Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (62 mails)

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RE: [suse-linux-uk-schools] RE: [Maybe Spam] [suse-linux-uk-schools] Office of Fair Trading
  • From: "Kyle Williamson" <kyle@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 11:48:48 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <20040225114846.DB9CF23A4C9@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Can anyone scan a copy of the letter?



Kind Regards,

Kyle Williamson - Solent Educational Ltd
Tel: (023) 80 843189 Fax: (023) 80 848715

kyle@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx /

/V\ L I N U X
// \\ > Don't fear the penguin <
/( )\
-----Original Message-----
From: ian [mailto:ian.lynch2@xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 25 February 2004 11:44
To: suse-linux-uk-schools@xxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] RE: [Maybe Spam]
[suse-linux-uk-schools] Office of Fair Trading

On Wed, 2004-02-25 at 11:07, Steve Palmer wrote:
> We got one too. If we don't answer it we can be teh
> summoned! @_@
> Looks like they're deadly serious about it anyway.

If they were not serious, they wouldn't be doing a full investigation.
It costs them a lot to do an investigation so they don't start it unless
they are pretty sure there is a case to answer. The problem for MS is
that its not just this country. Schools agreement works in more or less
the same way in other countries so if it gets changed here it will also
likely have to get changed elsewhere. It surprises me a bit that they
don't simply change the agreement to say all computers running any
Microsoft products. That would sort it out and make very little
practical difference to their current revenue. There are only three
reasons why they don't

1.) They believe that the OFT will find in their favour
2.) They are arrogant and think that even if the OFT find against them
they will be able to tough it out with delays and other tactics until
the problem goes away
3.) They really are paranoid about letting Linux in and would rather
fight the OFT than lower the barriers even a small amount.

Maybe its a combination of all 3. I guess the only reason the OFT would
back off is if in sending out letters to schools, they all say they have
no interest in Linux at all and so MSSA is not a consideration in its
use. OTOH if even a significant minority say we might have tried Linux
but its not worth it because we are on MSSA.

The worry is that many schools don't know the implications of MSSA in
that they have to pay a license fee annually for any pentium based PC
even if its not running MS software. So they may be unaware that they
can't use Linux without counting the Linux boxes in the annual total.
Like I said, in some ways the monopoly is so entrenched it makes
gathering evidence against it more difficult! eg a school might say
yikes, if MSSA is declared void isn't this going to put my software
costs up? I'd better say nowt. Fact is we don't know what will happen if
MSSA is declared void but in the overall scheme of things competition
usually forces prices down, it just might not immediately in a
particular sector. I hope the OFT realise how complex and far-reaching
this monopoly is.

If anyone would like to make these or any other comments the E-mail
address of the investigating officer is edward.anderson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Other contact details are

Mr E Anderson
Principal Case Officer
Media, Sports & Information Industries
Office of Fair Trading
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
Tel: 020 7211 8343
Fax: 020 7211 8354

ian <ian.lynch2@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

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