UK government could switch to open source software

The UK government could save tens of millions of pounds every year by ditching expensive software in favour of open source alternatives, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

The public sector has spent around £200 million on Microsoft Office since 2010, and Maude believes that software like OpenOffice or Google Docs could cut costs.

Maude will say today: “The software we use in government is still supplied by just a few large companies. A tiny oligopoly dominates the marketplace.

“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.”

He will add that the use of open source alternatives will also make it easier for departments and the public to use and share government information more easily.

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  • Indian_Art

    Good, I hope they use my favorite office suites LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice.

    http://www.libreoffice.org http://openoffice.org

    The more people that use ODF the more they will ‘educate’ others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument

    Some hope for the underdog!

    This will set up a virtuous cycle.

    It is hard to break a monopoly / oligopoly without Govt. legislation / support.

    Abiword, KingSoft office & Kate are also quite nice.

    £200 million = $ 331.58 million

    That’s a lot of money. So I am expecting lots of dirty tricks from MonopoliSt.

    • lyonsdown

      Hi Indian_Art! Thanks for reading and commenting. We’re certainly hearing of more and more people using open source software. Do you think there will be any implications in terms of security, in that everybody (including potential hackers) can access the source code of such software?

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