A Major Overseas Breakthrough for Open Source
No doubt open-source proponents are rejoicing over this news: The British government has decided to increase its use of open-source software in the public services field. It will be adopted over Windows whenever it delivers the best value for the money.
According to this report carried by the BBC, the U.K. technology playing field will be level when it comes to open source versus Windows. The U.K. government doesn't want its public services locked up in proprietary software. The move to open source could save the British government close to $1 billion annually, according to open-source proponents. The move impacts schools, government agencies and public-service departments.
This is a big deal for open source. It seems to me that having the British government committed to giving open source a hard look could really provide the technology a boost in the U.K. and elsewhere. According to some reports, the move was driven by past IT failures tied to proprietary software implementations. The real value in using open source is that users will have a lot more flexibility. Other governments are sure to notice the U.K.'s action and emulate it. That is going to provide open source with a lot more momentum. Of course, this will also increase its credibility among corporate users (especially those with government contracts). This could be the mainstream breakthrough the open-source world has been waiting for.