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Open source software: What is holding back adoption by government?

TechRepublic - Despite the potential benefits of using open source software, use of it by the government is slow to increase.

Back in 2010 the UK government pledged that open source would be given equal consideration as proprietary software when choosing new technology.

And while this sounds like a forward thinking policy, almost identical aspirations were first expressed in a government policy document back in 2002, and have cropped up repeatedly since. Meanwhile adoption of open source by government remains slow.

So what went wrong? Liam Maxwell, the government’s director of ICT futures, admits there is still “not enough” open source being used within government- and that there is still a long road ahead before open source will truly be on a level footing with proprietary software in government.

The government is waking up to open source – it’s just that significant barriers remain: “Open source software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT,” said Maxwell at the recent Intellect Regent Annual Conference in London.