The UK Government has adopted the radical policy of using open-source, in preference to commercial, software.

Under the new policy, agencies will be required not only to consider open source solutions and make the choice soley on the basis of value-for-money, but will give peference to open source solutions where there is no cost difference and will actively seek to avoid becoming locked in to proprietary software.

The Minister for Digital Engagement, Tom Watson, said that “The world of technology has moved on hugely since we last set out our thinking on open source, which is why it was so important to update our policy. Open-source products are more competitive and have become easier to include in business, and major players in the IT industry now support the use of open standards."

Some Free Open Source Alternatives
to Popular Proprietary Programs

  • Firefox replaces Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Thunderbird replaces Microsoft Outlook
  • Open Office replaces Microsoft Office
  • GimPhoto replaces Adobe Photoshop
  • Inkscape replaces Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw
  • Audacity replaces Adobe Soundbooth (formerly Audition)
  • Songbird replaces Apple iTunes or Microsoft Windows Media Player