That's an excellent link you provided--I'm putting it in my weblog.
But note that Microsoft didn't get this contract by passing a law but by saying, "We'll do this cheaper." (They may be buying the business by artificially depressing their costs.)
I doubt that the city of New Orleans will find their TCO to be all that great down the road, but that problem will belong in ten years to someone other than the person making this decision today.
P.S. If you like Waits or Bukowski, be sure to click the link at the bottom of the page titled "Beats set tempo of bop lover's life"--what a great story!