foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


UK government supports open source

, posted: 26-Feb-2009 13:09

The BBC is reporting today that the UK government is putting more emphasis on opens source software. The article quotes Tom Watson MP, minister for digital engagement:
...public services should where possible avoid being "locked into proprietary software".
The government says:
Government departments will be required to adopt open source software when "there is no significant overall cost difference between open and non-open source products" because of its "inherent flexibility".
I'm applauding these statements from the UK government. However, I'm afraid that if it is left to the individual government departments to make a decision about open vs. proprietary software - merely based on that last criteria - then this announcement will not mean a great deal of open source adoption. Departments can always cite 'user re-training costs' in order to artificially inflate the supposed cost of open source software. And proprietary vendors will just employ their usual tactic of lowering prices to fight open source.

I have said before that open source should always be the default choice. Only under exceptional circumstances should proprietary software be considered, since proprietary software is always missing the number 1 feature: Openness.

As Mr. Watson said: It is important that [tax payer funded] public services avoid being locked into proprietary software. But as long as the mere costs of purchase and maintenance contracts is considered, proprietary vendors will easily be able to play along. The true benefit for the public will not be realised and I expect that many public services will remain locked in for a long time to come.


Other related posts:
25 open source projects for software development
Dabbling in OpenSolaris
Richard Stallman visits New Zealand: Visit one of his talks near you






Add a comment

Please note: comments that are inappropriate or promotional in nature will be deleted. E-mail addresses are not displayed, but you must enter a valid e-mail address to confirm your comments.

Are you a registered Geekzone user? Login to have the fields below automatically filled in for you and to enable links in comments. If you have (or qualify to have) a Geekzone Blog then your comment will be automatically confirmed and placed in the moderation queue for the blog owner's approval.

Your name:

Your e-mail:

Your webpage:

foobar's profile

 
New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




Google Search


Recent posts

Attack on net neutrality right...
Munich already saved millions ...
Iceland's public administratio...
More Apple madness (follow up)...
Apple demonstrates: With great...
Smooth sailing with the Karmic...
Censorship in New Zealand: Wid...
Image roll-over effects withou...
How about: Three strikes and Y...
Blackout to demonstrate agains...


Top 10

How to write a Linux virus in ...
(11-Feb-2009 06:33, 457887 views)
Follow up: How to write a Linu...
(12-Feb-2009 08:10, 64333 views)
A truly light-weight OS: Writt...
(3-Feb-2009 10:39, 46488 views)
The 'Verified by Visa' fiasco ...
(20-Jun-2008 09:59, 32261 views)
EEE PC with XP is cheaper than...
(9-May-2008 06:50, 20198 views)
11 reasons to switch to Linux...
(4-Feb-2009 09:24, 20111 views)
Would you use Google App Engin...
(8-Apr-2008 20:02, 19392 views)
Censorship in New Zealand: Wid...
(16-Jul-2009 12:11, 18841 views)
Django Plugables: Tons of plug...
(11-Apr-2008 03:24, 16795 views)
Slow file copy bug in Vista: A...
(21-Dec-2007 12:18, 15922 views)