UK goverment planning to ditch Microsoft Office for FOSS alternatives

The inevitable switch is happening everywhere. Governments and public offices around the world is slowly waking up to the hard fact that proprietary software may not be in their best long-term interest after all, even if you ignore the cost-factor. News about City of Munich's switch over to Linux made big waves recently, so did the news about French Army's switch to Ubuntu with primary focus on cost-cutting. UK government is the latest divulge their plans to completely switch-over from proprietary "oligopolies" to freer alternatives.

UK government planning to ditch Microsoft Office for LibreOffic

UK government planning to ditch Microsoft Office for LibreOffice and such
Guardian UK is reporting that, Ministers within UK government are looking at saving tens of millions of pounds a year by abandoning expensive software produced by firms such as Microsoft. Some £200m has been spent by the public sector on the Microsoft's Office suite alone since 2010, which is staggering when you consider the fact that there are free and almost equally-good alternatives on the other side.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude believes a significant proportion of that outlay could be cut by switching to software which can produce open-source files in the "open document format" (ODF), such as OpenOffice and Google Docs.

Document formats are set to be standardised across goverment offices to help break the "oligopoly" of IT suppliers, and improve communications between civil servants. The proposal is part of the coalition's drive to make its procurement more effective and efficient.

[Read the full report at Guardian UK website]