Regional council adopts open source

Fourteen agencies have signed for open source trial project

Horizons Regional Council will take open-source software for a spin on its desktop computers early this year under a push to bring free software to public sector PCs.

New Zealand Open Source Society president Don Christie says NZ Post and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will also trial the software as part of the Public Sector Remix project.

Fourteen government agencies have signed up for the project, and as of Wednesday 32 firms had responded to a survey seeking to identify the number and capability of New Zealand companies providing and supporting open-source software.

Results so far show the main open-source desktop and graphics solutions are provided by local firms, Mr Christie says.

Three respondents have a client base of over 500 desktops, while six support between 100 and 500 desktops.

Meanwhile, Inland Revenue has signalled it could trial Open Office software on its desktops next year. The software could provide a cheaper alternative to Microsoft for occasional users, it said.

The State Services Commission and Microsoft have negotiated software discounts for government departments every three years since 2000 but talks broke down in May, leaving departments to arrange their own licensing deals.Horizons Regional Council will take open-source software for a spin on its desktop computers early this year under a push to bring free software to public sector PCs.

New Zealand Open Source Society president Don Christie says NZ Post and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will also trial the software as part of the Public Sector Remix project.

Fourteen government agencies have signed up for the project, and as of Wednesday 32 firms had responded to a survey seeking to identify the number and capability of New Zealand companies providing and supporting open-source software.

Results so far show the main open-source desktop and graphics solutions are provided by local firms, Mr Christie says.

Three respondents have a client base of over 500 desktops, while six support between 100 and 500 desktops.

Meanwhile, Inland Revenue has signalled it could trial Open Office software on its desktops next year. The software could provide a cheaper alternative to Microsoft for occasional users, it said.

The State Services Commission and Microsoft have negotiated software discounts for government departments every three years since 2000 but talks broke down in May, leaving departments to arrange their own licensing deals.

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