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Red Hat cheesed off with Swiss Microsoft contract

Red Hat and 17 other technology providers have filed a brief with the Swiss Federal Administration Court against a Swiss government's agency's decision to award a 14million-franc contract to Microsoft without inviting any other bidders.

The Red Hat legal team said the challenge raises important issues of openness in government and of a level playing field for open source and other competitors of Microsoft. Red Hat is seeking a public bidding process that allows for consideration of the technical and commercial advantages of open source software products.

The three-year contract covers standardised workstations, including applications, maintenance, and support. Red Hat said there was no public bidding process. The Swiss agency justified this no-bid procedure on the grounds that there was no sufficient alternative to the Microsoft products.

In 2004 The city of Munich embarked on a Linux programme withplans to install 14,000 computers in its public administration with Linux and other open source office applications.


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