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Monday, 16 August 2010 09:39

UK should drop Microsoft for Linux

Written by Nick Farell

It is in the suggestion box
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”.

much like onaj tip iz hitchiker's guide to galaxy, onaj shto ima misiju da uvrijedi svakoga u univerzumu

Nick Farell

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+11 #1 master811 2010-08-16 10:09
I'm all for free software, but we need to be realistic here.

Simply switching to Linux isn't a simple process and won't be cheap either even if the software itself is free. It would require a lot of retraining on both the OS and Open Office especially as most users will likely have Windows etc at Home.
+4 #2 yasin 2010-08-16 10:13
it wont happen.half the nhs can barely use windows, let alone linux
+1 #3 Bl0bb3r 2010-08-16 10:44
Or this might be a scare-tactic for MS.
+4 #4 iotola 2010-08-16 11:36
I cant see it happening either. Ive been using Linux for 17 years and it is still not got the simplicity of Windows. Trawling through text configuration files and trying to solve dependencies still seems quite normal (and painful) Linux behaviour to me.
Just think of the costs involved in retraining the masses of IT staff? Many of who in my company are openly hostile towards Linux - through what seems to be fear of the unknown combined with having so much to relearn.
+1 #5 ghelyar 2010-08-16 12:59
My brother actually works in the NHS, and his department is still using a UNIX mainframe and dumb terminals. They just had their only major upgrade for 20+ years, and it was just a massive upgrade to a much newer version of UNIX.

While it's fine for someone willing to learn themself, and it's not even that hard to use Linux today, the switch to Linux would have a massive cost both for the actual change and for training. A staggered transfer would mean complete interoperabilit y of everything with Windows until every department is transferred as well, and expect reduced levels of service during this time.
-2 #6 Jurassic1024 2010-08-16 22:32
Linux OS and open source software has a lower whole life cost and is less susceptible to viruses.

...until it grows in popularity, where MS is already very familiar with patching holes. IF linux was as good as all the current users says it is... the move to the free OS would of already been made here in North America.

Linux is free... and you get what you pay for.

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