Microsoft is by and large the giant of commercial software. Their reach is far and wide, encompassing many companies, governments and individuals alike, but change is coming. It has been reported that the UK government spent in excess of $331 million on software since 2010, and they are now keen to reduce the costs by turning their attention to Open Source solutions.
Francis Maude, a member of the cabinet was not pleased about the situation. Said Maude, “The software we use in government is still supplied by just a few large companies.” Maude suggests that they can spread the love by opening the door for a host of other software providers to take care of the needs of the government, and to reduce the reliance on Microsoft.
“”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,” Maude continued. He has a clear vision of where he wants the government to go, and how he wants it to be done, but when will it be done is the question. In 2002, the government proposed a software policy that was referred to as “Open Source Software: Use within Government.” Another proposal was made in 2009, and still, nothing has been done.
The writing is on the wall for Microsoft. Libre Office and OpenOffice are being considered by the government, and while they are still users of Internet Explorer, they also consider switching to Firefox and or Chrome. With so many Open Source alternatives eating away at the Microsoft empire, I cannot imagine that they would be sleeping well at night. Ballmer and company may be hoping that another 12 years pass by before the UK government decides to do anything about their mounting software bill.
Sources: The Guardian