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UK government chooses Microsoft over open source due to cost savings

Satya Nadella

Chief Information Officer for Hampshire, Jos Creese, has stated in a recent interview that the UK government opts for Microsoft over open source alternatives because it's generally cheaper once costs have been calculated. Creese notes that the software giant has been flexible when it comes to deploying products and hardware to improve frontline services. Cost is not limited to just licensing fees.

There's no arguing that new tenders and contracts signed by governments can be somewhat overpriced, but Creese defends his point by explaining companies like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle have to justify costs and work hard to drive a flexible business model. This is something Microsoft has and will continue to do when working with said parties, ensuring that its products are deployed to maintain market share.

But open source is generally free and therefore should be saving costs, rather than pricey Windows licensing and costs, right? It depends on deployment, support and all other management costs that are calculated when deciding on business plans. This is what Creese notes as being more affordable with Redmond, since everything is included and Microsoft already has management tools available for IT departments.

Microsoft is also currently attempting to drive custom from Windows XP to Windows 8, but has extended support to governments who have requested prolonged coverage of the ageing operating system, including the UK. The company has made moves to make its offerings more appealing by slicing licensing fees as well as helping out with both developments and business models.

Source: Computing, via: Forbes

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Reader comments

UK government chooses Microsoft over open source due to cost savings

65 Comments

Only if more businesses knew how to do these calculations! - this is financial gain.

Add to that ease of use, security, ecosystem benefits, abundant legacy software support - it increases economic gains by huge measures compared to say Chromebooks and Android phone set ups or iOS set ups.

Now we just know we can choose MS for business without any calculations - UK gov has done the homework for us.

It always does... Yeah, free to start with... Then comes support, management, security, integration, etc...

Open source a lot of times is for the little guy to the small to medium size company with resources to match... Great stuff by far, but you either pay up front or in the end... You will always pay more in the end

Drive customs?
This is true - open source probably has higher costs because a lot of things is self maintained compared to having Microsoft engineers run around to solve issues when they pop up

Using Microsoft also gives CIO's someone they can point their fingers at if something goes wrong. Always an added benefit...

Not exactly. It means when you have a business problem, you can pick up the phone and get SUPPORT.

Rather than post on a forum, and hope someone with a beard and sandals notices and has the required skill and/or can be bothered to resolve your issue.

Open Source has merits, much code from it lives inside many an appliance we all use everyday (Its why Heartbleed was such a big deal). But its not a one size fits all. It has its place, just not on your Desktop nor running your business apps unless its one of the properly support flavours like Redhat. Even then, their support is waaaayyy off what you get from Microsoft.

... you call me, I'll be there
Whenever you want me, I'll be there
Whenever you need me, I'll be there
I'll be around

Pretty much this.  Those in charge likley were never considering open source other than using it as a barganing chip.  The UK gets a discount and Microsoft gets PR to counter the press coverage of Germany's use of open source.

So did the UK government agree on, then, other than simply using Microsoft for something? Why isn't that part of the article?
I would sing alleluia if it was to upgrade systems to anything over XP, which I doubt they will do any time soon.

I wish microsoft makes windows phone more productive for business uses.. Today I received a dozen of pdf files from my friend.. I wanted to forward one of them via Bluetooth, but couldnt do it. I think its not** supported, does anyone know how to do it ?(without using cloud or e-mail, only buetooth)

Yeah they should do so. The sector to enter into making business phones is verty much open and there's no competition not at all when it comes to making phone for business purposed. Microsoft is the best company has alll that productivity softwares what other software companies hardly have. They should make the best out it. By selling Lumia 630,635 on bulk to enterprises

Makes a lot of sense. Btw, the WPCentral app is giving me a hard time with lots of authentication errors or something like that.

Opensource .... Where when I meet problems .... I have to dwell on the community forum to find and answer ... And by doing this I wasting my precious times which I can use to do other useful thing ...

Paid services (well ... OSS like RedHat also paid service actually) ... Where when I meet problems ... I can point my finger to provider to fix it ASAP ... And carry on with whatever I can do for the moment ...

That sums it up :D

What does Google have to do with this. Google is very tiny in enterprise. Their whole business model is giving away software to consumers for free in exchange for allowing targeted advertising and data collection. That sort of thing will never fly in enterprise. This is more about Linux.

Free Software is like free games with In App Purchase. Cost you nothing in the begining but if you want to keep thinks running well you need pay for this.

The original article is based on a CIO for LOCAL government, which is not the UK Government.

Get your facts straight by reading the article you have cribbed.