Monday, May 09, 2005

Should the taxpayers pay for expensive software?

Some days ago Jostein Gripsrud wrote (in Norwegian) an important article in Dagbladet, arguing against the dependency of a nation like Norway from a monopolistic international sofware corporation. It does not stop there. We should also think about the large sums of dollars payed by public and government offices to a handfull of companies acussed of monopolistic and unfair trade and competition.

In a report appeared in The TES - a British leading education newspaper published by The Times, I learned today that The British Educational Communications and Technology Association (BECTA) is telling primary and secondary schools in the UK to dump Microsoft Operating systems and products in order to save millions.

According to this organization which will publish a report next week:
"Schools which have turned to free software instead of the market leader’s products have saved 24 per cent in tax payers money.

The association analysed costs at 33 schools which use paid-for software, and compared them with 15 which have pioneered the use of free programs, known as open source, and the pared-down hardware to run them.

Average costs, including software, hardware and support costs, were always less per computer in secondaries using open source."


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