Switzerland hooked on Microsoft, Court says

The Swiss Administrative Court has effectively stated that
Switzerland’s public administration depends on Microsoft to work

In a preliminary decision from early July, the court had allowed a
three-year, 42 million CHF contract between Microsoft and the Federal
Bureau for Building and Logistics to go ahead, even though the
contract had been awarded without a public bidding process. A group of
18 Free Software companies has appealed against the contract,
including Red Hat.

In its decision, the court said that suspending the contract would
“hinder the public interest related to the good performance of public

If that is really the case, it is high time for the Swiss public
sector to break free from its dependence on a single vendor. Free
Software offers users strategic control over their infrastructure.

This problem is by no means limited to Switzerland. Across Europe,
it’s quite common [pdf] for public bodies to either hand out contracts
to proprietary software vendors without a proper public bidding
procedure, or as Mark Taylor has noted, to demand that the solution
they are buying should tie in with Microsoft technologies.