MS offers 57% price cut as Paris tilts to open source

Ils ne passeront pas?


Faced with the possibility of another major municipal defection to open source, Microsoft has slashed its prices by 57.4 per cent. The move, which has been confirmed by Microsoft France (after being revealed by the aptly-named Libération on Monday), comes shortly before the publication of a feasibility study on open source deployment in Paris by Unilog SA.

Veteran French consulting company Unilog has already been involved in a number of open source projects in France, and there is political motivation for a switch both locally and nationally. Paris' administration is currently socialist, while last month French civil service mininster Renaud Dutreil confirmed that he intended to give open source software suppliers a slice of the government computing upgrade programme. The Paris contract is relatively small, but has a certain symbolism, and is one of those most worrisome of gigs for Microsoft, an open source desktop project. Desktop software licensing pays the Redmond rent amply, so if places like Munich and Paris start showing there's a viable alternative, the fiefdom will start to fray away.

Microsoft France CEO Christophe Aulnette told Agence France Presse he remained confident that Microsoft would hold onto Paris. "There are a certain number of incorrect ideas circulating about free software, for example that it's free," he said. Libération cites a source close to the mayor's office as saying that Microsoft fears the symbolic effect of the loss of Paris most of all, but notes that the price cuts may be enough to discourage Paris from making the big leap.

On an entirely unrelated (well alright, maybe it is a bit related) matter, The Register hears a shocking allegation that a certain high-profile win for the excellence of Microsoft's price cuts... er, technology, recently went live with its spanking new Exchange system. At which point, senior execs became unable to access their email. But we don't believe a word of that, no sir. ®

Related stories:

Munich embraces the penguin
Microsoft, Sun, IBM and the war for government desktops

Linux on desktop not cost-effective for most, says Gartner
Joseph Joffre's homepage


Other stories you might like

  • North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

    Plus: FIFA 22 players lose their identity and Texas gets phony QR codes

    In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.

    A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.

    Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.

    Continue reading
  • Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

    Plus: AI systems can identify different chess players by their moves and more

    In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

    “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

    Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

    Continue reading
  • Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

    Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

    Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

    Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at very close to the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

    Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022