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Zucchetti against Microsoft: a bitter welcome to Bill Gates

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We publish on these pages an open letter that the owner of Zucchetti, an Italian company that has always been at the top of the management market, has sent to the Senators of the Republic and to the press to report and in some way counteract Microsoft's behavior towards developers " independent. "Obviously we are available to publish any rejoinder and we have opened a debate in this regard also on this page of our Forum.

Here is the text sent to us by Zucchetti.

"Finally" good news "for all entrepreneurs in the management IT sector, for their employees, collaborators and partners, or for tens of thousands of Italian citizens who risk their jobs: the" Great Helmsman "of information technology worldwide is preparing to visit the Senators of the Italian Republic. The event scheduled for January 31 p.v. and there will probably be various parties, receptions and convivialities.

Moreover, when Gates gratifies us for his presence, he is usually not limited to the classic tour of Italy on Italian soil. Even during his past visits, he was welcomed with great pomp and honors from political authorities, as well as from prominent personalities of culture and economy, who will certainly not fail to run obsequiously once again.

In general, in "official" visits he appears in the company of his closest Italian collaborators. The same people who, announcing the new Microsoft strategy in the IT sector that has always been committed to us, implicitly advised the software houses, which produce management software, to change jobs.

The news of Gates' imminent visit to the Senate suggests some reflections:

– the European Union currently engaged in raising awareness of the member states so that they promote and encourage investments in alternative technology platforms to Microsoft. For example, it is argued that, with open source, Europe can become a world leader in the world of ICT, freeing itself from vassalage and the costly tributes paid continually to the American multinational. Surely our parliamentary representatives will hope for the same thing, indeed they are certain that, on the occasion of Gates' visit, our Senators will want to deepen and address this issue.

– At the Senate of the Republic lying a bill, which we hope will soon be discussed and approved, which intends to encourage the adoption, in the P.A., of independent computer technology, or an alternative to Microsoft. The title of the DDL, currently assigned to the Commission for Constitutional Affairs, eloquently: "Rules on computer pluralism and on the adoption and diffusion of free software in the public administration".

I am sure that the Senators co-signatory of the initiative will want to take advantage of the opportunity to provide Gates with further information on the matter. In this regard, I hope that we will not be satisfied with the "relaxing" declarations regarding the declared availability of Microsoft (however partial) to release the source code of the applications to Government Bodies. The real problem is the economic and cultural dependence to which one must submit when the market offers only one solution and the supplier benefits from a more than dominant position…

– The head of the government a few days ago, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Montecitorio philatelic exhibition on the Italian Republic, expressed some concern towards what he himself called "the problem of technological slavery". In truth, President Berlusconi was referring to the abuse in the use of SMS in the communication of our young people; but it is undisputed that we must consider "technological slavery" also that which people suffer in the use of IT tools when the offer is reduced to a single product, or in the scenario that Microsoft hopes and that we, with force, contest. free to choose whether we have to resort to Microsoft whenever (or almost) we use IT products or services – in our professional and non-professional activities? I am sure that the matter is close to our parliamentarians 'heart and can find more information on the occasion of Gates' visit.

– Every day, from the political world, entrepreneurs receive messages of encouragement in giving acceleration to our work. We are asked to move forward, invest, create new jobs. In particular, I remember a very stimulating Quirinal intervention, on the occasion of the recent celebration of the Tricolor. President Ciampi asked for more development in all fields of civil life. I faithfully report a passage of the speech: "Italy can do more, and better, in increasing its development and spreading it in the various regions of the world".

As I have already written, Italian companies engaged in the management IT sector currently employ tens of thousands of Italian citizens and contribute to the sustenance of as many families. Microsoft's strategy in this sector risks eliminating all of this, including the research and innovation activities that we have always tried to carry out.

If everything disappeared, considering that by now management information technology enters almost all the processes of industrial companies, those of services, as well as public ones, the development of the whole country and the competitiveness of Italian companies would be affected. this cry of alarm will not go unheeded and we will find the sensitivity of our Senators ready so that this question can also be explored on the occasion of Gates' visit.

Of course, without being satisfied with reassuring statements, which do not solve anything and without praising him for any eventual gesture of magnanimity, probably made to collect contracts of greater significance later or to keep us good for the probable monopoly even in the management sector that the company imposes on us by Bill.

I therefore hope that even in Italian political circles we will realize the very serious danger that the world of Italian management information technology is running and that we are strongly denouncing these days: Microsoft is trying to ghetto us software producers in a sort of " Indian reserve ". Exterminating us would be "politically incorrect" and Gates knows it. The strategy is to decimate us, colonize us culturally and economically, drug us with a series of declarations aimed at "keeping us good", to limit our attempts at protest and reaction: just as the ancestors of Gates did with the American Indians.

If we listen to the recent statements of some of our colleagues / competitors (and to the absolute silence of others) we sadly realize that this strategy unfortunately works.

We do not ask for protectionism, but we cannot passively accept that the solutions of the Italian software houses, today appreciated and used by many millions of citizens in public and private offices, in the future can find space only in a few naive shops for "fair trade" .

We do not ask for the Protected Designation of Origin mark for our products, but only the freedom to be able to continue to do our work and, more importantly, the freedom of private and public companies and citizens to be able to choose the solutions they prefer and not those imposed by a monopolist who would make many significantly better solutions disappear from the market.

Domenico Zucchetti "