Open source providers included in £80M UK education tender
Becta has included several open source providers in the bidding for a £80M contract to supply software licences to the education sector. Novell, LinuxIT and Sirius Corporation are among those believed to be in the running. This is the first time that Becta has broadened its potential supplier list to include suppliers of open source software.
In all, 21 firms will be tendering in the final round, which will result in a final list of up to ten suppliers being announced in October. The process is being run in conjunction with OCGBuying.solutions, the purchasing arm of the OGC – Office of Government Commerce – who have said that the open sourced solutions it is including in the process cover operating systems, security and maintenance, network software and enterprise resource management.
Reactions reported in Computing were mixed, with some open source groups questioning if the official sanctioning of open source would have much impact because schools can already acquire open source software for free. Others welcomed the move calling it "recognition of the market reality".