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IT News Thread, UK government plans switch from Microsoft Office to open source in Other News; Source : The Guardian Ministers are looking at saving tens of millions of pounds a year by abandoning expensive software ...
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    UK government plans switch from Microsoft Office to open source

    Source: 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.

    But the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude believes a significant proportion of that outlay could be cut by switching to software which can produce open-source files in the "open document format" (ODF), such as OpenOffice and Google Docs.

    Document formats are set to be standardised across Whitehall to help break the "oligopoly" of IT suppliers, and improve communications between civil servants.

    The proposal is part of the coalition's drive to make its procurement more effective and efficient.

    Speaking at a cross-government event showcasing new online services on Wednesday, Maude will say: "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.

    "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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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Excellent idea. Makes me wonder when they will look at alternatives for the client OS.

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Excellent idea. Makes me wonder when they will look at alternatives for the client OS.
    Easy now - one step at the time, obviously we'll have to do some paperwork, then have a committee to meet and discuss, then choose a solution, then test it, then some more paperwork and more meetings to discuss, oh not to mention we will need to re-train staff as they only have "MS office" skills on their cv...

    Don't get me wrong - it's a great step - IF it happens.

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    The last time the government announced this sort of thing, it was right about the time they were negotiating a contract with Microsoft.

    Amazingly, once the contract was signed the idea seemed to disappear...

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    Same story in The Register/. I am pleased to see CSV specified. Does this mean an end to the horrible but much loved xls?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    Easy now - one step at the time, obviously we'll have to do some paperwork, then have a committee to meet and discuss, then choose a solution, then test it, then some more paperwork and more meetings to discuss, oh not to mention we will need to re-train staff as they only have "MS office" skills on their cv...

    Don't get me wrong - it's a great step - IF it happens.
    And spending 30 million in doing all the paperwork and committee stuff.

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