Idea of her Majesty’s Treasury: Switch to Free Software

What ideas does her Majesty’s Treasury follow in those days to reduce costs? First they asked 600000 people working for the government about that, got 60000 ideas out of it (that equals one idea per 10 people asked), processed them and put that into 31 proposals. Two of them deal with Free Sofware:

8. In terms of spending less – what about migrating the whole of government (the NHS, Education etc) from Microsoft products to Linux and open source software like Openoffice. (List 2)

28. Annul the government’s agreement with Microsoft to provide software and operating systems (OS) to government departments and switch to open source software and Linux based operating systems. This would reduce costs by: Reducing the need to update hardware in line with new Microsoft OS releases. Linux OS and open source software has a lower whole life cost and is less susceptible to viruses. Support a more diverse spectrum of the IT industry, instead of one corporation; generating additional UK tax revenue. (List 5)

Good they realise that Open Standards are a step in the right direction, but that in the long run you should switch to Free Software to have the control over your computing and your data. Beside explaining them the economical reasons for Free Software, do not forget explaining them the political and social issues involved, too.


Matthias Kirschner
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