[ubuntu-uk] UK government backs open source

Chris Rowson christopherrowson at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 10:44:03 GMT 2009

And here's the response from the president of Socitm. No comments yet I
notice, but this seems like a very MS point of view!


Open Standards are definitely required.
I don’t like the term “Open Source”. It’s misleading; what many people mean
is “anything but Microsoft”; few businesses actually use open source
directly – they buy software derived from open source that has been
commercially packaged and sold with support, which, in practice, is little
different to licensed software.
Nevertheless, competition is great for keeping suppliers focussed on
delivering customer value, and “Open Source” has certainly played its part.
All the same, software is only one part of the Total Cost of Ownership
equation; don’t consider it in isolation, but as part of the full TCO and
lifecycle costs.
“Open Source” software development, in my experience, lags proprietary
development by several years. I don’t think we could achieve the anytime,
anywhere fixed and mobile infrastructure with tele-presence we require, now,
for flexible and new ways of working using only Open Source.
I agree with reuse, and it’s a very significant factor in the Microsoft
Public Sector software licensing project I’m involved in (and not allowed to
talk about).
If it works for you – fine. I wouldn’t rule-out so-called “Open Source”;
Newham has used it for some applications since the time it did its deal with
Microsoft (probably the first UK public sector procurement of Microsoft as a
supplier) and continues to do so.
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