The UK government has been asking for suggestions about ways of saving money on its IT and one of them being seriously looked at is a move from Microsoft to Linux.
The ideas were two among the 60,000 ideas offered by those who work in the public sector, but just 31 of those were listed on the website for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This top 31 appear to be his short list.
The two suggestions: include migrating the whole of government (the NHS, Education etc) from Microsoft products to Linux and open source software like Openoffice. Finally, annul the government’s agreement with Microsoft to provide software and operating systems (OS) to government departments and switch to open source software and Linux based operating systems.
The idea is that this would reduce costs by not having to update hardware in line with new Microsoft OS releases. Linux OS and open source software has a lower whole life cost and is less susceptible to viruses. It would support a more diverse spectrum of the IT industry, instead of one corporation; generating additional UK tax revenue.
All good stuff, however given that the UK government sees roll outs of new things as to expensive it might not happen. After all the Blighty government is insisting on hanging on to Internet Explorer 6, because of the “cost of upgrading”.