Sour grapes or cronyism
The obvious reaction from outsiders is that any criticism of Becta's choice should be perceived as sour grapes. Perhaps. That was certainly the intention as far as Becta were concerned.
But you can't get away from the fact that:
1) Alphaplus was the only non-Open Source firm/org invited to this *closed bid*. Becta hand-picked who they wanted to bid for this tender.
2) Alphaplus was the only bidder with no technical experience or knowledge in delivering Open Source solutions to schools.
3) Alphaplus has been approaching some of the other bidders today for help implementing point 2. How did they win without meeting this *fundamental* requirement of the tender?
4) Alphaplus has friends at Becta. They are 'insiders'.
It does strike me as a classic stitch-up job.
I've concluded that Becta are not actually interested in Open Source or Open Standards for that matter. They're probably not very interested in schools either, given that they've chosen the least qualified bidder in this tender.
What they are interested in is _self-preservation_. They can see the writing on the wall. The Brown government is on the ropes. Their likely replacement, the Conservative Party, has been working with OSS community groups to outline an Open Source strategy for two years now.
Becta thinks that stunts such as this will demonstrate their continuing relevance whilst maintaining their grip of school's procurement of ICT.
It's called realpolitik.
Flamers above should, honestly, read between the lines.
Paris, because she would have got a better score for technical ability than Alphaplus.