Feeds

UK govt seeks to embrace open source software

Not as pro-Linux as it sounds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The UK government has published the first draft of its proposed policy on the use of open source software and is seeking comments from the public.

The policy essentially seeks to increase the use of open source software at all levels of government and public sector IT provision. Behind this broader acceptance of open source solutions lies a desire to ensure interoperability and the support of open standards and specifications.

The government is also concerned by the security problems. "Security of government systems is vital," says the draft policy. "Properly configured open source software can be at least as secure as proprietary systems, and open source software is currently subject to fewer Internet attacks."

The formulation of the policy was driven by the European Union's eEurope – An Information Society for all strategy, which centred on plan that "during 2001 the European Commission and Member States will promote the use of open source software in the public sector and e-government".

The British government has also come to realise that open source software is the "the start of a fundamental change in the software infrastructure marketplace, but it is not a hype bubble that will burst".

But should open source supporters see all this as a thumbs-up for Linux and other software whose code is made freely available, the policy doesn't seek to implement open source instead of proprietary solutions - Bill G is too close to the Hair Blair Bunch for that.

Yes, the "UK Government will seek to avoid lock-in to proprietary IT products and services", but the bottom line here is... well... the bottom line. The increased used of open source solutions will come about because they're cheaper than closed source software. As the draft policy document itself puts it: "[The] UK government will consider open source solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements. Contracts will be awarded on a value for money basis... Decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis." (our italics)

The only sector in which open source is to be offered as the de facto solution is academic research, where the government will "explore further the possibilities of using open source as the default exploitation route for government-funded R&D software".

During the consultation period, the government will update its Procurement Guidelines to reflect the broader acceptance of open source software and help procurers assess the benefits of open source solutions against proprietary alternatives.

Given the government's poor record on working with anyone who doesn't use Microsoft product (see MS-built UK 'Government Gateway' locks out non-MS browsers), it sounds like its IT buyers definitely do need some help here. ®

Related Stories

UK closer to switching 500,000 desktops from MS Office?
MS uk.gov deal wobbles as spin doctors seek revenge
UK govt new encryption system only works with MS kit
e-Envoy's office defends Windows-only portal - climb down begins?
MS-built UK 'Government Gateway' locks out non-MS browsers
MS promotes Linux from threat to 'the' threat - Memo

Related Link

The draft policy on the use of open souce software within UK government can be found here

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.