Posted on 1-Sep-2009 08:44
Filed under: News
The New Zealand Open Source Society has announced the launch of the Public Sector Remix project to demonstrate the viability of free open source software on public sector desktops.
According to the organisation the public sector in New Zealand is following other public agencies around the world in looking for ways to reduce the cost of desktop computing. A number of central, regional and local government agencies are working together to run trials using free software for common desktop tasks.
The President of the Society, Don Christie, said, “When we asked participants what people need, they told us that 90% of the people, 90% of the time, have pretty simple needs. Document management—word processing, spreadsheet, mail and calendar; a web browser to access their modern line-of-business applications; and access to legacy client–server applications.”
The Remix project will deploy free open source software for nominated staff to use for these business tasks, and evaluate the results. The project is not just about saving money for the whole of government. “This is also about bringing choice back to the desktop and demonstrating the business value of software freedom,” said Christie.
The desktop pilot will help agencies make better decisions about future desktop strategy.
“It’s up to each agency where they choose to be on the spectrum from proprietary to free,” said Christie. “Every investment decision gives an agency more business freedom, or less. The participants in the Remix project have decided that they need more.”
Don also says he expects the Public Sector Remix to generate an OS that is as functional and easy to use as the Ubuntu NR (pictured) with its custom UI.