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12 July 2010, 15:56

UK Gov. to switch entirely to FOSS ?

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UK Gov Logo British Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron has called on civil servants to make suggestions on how the government can save money. The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has published a list of ideas to "help get more for less" in order to "tackle the deficit" as part of the Spending Review. The 8th item on the newly published list suggests that the whole of government, including the NHS and the Education services, migrate from Microsoft products, such as Windows and Office, to Linux and other open source software, specifically mentioning the office suite.

Under the Spending Challenge, the government is also reaching out to British tax payers directly and asking for ideas as to what can be done to improve services and provide better value for money. Just last month, for example, the British Cabinet Office said that it would begin to save money through a "clamp down on government web sites" that were unnecessary or too expensive.

The idea of implementing more open source in government is far from a new idea. In February of 2009, Osborne published an article in The Times that said when it comes to IT, big companies should take steps towards open standards and that government should take advantage of available open source technologies. Many other governments and local government organisations in countries and cities around the world, such as Munich with the LiMux project for migrating the city's public administration to Linux, have launched their own campaigns to reduce costs and switch to open source, with varying degrees of success.

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