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Case study: Linux on trial
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| With Birmingham's trial period over and with lessons learnt and
| understanding gained, the council now expects to make cost savings
| over time, and contrary to press reports that claimed Birmingham
| had scrapped the Linux initiative, it will in fact "significantly
| increase" its use of open-source software, Evans said. The trial
| also had other positive results, he claimed, such as demonstrating
| the ease with which Firefox and OpenOffice.org can be substituted
| for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office.
| The UK has less than average usage of open source compared with other
| EU countries, according to a report by the University of Maastricht, with
| 32.1 percent of all UK local government users on open source compared to
| the 78.7 percent European average.
| That lack of experience adds to the difficulty of public sector
| bodies getting involved with open source, iMpower found. One
| high-profile open source failure was the London borough of Newham's
| decision to scrap an open source trial in favour of upgrading to
| Windows XP in 2004. That came following Microsoft's offer to
| provide free consultancy to the council and a subsequent deal
| struck with Newham Council that remains undisclosed but which
| is widely assumed to offer a huge discount on Windows licences.
| Newham Council will be appearing alongside Microsoft today at
| the launch of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.