Lodahl's blog: Progress in Denmark

04 October 2007

Progress in Denmark

The last few days shown a few interesting news.

The Danish Government has made an agreement with Danish Municipals ( http://www.kl.dk ) and Danish Regions ( http://www.regioner.dk ) about how open standards should be implemented in the public sector. This press release is in Danish:
My own unofficial translation here.
A lot of details about the implementation has been published here: http://videnskabsministeriet.dk/site/forside/nyheder/Aktuelle-temaer/aabne-standarder/bilag e.g. these manuals for the offices: http://www.oio.dk/aabnestandarderforsoftware .

The Minister of finance has been asked to reveal how much the Danish state is paying Microsoft each year ( http://www.computerworld.dk/art/41817 ). The Minister (Thor Pedersen) claims that these numbers is impossible to collect. This is rubbish, because the sate has a centralized purchase of software licenses.

Several Members of the Danish Parliament wants to liberate the scholar system from Microsoft monopoly. Microsoft is offering a 70% discount to schools and universities but despite that, the bill is too high. And the MP know that monopoly in schools will keep the Microsoft monopoly in the rest of the country, both public and private sector. http://www.computerworld.dk/art/41789
The reason for this discussion is an article ( http://www.computerworld.dk/art/41785 ) that covers the fact that using Linux in the schools is more expensive than Windows. But the actual cause for that fact is, that Linux support is very expensive today. Why ? Because not many customers are using it. If the schools could gather together and collaborate about a common solution and establish a support center, it would be much cheaper.

What is nearly grotesque is that the agreement between the government and the Danish Municipals specifically mentions schools, hospitals and public libraries as not covered by the agreement. So what is it worth, when my children don't get the opportunity to learn about OpenOffice.org and open standards at school. They will end up as Microsoft users just like the previous generation. When they get on the job market, they will ask for Microsoft applications.

Sorry that all my references are in Danish. I'll try to find some time to translate to English one of these days.

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