Spanish government moving to open-source software. Take that Microsoft!
Posted: June 2, 2012. At: 10:21 PM
The government in Spain has decreed that all software used by the government in the future is to be open-source instead of proprietary closed-source options from Microsoft or Apple. The open-source software distributions like the Linux kernel and the many other options like OpenOffice.org and the OpenBSD UNIX distribution. If they switch their workstations to a Linux desktop with OpenOffice and Firefox with Noscript and Adblock then they will have less viruses by an order of magnitude and less security issues in general. Schools in Brazil are switching to Ubuntu Linux workstations and this makes the cost of setting up a computer much less than having to pay for a Windows license for each workstation. And an operating system built on open-source software allows the user to tinker more than with a closed source OS.
Linux has always been a hobbyists favorite desktop OS, for the reason that the software has source available and developing software on the Linux platform is very easy and soon will be even easier with the move to a unified Linux file-system that will make it the same on either a UNIX or Linux platform without any problems due to the differing file-system layout across the Linux and UNIX operating systems. This is a win for the open-source software movement. The use of secure open-source operating systems in public libraries and schools would provide a more secure and reliable operating system for day to day usage without the downtime caused by problems with the Windows operating system. Only software used in sensitive areas of government will remain closed source.
That in the interests of protecting critical data, and I can understand that they wish to maintain known software for this task. That is fair enough, but as I said, this is is a good result for the Linux community and the OpenOffice.org office suite. The Basque government is investigating the use of this office suite over the Microsoft Office alternative, but that is very expensive. Sure the cost of retraining users on a different operating system and a different office suite but they obviously have a plan to deal with this problem and make sure that their users will be able to make the best use of the software and reach a good level of productivity in no time. OpenOffice.org is a good office suite, they will have to ensure that their users are all using OpenOffice.org as there are still some problems with interoperability between OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office in terms of sharing complex documents.
If Windows was used by less people, then we would see less viruses and malware targeting the computers in use around the world. But Redmond WA are dominating the computing world right now, the most dominant Windows operating systems in use are Windows XP and Windows 7. Windows 7 is the better of the two. I prefer to use Linux though, a lot of Windows software will run with Wine without any problems and you may install Windows in a Virtualbox instance and run it in a window on your desktop. With the Virtualbox guest additions installed I have gotten sound working just fine and the desktop runs very fast indeed.