UK Government Kicks Out Microsoft Office and Adopts LibreOffice

20 10 2015

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The UK Government is looking to shed its dependency on proprietary software and entered into a new commercial deal with an open source software company Collabora Productivity that adapts LibreOffice for the use in enterprise environments.

Collabora Productivity is not the kind of company to usually get in the news, and it’s used to doing things without asking for any special recognition. With such a huge move from the UK Government, through its Crown Commercial Service (CCS) body, it will be difficult for Collabora to keep a low profile. It’s worth noting that Collabora is one of the biggest contributors to LibreOffice, and it has the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers.

GovOffice is the name of the LibreOffice suite for the public sector, and it’s actually more than just a simple adoption. The deal signed by the UK Government is called the “Cloud Transition Agreement,” and that means that it also includes a product named CloudSuite, which provides its users with cloud-based and mobile access, viewing and editing locally on devices, and online in web browsers. It hasn’t been released yet, but it’s going to bring crucial functionality.

It’s likely that we’ll get to see much more of this going on with other governments in 2016, and LibreOffice’s reach will expand a great deal.

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Microsoft Accused of Blackmailing UK Officials Supporting Open Document Format

23 05 2015

The IT reform that the United Kingdom is working on is faced with strong opposition from tech giants operating facilities and doing business in the country, with some going as far as to blackmail MPs in order to block some changes from being adopted.
David Cameron’s former strategy chief, Steve Hilton, revealed during a public speech that Microsoft officials called MPs and tried to blackmail them to block the adoption of certain laws, threatening with the closure of local research facilities if the proposed changes go through.

“You just have to fight them off. I can give you specific examples: the thing I mentioned about IT contracts. Maybe there is someone here to confirm this from Microsoft? When we proposed this, Microsoft phoned Conservative MPs with Microsoft R&D facilities in their constituencies and said, ‘we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through,’” Hilton was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

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Linux is Everywhere

26 12 2013

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” Linux is Everywhere. From Space Stations to Microwave Ovens, Linux powers everything.” You might have heard that a lot and have always wondered ” Is that just a phrase or is it actually true ? “  Be assured, it is true. World’s biggest companies use Linux in one way or another but you are not going to believe unless I take names. Well, get ready for a roller coaster ride across the globe where I show you where and how Linux is used
Government

Most of the Governments use Linux, which is pretty obvious for two major reasons. It saves money and provides the flexibility no other OS can . Below is a comprehensive list of Governments around the global using Linux -:

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City of Munich: “Migration to sustainable desktop completed successfully”

30 05 2013

The administration of the city of Munich in Germany has completed the switch to the open source desktop, says Peter Hofmann, head of the migration project last week Wednesday. The IT department is now securing the strategy, to make sure it can be maintained by the city and to sustainably support interactions with citizens, businesses and other public authorities.

Hofmann, speaking at the Linux Tag conference in Berlin on 22 May, is confident that the city’s open source strategy can be maintained because it is focused on sustainability. “We took small steps, instead of a big bang approach. We prefer quality over time and choose making it ourselves over waiting or spending.”

The city is now using a unified desktop system, Limux, its own distribution based on the Ubuntu Linux open source operating system and open source applications, on 14,000 of the total 15,000 desktops, spread over 51 offices across the city. That is 2,000 more than it’s intended goal, using Limux on 80 % of its desktops. Hofmann confirmed that the city will now switch to using the LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, replacing the current open source alternative OpenOffice, that is used since 2006.

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Linux Has Not Won, Microsoft is as Dangerous as Ever, Fie on Secure Boot

5 12 2012

I think UEFI Secure Boot is a shuck and a bald-faced Microsoft anti-competitive tool. I’ll get to my reasons in a moment, because my most important point comes first:

Every purchase of a Windows license is an attack on Linux. Linux has not won, and Microsoft is as dangerous as ever.

