UK Government Finally Sanctions Open Source! [Updated]


The Inquirer has broken the news that the UK Government, helped by BECTA, has finally approved at least two companies to be official suppliers of Open Source Software into our Education sector.

OPEN SOURCE companies have been granted official permission to supply software to the UK public sector for the first time in British history.

At least two Open Source software suppliers have been awarded places on the £80 million Software for Educational Institutions Framework, making them official suppliers to UK schools and scoring a victory in what has been a long and frustrating battle against favouritism shown to conventional commercial software companies in UK politics and procurement.

One of the suppliers is Sirius IT run by Mark Taylor.

Mark, here’s many congratulations from us at The Open Learning Centre. You have been a fantastic advocate for OSS for many years and this award to supply is thoroughly deserved. We wish your company every success.

Novell are apparently another “named” party to the supplier framework and having been long-time sponsors of the OSS eco-system also deserve congratulations. Now, if only they’d drop the deal-with-the-devil…

Novell didn’t make it; Becta have just announced and released the list of the 12 suppliers. And as Glyn Moody also considers, the “pact with the Devil” in which Novell sold its identity to Microsoft probably means that it isn’t such a bad thing in reality. By way of support, the article I wrote just 6 weeks ago “How to remove Mono from Ubuntu…” was, and remains, the most read piece on the whole blog. And almost all of the 50+ comments are in support of the objective. Clearly there isn’t much appetite for tainited code in FLOSS from the enlightened…

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