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Government adopts first two open standards technologies for cheaper IT use

V3 - The government has taken its first steps in adopting open standards technology to reduce costs and increase competition during the procurement of IT contracts.

The Cabinet Office's Open Standards Board has recommended the approval for the first two sets of open source technologies to encourage a "level playing field for open source and proprietary software providers", which is intended to allow the government to move away from "restrictive, long-term deals with a small number of suppliers".

The first two open source technologies to be approved are HTTP/1.1 – which will essentially be used to link similar pieces of information together from different sources – and Unicode UTF-8 to standardise the way textual information is moved from one system to another without causing problems with text formatting and interpretation.