Local Government Computer Services Board moving to Free Software

Reported in the Irish Times for 2011-02-18:

Computer services board drops Microsoft

THE LOCAL Government Computer Service Board, a flagship Microsoft client, is moving to open-source software after nearly 10 years of allegiance.

Assistant director Tim Willoughby is quoted as giving several reasons for the move:

  • Cost: budgets are being cut, and the annual payment for the Software Assurance scheme is too high: ‘We can’t afford it.’
  • No vendor lock-in: ‘We don’t want our data to be stuck in old infrastructure where we have to pay somebody to get it out.’
  • Openness: ‘We want to approach them with open technologies and open standards.’

The article claims: Any new IT projects will use open source software, a process already under way.

The move is described in terms of ‘Open Source’ rather than ‘Free Software’, but this is a very significant announcement, and very welcome. It is particularly encouraging that the freedoms of Free Software play a large part in the arguments made by the LGCSB.

[Original article]

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