Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Jul 2010 19:43 UTC
Microsoft U.K. government staff suggested replacing Microsoft Corp. operating systems on computers with free alternatives in response to a call for ideas for Prime Minister David Cameron's cost-cutting drive.
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RE[6]: Not likely
by kaiwai on Mon 12th Jul 2010 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not likely"
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I wish that was the case, but government contracts are amongst the lowest paid work around.
So IT roles within the government I work tend to be split into two camps:

* highly specialised consultants who are heavily paid but generally only employed for the duration of any given project

* and in house IT staff who are under-paid, over-worked, and often the dregs of the IT sector (as any sane person who loves IT gets fed up and leave the public sector to more engaging roles with better pay)

Staff like the former will be little help once the transition to Linux is complete as they'll be too expensive to keep around.
And staff like the latter are unlikely to be the same Linux-curious employees that you'd experience in many private sector IT departments.

I know I paint a negative picture of government employees and I'm making a number of generalisations. Obviously there's good and bad employees in every company, but the general trend I have experience is definitely true to the above.

But you are correct though - although I do find some skilled individuals in the public service where the stability of the job offsets the lack of pay. On the other hand, however, in New Zealand the public service pay isn't too bad - funny enough part of the improvement in incomes in the private sector has been the result of public service pay going up thus pushing up the market rate.

This is true.
But not just macros, Access databases, bespoke VB6 applications, etc.

It's not impossible to port all of this across, but it's not cheap nor a quick process.

As much as I'd love to see government lose it's dependence on Microsoft, I also have to concede that it just doesn't make any sense at the moment.

What I'd prefer to see is the expensive Windows Sever infrastructure moved over to Linux (or BSD even). There is more likely to be savings there than on the workstations.

True, does lack features in a lot of features that the Office system provides by Microsoft - I hope, however, now that Oracle has purchased it that we'll see a big push forward to creating a more complete and integrated package that really leverages their server side technologies. I am hopeful because it is Oracle's only way to really compete with Microsoft is for it to provide the same sort of end to end solution which Microsoft provides.

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