Update: Thanks for linking Macsurfer.
KUOW reports that Seattle's Mayor-elect Mike McGinn is a Mac user (via Slog), which posed interesting questions for city IT personnel who just recently held a huge party to celebrate a six month city-wide migration to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.
"When McGinn staffers saw the Blackberries and PCs being provided for them, they asked the city for Macs and iPhones instead. ... in the next few months the city will consider whether to offer more choices in smart phones, or to give employees a stipend and let them choose their own. ... McGinn's staff promptly agreed to use PCs in order to save money."
Seattle's IT Directory Bill Schrier...says the fact that Microsoft is based next door in Redmond also matters to him. "There's 40,000 people employed by Microsoft locally and a large tech community locally. And economic development is important for Seattle, so that's also something that I think city government should encourage is use of the local company and the local products."
While this blog is neutral on technology platform selection for the city and applauds the Mayor's effort to save money, we'd like to remind them that loyalty is a two way street.
Microsoft's $1.24 billion B&O Royalty tax dodge deprives the state of money for the general fund which supports education, public healthcare and other vital services across the city. Microsoft's 40,000 employees pay no income tax and many if not most pay the bulk of their sales tax outside of Seattle.
More importantly, Microsoft's already mandating local teams use managed development teams in India for at least some of their project work and its long term plan is to replace more local talent with outsourced talent (see also this commenter, which reflects our own source's comments and the H1B visa fiasco).
We agree Microsoft is a vitally important and valuable neighbor but let's ask for their loyalty in return for the city's decision to base its entire technology architecture on the company's software. Seattle should ask Microsoft to resume paying Washington's B&O Royalty tax before it signs any more contracts labeled Microsoft Licensing GP of Nevada.