TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The government has appointed Microsoft as the software supplier of Microsoft Windows operation systems and Microsoft Office data processors in state departments and institutions.
This appointment did not through a tender process.
The agreement was attached to a document that Tempo obtained from a state bureaucrat.
In a memorandum of understanding that Communication and Information Minister Sofyan Djalil and the President of Microsoft of South East Asia Chris Atkinson signed on 14 November 2006, it was mentioned that the government agreed to buy 35,496 licenses of Microsoft Windows and 177,480 licenses of Microsoft Office.
The US company will provide free licenses for Microsoft Windows (XP) and Microsoft Office 2003, each with 266,220 licenses.
However, the free software will only be aimed at Pentium III PCs, not including newer Pentium models.
This means that the government will have to spend more if they already have processors newer than Pentium III that have to be renewed.
Minister Sofyan said that the MoU was made to protect intellectual property rights in Indonesia.
However, the government has not yet decided the amount and price of Microsoft softwares for state offices.
President Director of Microsoft of Indonesia Tony Chen acknowledged that Microsoft will grant a discount of more than 70 percent per license for new computers and will donate software for computers whose processors are older than Pentium III.
Nevertheless, it is yet to announce the amount of licenses to be purchased.
“It is only the goodwill of Microsoft in helping the government. However, the government has also the right to choose,” said Tony yesterday (12/18).
The Department of Research and Technology, which has so far fought for open source software usage, such as Linux, in government institutions reacted.
“I am surprised to hear this,” said Richard Mengko, a member of staff of the Department of Research and Technology.
“I am not an anti-Microsoft person. However, it is not a wise solution in terms of handling piracy because no advanced study as to why Microsoft was chosen, instead of another operation system, has yet been conducted.”
GRACE S GANDHI | BURHAN SOLIHIN | EKO NOPIANSYAH