Canadian Gov RFI on FOSS

Jack Bowling jbinpg at
Mon Feb 9 01:30:13 UTC 2009

On Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 03:26:08PM -0500, Bob Jonkman wrote:
> In my experience with Municipal government, it takes many years and 
> hundreds of thousands of dollars to research, discuss, evaluate and 
> acquire RFI, RFQ and RPPs for something like backup software or an e-
> mail system, but this is never done with desktop operating systems.  
> Instead, the research &c. is done for desktop hardware, which comes 
> already bundled with a de facto standard OS.  Same for office suite 
> software -- Different software is not discussed, only different 
> suppliers of the same, de facto standard office suite.

Indeed. 30+ years with the Canadian feds has allowed me pretty much the
same insight as yours. Fact is that most fed departments are tied to MS
Exchange for email and Win XP for desktops. I think what may be triggering
this RFI partly is approaching abandonment of support for XP by MS and the
resolute refusal to go to Vista. Thankfully they had enough sense to forego
that dog.

In Environment Canada where I work, we used to use a lot of HP servers in the
backrooms for all the heavy lifting. When the contract for HP ran out
around Year 2000, most of the HP-UX code was ported over to linux. Linux runs
most of the servers now.

So I agree that this RFI is for possible desktop replacement only. The
server people can pretty well do what they like.


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