Friday, October 30, 2009

Trends that are reshaping communities

More evidence of significant changes taking place in our communities - in this case, at the hands of open source:
The French Government's public finance department will switch 130,000 desktop PC's to Mozilla's email and calendar applications. Mozilla's Thunderbird email service, Lightning Calendar and an open-source groupware will replace IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office. The move signals how more government agencies from around the world are dropping enterprise accounts with major vendors to cut down on costs and get better license agreements.They are turning to open-source providers and companies like Google that can offer email and services such as Google Docs.

The package which powers Labour Wave - Google Apps - will also be used by the Los Angeles City Council in a recent and fiercely contested decision this week:
The vote today ended a nearly year-long process during which Google competed furiously with other software vendors, including rival Microsoft Corp., to secure the city's valuable stamp of approval. Parties on all sides believe that if smaller cities see Los Angeles successfully transition to Google's cloud system, they may be more likely to follow suit.
It is that type of cascade effect that Microsoft lobbied hard to prevent, sending executives and paid advocates to Los Angeles to make the case against Google.
Finally, Google redraws a different market in the video below.  My question now is: what's the difference between an empire (ie monopoly) constructed on the foundations of negative freedoms and one constructed on the foundations of positive freedoms?  No difference really - except that the world's leading economic power approves of one and not the other ...

These stories thanks to Thierry Lhôte's Twitter feed and John Naughton's Memex.

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