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Government Cuts ...


Trip
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In brazil and india the use open source / free software for all their institutions and governing bodies.

Just imagine how much could be saved if we dropped ms.

I realise that migration would be an issue but its certainly a possibility.

I bet we spend millions of £££ if not billions on software licences

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If in the beginning we went with Open Source software that would be fine.

The issue now would be if that we switched to Open Source software, all the governmental staff would require retraining how to use it, which would probably cost much more than the software licenses the government currently buy for the software people already know how to use.

However, moving to Open Source software on the backend would probably make sense because the you would only need to retrain the staff who operate it.

Edited by DarkBlueBox
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you'd cover your losses within 2/3 years ... plus encouraging more people to move to linux

and yes anything that could be switched without much hassle should be :)

infact i bet the money spent on licenses for one year would cover the vast majority of training

Edited by Trip
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At least in DoD land, there are many HP-UX, Slowlaris, and RHEL boxes............

.........but way outnumbered by WinServer200x and XP (most of DoD is just now migrating to Vista or 7, and it's a total goat-rope at the moment). :(

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i think they should drop MS and move to OS. i use open source and so i know there is a cheaper and just as good way to do it on open source software. knowing that, i dont want to pay for umpteen billion licenses for MS.

authors note - i have nothing against MS. i just prefer linux as a better tool for me.

live long and.....may the force be with you!

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One of your points is that they would be moving to open source. So what? They need to move to what will get the job done most efficiently and right now that is Microsoft because all the people know how to use it and moving to open source because its open source is not going to help that.

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Rather than software security, they need to teach some better user awareness. I, personally, have had my SSN and other protected personal information potentially compromised on several occasions because some jackass keeps leaving his DoD-issued work laptop in his car overnight to get stolen.

Edited by chikpee
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Dumping Microsoft and moving to open source on the scale the UK government operates at wouldn't be a small undertaking. It would cost billions, as you would need to replace not only the basic desktop platforms and productivity software, but the Byzantium arrangement of bespoke applications that successive initiatives have deployed. It would also need to be done while maintaining business as usual, without large chunks of downtime. Munich tried this, and its not gone well so far. Something like this on the scale of the UK goverment would be a major undertaking lasting over a decade.

Then you get to things like supporting it, at the end of the day if you have a MS deployment and it FUBAR's on you, then you can get MS on the phone until its fixed. If your dealing with FOSS, how easy is it to get the developer on the phone to fix it? Unless your using something like Novel or Redhat (which are just as expensive licences wise), its not going to happen. Unless you employ your own dev teams and maintain a custom distro. Or you could do what the US army is doing and go OSX.

At the end of the day, MS produce a good suite of applications and services, which are backed up with documentation, support and a large pool of certified administrators you can hire. Instead of focusing on something like the TCA you need to look at the total TCO, and the ROI you can get by optimizing existing systems. On a government scale, this needs to be done by reducing the amount of duplicated functions and effort, introducing open standards over propitiatory stuff and leverage things like OS-agnostic cloud computing services. Its not as simple as banging a copy of Ubuntu on the computers at HMRC and seeing what happens.

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you know what ... does everyone now need a pc with the take off of tablet computing ?

it'll be interesting to see how the office changes over the next 10 years

agreed ... but again it would be an ideal opportunity for these companies to take old badly programmed and edited code and start from new

.... im sure most of the governments distributed systems are java based anyway so porting them might be more straight forward than reprogramming everything

... but just the savings on the OS and ms office licences would be huge.

lols i just tweeted david cameron regarding the matter :)

think about it though ... your saying it would take us 10 years of work .... something the uk doesnt have atm. jobs would be great ... create jobs n save money in the long run

Edited by Trip
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but just the savings on the OS and ms office licences would be huge.

Yes, the government would have a large bill for software licencing but that is because of the scale of the operation the government are running. Microsoft licensing isn't THAT expensive, yeah it costs a bit but in the general scheme of things its not much at all.

think about it though ... your saying it would take us 10 years of work .... something the uk doesnt have atm. jobs would be great ... create jobs n save money in the long run

I am sure even if we wanted to migrate to FOSS, the money just wouldn't be there to see it through. We are cutting massive amounts of money out of our budget so any money put towards something is coming out of the cuts of other departments. If I had to choose between Shutting down my local NHS hospital and Switching to FOSS, or just sticking with MS software and keeping my hospital, it would be the latter every time.

Edited by DarkBlueBox
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you know what ... does everyone now need a pc with the take off of tablet computing ? it'll be interesting to see how the office changes over the next 10 years

Not much will change, we've gone from paper, typewriters, adding machines to computers and laptops, and people still have to come into the office to do work. Plus tablets are pretty much just consumption devices, not creation devices. You can check your email on one, but try doing something with a humongous complicated spreadsheet on an iPad. Not going to happen.

