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UK government picks first open standards in bid to dodge vendor lock-in

ZDNet - The UK's Cabinet Office has selected the first two open standards as part of its plan to reduce technology bills and improve interoperability.

The two standards endorsed by the government's recently established Open Standards Board are HTTP/1.1 URL and Unicode UTF-8. The former should help organisations be able to reuse public sector information down the track with the introduction of consistent identifiers for things like schools, hospitals or companies in government datasets to ensure meanings stay consistent over time. The Unicode UTF-8 standard is meant to prevent corruption of text between systems.

The government's push for open standards is meant to cut technology costs and level the playing field between open source and proprietary software vendors. The Cabinet Office says it hopes the standards will also help agencies move away from long-term deals with a small number of suppliers.