Migrate the City's proprietary computer systems (Microsoft Windows, Office, etc.) to a Free (Libre) Software platform
Bristol City Council should review the current software arrangements across its computer hardware systems and consider employing a Free-only software policy. Free (Libre) Software is software that is written in the public interest and is available not only free of charge, but also with licenses that freely permit the modification and redistribution of the software.
Systems such as GNU/Linux, LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox (along with hundreds of thousands of others) offer a considerably cheaper Total Cost of Ownership compared to proprietary solutions from firms such as Microsoft, Apple and Oracle.
The scale of the conversion could range from the simple adoptation of Open Document formats for internal and external documents (rather than the vendor lock-in prone Microsoft Office formats) and the replacement of Internet Explorer with Mozilla Firefox, to the complete adoption of Free Software by deploying GNU/Linux across their network to replace Microsoft Windows
Why the contribution is important
The first things to be cut in a shrinking budget should be the unnecessary, and where better to start than by removing expensive software that barely competes with the Free (Libre) solutions that already exist.
The cost of using proprietary software goes beyond the ticket price of the license. The lost productivity due to inferior design, the retraining when Microsoft introduces child-like user interfaces, the cost of vendor lock-in when all your documents only work with one (expensive) system, the security implications and the general poorer experience must run into the millions of pounds.
By adopting Free (Libre) software, and contributing back to the communcity of free software developers in the Bristol and West, BCC will be able to encourage the growth and development of its IT economy, build links with Free Software Businesses and become a national centre for computer science.
by user827475 on November 25, 2013 at 07:05PM