.... im sure most of the governments distributed systems are java based anyway so porting them might be more straight forward than reprogramming everything

Ahh, the myth of Java apps being easy to port. Most aren't, especially the hugely complicated government apps, which will talk to an Oracle DB or if your really unlucky, a custom one. Even getting these apps to work on a newer version of Windows and passing QA testing is expensive, moving them to another OS entirely is going to require many many contractor man-hours.

think about it though ... your saying it would take us 10 years of work .... something the uk doesnt have atm. jobs would be great ... create jobs n save money in the long run

Its not going to save money in the long run though, its going to be massively expensive at a time when we have no money. I agree that new projects should look into implementing open source software and open standards, but replacing what we have would not be a wise use of money. The licences are a small part of the cost, the bulk of the money is spent on running the systems and procuring new systems from private contractors who charge through the teeth for what they do. It would appear that your drive to move to using entirely FOSS is driven more by ideology rather than any concert ideas about cutting costs. You need to be more realistic, while its easy for you to move to Linux, its a lot harder for big organizations to move.

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ok lol its a good idea but not brilliant

... i can see where this would work in certain situations tho. ie. in environments where they were undertaking genral office tasks ... word processing, web browsing etc

.... now theirs a point if they decided to migrate to web based apps the software wouldnt need to be platform specific .....i suppose thats just asking for trouble tho web based and government system dont go well in the same sentance

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http://innovate.direct.gov.uk/blog/open-so...tware-licensing

Looks like they are taking the sensible choice and developing new projects with OSS and open standards.

im shocked :blink:

.... i was only thinking about the OS and software ie open office gimp inkscape etc .... not their core systems being open source that could be very dangerous

Edited by Trip
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OpenOffice is a POS (IMHO), Office 2010 is so far ahead its not even funny any more. All this is going to be is a CMS system that the government can use across departments instead of multiple systems being purchased by various departments.

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think about it though ... your saying it would take us 10 years of work .... something the uk doesnt have atm. jobs would be great ... create jobs n save money in the long run

When you need employment, the government should not be the exclusive employer.

If you look at New York State here in the United States, you'll see they're the biggest employer in the state. (The second biggest industry in NYS is prisons...)

However the state needs money to pay the employees, which they get through taxes. With lack of private business, the government is in essence taxing themselves, and without cash flow coming in from private business, they are slowly bleeding out.

As far as your comments of open source for government. Its something that would take years to do to ween the current work force off their systems onto different systems. HOWEVER, considering that many governments, like NYS, have contracts with IBM, they generally are using IBM products like WebSphere Application Server, which means their applications are written in java, and are web-based, which means all you need is a browser to access them. HTML-5 will also help revolutionize our front-end programs.. I hope.

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HOWEVER, considering that many governments, like NYS, have contracts with IBM, they generally are using IBM products like WebSphere Application Server, which means their applications are written in java, and are web-based, which means all you need is a browser to access them. HTML-5 will also help revolutionize our front-end programs.. I hope.

agreed :D

not everyone needs windows esp. just for menial office tasks.

i believe most new apps will be web based too ... due to all the new smart phones

Edited by Trip
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Its all about support, MS has a whole host of outsources like HP, Siemens, IBM, Dell et al who will sell you everything from the servers, desktops and laptops, to data centers and the staff to support everything (this is what I do for a living). The individual cost of Windows + Office on 1 machine doesn't really come into it. And if you look at the recent move to transition to a single purchaser model for the UK Gov, that's only going to be more apparent. There isn't anyone who really offers a joined up managed service for linux based infrastructure on that scale.

As for smart phones and tablets, people aren't going to be doing serious work on them for a long time, even writing a long-ish email on a BB is a chore, let alone editing a word document.

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yes but they still have to pay a considerable amount

i worked @ a school doing a web design course

and i tried to persuade the head master (just because the course was only 2 weeks long) to install one copy of each package on each machine without buying 20 licences for 3 packages for 2 weeks (20x3x£200 = £12000 imo thats alot of money)

he insisted i installed a fresh copy on each machine ... the bill was huge just for the software

they spent over £1 million with the company i worked for beautiful fiber network 20 pcs in each room ... interactive white boards etc

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But its not a considerable amount spent on licenses, most of the money goes on things like paying for staff to run stuff, paying for project management, hardware (i.e. massive SANs, server farms etc). Plus the ultimate benifit of Windows is that if push comes to shove, you can call MS at 0400 on a Saturday night and make them stay until its working again, no matter how long it takes.

As for the school example you gave, that's not a great deal, unless they were going to do this 2 week course once, and never used the software for anything else. But again, it should be a single purchaser system for the entire public sector, so you could drive down costs by purchasing licenses in bulk for loads of schools at once.

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