1. More expensive Free software beats less expensive Microsoft bid?

    brian on 2003.07.18
    at 01:11 am

    When does a free product cost more than one that's not free? Well, here's a fascinating account of the city of Munich's search for a new IT vendor. It basically spun down to this: Microsoft made an expensive bid, $36.6 million. IBM/SuSE (Linux) came in a with a more affordable bid of $35.7 million. None other than Steve Ballmer comes to town, and slashes Microsoft's bid an astonishing 35%, to $23.7 million, instantly. City council picks the IBM/Suse (Linux) option, although it cost more. Why?

    Though Microsoft underbid IBM and SuSE by $11.9 million in Munich, city officials were concerned about the unpredictable long-run cost of Microsoft upgrades, says Munich council member Christine Strobl, who championed the switch to Linux. And the more Microsoft discounted, the more it underscored the notion that as a sole supplier, Microsoft could -- and has been -- naming its own price, she says.

    ''Microsoft's philosophy is to change our software every five years,'' Strobl says. ''With open-source, it is possible for us to make our own decision as to when to change our software.''

    ...the offer from IBM-SuSE better met ''strategic'' criteria set forth by the Munich council

    Posted in: Linux · Politics · Software


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