your native language - your English is better than my Danish - but throughout this entry you mean 'lose', not 'loose'.

Presumably, the Kommunen wish to minimise their expenditure on IT (or at least, maximise its effectiveness) and make the maximum profit from the sale of KMD, which are competing objectives.

Perhaps the Kommunen should set up a not-for-profit co-operative that finances itself and therefore is not a burden on taxpayer funds and allow private companies (including KMD) to pitch for business to the co-operative?

Med venlig hilsen,


Leif Lodahl said...

Thanks to Anonymous for teaching me English. I'll be happy to teach you to speak Danish some day ;-)

The KMD was originally supposed to be a non-profit thing, but because of the restrictions in EU laws, the local governments are not allowed to run a company. This is the reason for the sale of KMD.

Now the local governments can smell money.