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Open Source Software Microsoft United Kingdom

UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source 273

Posted by Soulskill
from the busting-the-lock-in dept.
New submitter Karashur sends this report from The Guardian: "Ministers are looking at saving tens of millions of pounds a year by abandoning expensive software produced by firms such as Microsoft. Some £200m has been spent by the public sector on the computer giant's Office suite alone since 2010. The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude believes a significant proportion of that outlay could be cut by switching to free 'open-source' software, such as OpenOffice, or Google Docs. 'I want to see a greater range of software used, so civil servants have access to the information they need and can get their work done without having to buy a particular brand of software. In the first instance, this will help departments to do something as simple as share documents with each other more easily. But it will also make it easier for the public to use and share government information.'"
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UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

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  • Privacy Issues (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:19PM (#46105097)

    Surely privacy issues prevent the use of GoogleDocs? Libreoffice on the other hand could save them a lot of money.

  • Re:Privacy Issues (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:35PM (#46105241)

    I don't want to discredit the hard work and dedication of the LibreOffice developers, but I don't think it's a suitable solution to save money. It's great for one who uses open-source software as a matter of philosophy or principle but it has too many usability issues and bugs to be a reliable solution for getting actual work done.

  • I call Bullcrap. (Score:3, Informative)

    by deviated_prevert (1146403) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:58PM (#46105435) Journal
    Every time a government anywhere in the world decides to threaten a drop of Microsoft software you can bet that their seat license agreements are coming up for renewal. And the threats to migrate are only a ploy to cut a better deal. You can bet the Microsoft rep has already been authorized to sweeten the coffers of some politicians pet riding fund raising or do what ever is necessary to very quickly ensure that the by the time a real decision is taken that MS office and MS server products are the ones the government chooses. Same thing here in Canada, but with our government the decision to go all MS is a forgone conclusion there is no such thing as "looking for alternatives to save money", we just contract out every service possible and kill off labour unions like the CUPE instead and spec that contractors use nothing but MS office and server software compatible with existing government servers. We, unlike Great Britain have public money to burn now that Harper has gutted government services and pushed just about everything out to contract.
  • by Karellen (104380) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @07:19PM (#46105661) Homepage

    Actually, now I've read the article, that's what the Minister is saying. Move to open formats first.

    That will make it possible to switch software later, if they choose to. But even if the government doesn't, it will allow the people they work with to use their own choice of software, and prevents lock-in. Using MS Office becomes a choice, and can be selected (or dropped) on its merits, rather than being suffered out of necessity.

    It's the BBC article and the /. summary which try to make it look like this is purely about switching software.

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