Tom Espiner, via ZDNet, via Tectonic, highlighted the recent announcement by the UK government to renew its commitment to promote use of open source software. Snippets:
The government has published its policy on open-source software, promising to use open source rather than proprietary alternatives if there is no significant cost difference in products and services.
The stated rationale behind the move is that open-source software and technology based on open standards are more flexible and can offer better value for money.
“Open-source products are more competitive and have become easier to include in business, and major players in the IT industry now support the use of open standards,” said minister for digital engagement, Tom Watson, in a statement. “Several government departments already use open-source components and I hope this new policy will encourage others to follow suit.”
Watson said open source was not a “cure-all remedy”, but said “levelling the playing field” would give better value for taxpayers’ money, which was “more important than ever during the worldwide financial climate”.
The government action plan on open source was published in a document entitled Open Source, Open Standards, and Re-Use. The government pledged that, where possible, its departments would avoid becoming “locked in” to proprietary software, and that it would take into account exit, re-bid and rebuild costs. The government said it would also “require those proposing proprietary software to specify how exit would be achieved”, and would support the re-use of products and services where possible.