The UK government is going to embrace open source, announcing an open standards plan that could herald a move away from proprietary software.
In a move that some suggest could save £600 million a year, open source software will be adopted 'when it delivers best value for money' with the government avoiding being 'locked into proprietary software'.
The government's action plan:
- Ensure that the government adopts open standards and uses these to communicate with the citizens and businesses that have adopted open source solutions
- Ensure that open source solutions are considered properly and, where they deliver best value for money are selected for government business solutions
- Strengthen the skills, experience and capabilities within government and in its suppliers to use open source to greatest advantage
- Embed an open source culture of sharing, re-use and collaborative development across government and its suppliers
- Ensure that systems integrators and proprietary software suppliers demonstrate the same flexibility and ability to re-use their solutions and products as is inherent in open source.
The move to open source will occur when there is "no overall cost-difference between open and non-open source products."