They should have gone with open source options.
The Chinese government has put its money where its mouth is, spending around US$160 million (£102m) to replace pirated software in central and provincial government offices with the real thing. The outlay comes as part of the second phase of a national plan to stamp out software piracy in the public sector, according to the …
"Nevertheless, it’s clear that China now realises taking a tougher line on IP protection is vital if the country is to transform itself into an innovation-driven nation and encourage greater foreign investment."
Oh, nice bit of propaganda copied verbatim from you-know-where. Only it's a layer cake of bullshit, horseshit, pigshit, and who knows what other shit. As should be easy to see once you give the old brain crank a whirl. Quite apart from the merits of "IP" and its rampant abuse by patent trolls and war chest builders and such, let's stick to the upper layers for now.
How much is, oh, the UK government including councils spending on licences, say for office software? How much bigger is the Chinese government apparatus? How then, can this spending stack up to that conclusion? You tell me.
Were I them, what I'd do is set up some apparatus and have it take inventory of everything that isn't quite right, software licence-wise, then roll out their very own Red Flag Linux and matching homegrown-from-FOSS office software. You can adapt a lot of software for a hundred million quid.
Of course, I'd sell it as complying with international (actually, the US trade department and their sponsors') wishes. They've done comparable things before, you know. Acquiesce diplomats' IP arguments, then turn around and use IP arguments as a stick to hit companies from that same country. "Hey, if that's what you wanted, we can comply."
Win-win, right? In the Chinese sense, I'm sure.
Damn right. I don't see why China would do anything more than pay lip service to international IP agreements.
China bloody well knows it has the greatest internal market of the whole planet, and if it starts selling things overseas, it has the rest of the world's debt in its coffers.
So this is probably just a bunch of PR malarkey.
Move along, nothing to see here.
Given the figures that get bandied around about UK government licence fees the amount looks vaguely insulting and probably doesn't even cover the installs of a medium Chinese municipality. But it's probably the best Microsoft can expect for the next few years and cheaper than paying lawyers who've got no chance.
Sure you can roll out some FOSS stuff for $102M but you'll have to spend many times that amount in order to get the rest of the massive govt rolling and ensure full function compatibility. Unless you've got a "brand" reason not to use MS (Google, Apple, IBM, etc...) and massive technical resources available it is usually cheaper to continue using MS products.
There really is a baseline functionality that MS Office has that can't really be replicated with FOSS and overcome with the simple cost of a license fee especially considering MS products are the largest installed OS and productivity base on the planet.
In the real business world (which underwrites OSS) market you've got to be able to upload your data in flexible formats like SQL and still be instantly move it into Excel, Word or PowerPoint instantly but with your data still coming live from a server in your multiple locations.
The (possibly unfortunate truth) is that's it is cheaper to hire MS experienced/trained people vs hire people who communicate in a completely separate language.
Horse pucky. A decent file server doesn't care one one whit what OS is saving to it. So, save the cost of the server-end software and Licensing using FOSS, if nothing else. You don't see Goggle using Win, nor NASA, nor JPL, nor the City of Munich, nor Wall Street, nor most banks, nor CERN using Win either. Somehow they manage to get along just peachy without MS in their pockets.
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