Beijing city buys Microsoft products worth $3.5m

By Derek Sooman on February 24, 2005, 4:08 PM
The Beijing city government has bought an awful lot of Microsoft software. After cancelling a controversial Rmb29m ($3.5m) order for the US company's Office suite and Windows operating system late last year, the Beijing city government has decided to push through the purchase of Office and Windows products in spite of widespread local opposition.

Under China's Law on Government Procurement, big government purchases must be "open and transparent" - but this deal looks pretty hush hush; the Government have refusal to make public any information about the purchases.

The city's finance department and its "Office of Informatisation" declined yesterday to give details of Beijing's software spending since the cancellation of the tender won by the US company last year.

The tender for Microsoft software was scrapped after local software companies complained it had been mishandled and local commentators criticised it for not giving enough support to local vendors.

However, a municipal official with knowledge of its technology policy said the city bought Microsoft's products anyway and that its purchases from the US company "were greater than those made from domestic vendors".

User Comments: 6

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---agissi--- said:
Yea all you penguins go cry!
Phantasm66 said:
Or... maybe its time that China paid for the Windows software that it is already using?!>?!?Additionally, I would wager that Windows is destined for the workstation in Beijing. Linux will still run servers.
Per Hansson said:
Why would you run Windows on the workstations but not on the servers? That does not make sense to me P66... Sounds like an awful lot of meaningless extra work when they are spending all that money anyway
Phantasm66 said:
It does make sense.People use Windows to use office, IE, all that stuff. Linux is not very good for regular office workers for that. Non-IT Geeks like to use the same OS as they have on their machine at home, full stop. Retraining people for a Linux desktop just costs too much money and hassle, so keep your people on Windows.You use Linux for proxy server, web server (apache, or application server with tomcat), DNS, mail, file sharing (with samba), pretty much anything you want.Just because you have Windows clients DOES NOT mean you have to shell out for Windows server software as well. True, you would probably get the best out of a Windows 2000 domain controller for those workstations to use, but Linux would do the job for this and lots of other uses as well. In fact, in some tests, Samba has performed BETTER than Windows 2000 as a windows network fileserver, etc.So it does make sense, I am afraid. They would use Linux servers to save on paying server licence fees. They can probably get very good deals on bulk licensing for the workstations, if its just mass copies of Windows XP or 2000 Professional.A lot of Chinese server infrastructure is already Linux, and changing to something else is a huge task that could potentially take decades in some cases. A changeover on purely the workstation side to licenced copies of Windows (even just to keep lawsuits away) would take a while too but would be a lot quicker and easier to make happen. But the truth is... I don't think they will have to change anything. Not a thing.Probably, you will find that the chinese are already doing as I describe - using Linux or servers, and Windows for workstations. However, they are likely using UNLICENCED and PIRATED copies of Windows, even in commercial use. Microsoft have probably forced the hand of the chinese in some way to pay up for what they are already using! Or, made it sweet for them to do so.So I think it does make some sense. Sorry.[Edited by Phantasm66 on 2005-02-28 03:51:55]
Per Hansson said:
Call me single minded but I just can't see how the TCO can could become lower when not running a hetrogenous system, granted that if the IT Techs already are running Linux on their servers it could make some sense but atleast IMO setting up a Windows Server system running AD is very easy, managing it might not be so easy because allot of strange problems always happenes in Windows Server that cana be very difficult to diagnose (compared to Novell Netware running NDS that is)
Phantasm66 said:
Yeah, but you have the additional server licencing fees to cover, which you would not have with Linux as the server.
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