Yesterday, Eric Raymond published the 8th Halloween Document: Doing the Damage-Control Dance. The Halloween documents are assumed leaked memos from Microsoft, and always interesting reads. This new one, which Raymond says confirms that we are advancing through GandhiCon Three (Gandhi once said, First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.), is particularly interesting for us working in government, because it’s all about us (Subject: “OSS and Goverment”). Orlando Ayala, Group Vice President of Microsoft’s Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Services Group is quoted for writing:
We need to more effectively respond to press reports regarding Governments and other major institutions considering OSS alternatives to our products. We must be prepared to respond to announcements, such as this one by the Japan Government (or prior announcements in Peru, Germany etc) quickly and with facts to counter the perception that large institutions are deploying OSS or Linux, when they are only considering or just piloting the technology. Announcements by governments are reported quickly around the world and require more coordination. In several instances, our ability to communicate effectively has been hindered by a lack of integration across groups in Redmond and the subsidiaries.
The memo then goes on explaining What to Escalate and How to Escalate. Monitor and talk with Redmond.
So, in case anyone from Microsoft reads this, here’s a sincere suggestion: Check
GOL-IN‘s Open Source in eGovernment news service. Full disclosure: I run that service. I try to keep track of all news related to OSS and government. The directory is open, so everyone can add links.