Feeds

Bristol Council ditches MS for Star Office

Poster child public sector contract for open source

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Bristol City Council is shifting 5,000 workers off proprietary desktop software and onto open source to help it save £1.4m over the next five years. Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Office and Lotus 1-2-3 will all be ditched in favour of Sun's StarOffice 7.

The decision was made on Monday by Councillor John Bees, executive member for central support services. It is one of the largest public sector contracts StarOffice has won, and one of the biggest shifts away from Microsoft products. The battle to get Linux onto desktops has been waiting for a decent public sector win since Newham, which was to move to open source, but had an 11th hour change of mind. Steve Ballmer made clear how seriously Microsoft takes the threat of public sector interest in open source last month.

Cllr Bees, said: "This is further evidence that the city council is determined to be as cost effective as it can in the way it works - while neither compromising the quality of its services to the public or the resources available to staff. Our information technology specialists have spent three years evaluating the options and investigating in detail the technical, financial and cultural issues involved in switching the majority of our desktops to StarOffice. We are convinced that this is the right way forward and will offer benefits all round."

The exception to the change is 1,800 desktops in the education department and schools. These will remain on Microsoft Office "for the time being", because of the more generous licensing terms the software giant offers for educational users. These users will also have access to Star Office. A small number of other staff will keep access to Microsoft applications which they need for "specific technical features not yet fully supported in Star Office".

Bristol Council believes the decision will help it meet targets set out in the Gershon report for all public bodies to reduce costs by 2.5 per cent. More details on Bristol's press release here. ®

Related stories

MS, open source, The Facts and the fit-ups
StarOffice: ready for the big time?
Massive growth in Linux is historic inevitability

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.