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Quebec Open Source Group Says 'Non' To Microsoft

A Quebec-based open source group is suing the provincial government for purchasing proprietary Microsoft and Oracle software without listening to alternative bids.

open source

According to a Wednesday CBC News report, Montreal-based non-profit group FACIL last month filed suit against the Quebec government for purchasing proprietary software for use in government departments and public bodies, in violation of an existing regulation that requires government to solicit competing bids for these types of projects.

FACIL claims that between February and July 2008, the Quebec government purchased $25 million Canadian (about $23.8 million U.S.) of proprietary software from "large multinational enterprises, with no regard to suppliers in Quebec", according to a statement issued Thursday.

"These purchases hurt the Free Software suppliers throughout Quebec and are an obstacle to the development of Quebec IT enterprises," FACIL said the statement.

FACIL says Quebec's government is far behind the worldwide trend toward implementing open source software, and is seeking to close what it sees as a loophole that has allowed the government to refuse to even consider open source software.

And, in a move that's certain to get the attention of Quebec authorities for reasons that go beyond technology, FACIL noted that in France, "hundreds of thousands of desktops used by civil servants have been migrated" to open source software.

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