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Local authorities in the UK are embracing Linux and other Open Source operating systems and applications, a probe by the Society of IT Managers has shown.

Open Source is being used for infrastructure in 39 per cent of organisations while 34 per cent of organisations are using open source applications. 48 out of 99 organisations are not using Open Source products. Even worse for Microsoft and other proprietary vendors is that 60 per cent of respondents thought their organisation would increase the OS systems they use. One per cent of respondents expect to use less Open Source software.

Despite the hype over open source desktop software, though, only eight per cent of those surveyed are using OS on desktops. But of the 51 organisations using some OS software 76 per cent expect their use of such software to increase in the next three years.

Advantages of Open Source software included: cost, less vendor lock-in, fewer security issues and more flexibility. Disadvantages of OS noted by respondents included: support, skills and training, integration and compatibility and hidden costs.

The Society of IT Managers talked to 99 organisations - 41 District councils, 12 County councils, 16 Unitary councils, 13 London Boroughs and 17 other public bodies such as police or housing. ®

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