Every time you buy a computer that bundles a Windows license just to save a few bucks over buying a Linux machine, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. It doesn’t matter that you blow Windows away and install Linux– it still counts as a Windows sale, which reinforces your vendor’s belief that they need Windows users and can safely ignore Linux users. It sends money to Redmond. It rewards all the junkware, adware, and spyware vendors that load their garbage on Windows PCs. And it cements the anti-competitive status quo more firmly. Buying Android devices sends a significant revenue stream into Microsoft’s pockets– Linux PCs and bare hardware are almost our only remaining options to avoid paying the Microsoft tax.

Independent Linux vendors like System76 and ZaReason do more than stuff Linux into off-the-shelf machines. They do their own engineering and design, build with quality components, and use hardware that supports open drivers. So you don’t need to worry about custom drivers or lockin, but can use your machines however you see fit. You’re not going to be plagued with strange errors and bad performance from sub-par electronics. You get good stuff that you control and better service.

UEFI Secure Boot is More Microsoft Abuse

Microsoft has a long history of gaming and bullying standards organizations. Probably the most egregious example was their scorched-earth all-out assault on the ISO/IEC during the MS-OOXML standard debacle, including costing Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn his job, and flooding ISO with new members whose sole purpose was to vote for MS-OOXML.

Microsoft scored a quiet coup when they got their proprietary, closed exFAT filesystem (essentially it’s FAT64, an extension of the creaky antique FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32 filesystem line) made part of the SDXC specification for Flash storage media. The Free exFAT driver is immature and its developers are working in the dark because the spec is closed. Nor is there a commercial exFAT for Linux users, but only the Tuxera driver for OEMs.

Those are just two out of many hundreds of possible examples. And now we come to the UEFI Secure Boot. A lot of people are all excited over the phrase “Secure Boot” because it sounds like a good thing. Sure, who wouldn’t want a secure boot to keep all those pre-boot malwares off their nice Linux boxes?

What Linux pre-boot malwares? If you’re multi-booting Linux and Windows, then you’re at risk for everything. If you’re not running Windows I can’t promise that you’re immune. But your risk is magnitudes lower.

The biggest flaw in Secure Boot is the spec requires a single Platform Key. You can add more keys, but they must be signed by the Platform Key. This is the cause of all the woe from Microsoft requiring all Windows 8 systems to ship with Secure Boot turned on– if you want to multi-boot Linux and Windows 8 you have to disable Secure Boot, or figure out how to generate keys for Linux that are signed by the Windows Platform Key. You cannot easily use Secure Boot for Windows 8 and disable it for Linux.

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Linux brings over €10 million savings for Munich

23 11 2012

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Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city’s own Linux platform. The calculation of savings follows a question by the city council’s independent Free Voters (Freie Wähler) group, which led to Munich’s municipal LiMux project presenting a comparative budget calculation at the meeting of the city council’s IT committee on Wednesday. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million.

The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich’s city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Project parameters such as scope, duration, applied methodology or external support were assumed to be the same in all scenarios.

According to the calculation, Windows with Microsoft Office would so far have incurred about €11.6 million (£9.3 million) in operating-system-related costs. Microsoft Office and its upgrades would have cost €4.2 million (£3.3 million), and the Windows system about €2.6 million (£2.1 million). The LiMux project allowed a further €5 million (£4 million) for hardware upgrades in connection with the Windows 7 system upgrade. Application migration costs were estimated to be around €55,000 (£44,000). If the city council had chosen Windows but used OpenOffice, the estimated cost would have been about two thirds, or €7.4 million (£5.9 million).

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Microsoft dragging its feet on Linux Secure Boot fix

23 11 2012

Linux Foundation’s workaround held up by roadblocks

By Neil McAllister in San Francisco • Get more from this author

Posted in Operating Systems, 21st November 2012 23:21 GMT

The Linux Foundation’s promised workaround that will allow Linux to boot on Windows 8 PCs has yet to clear Microsoft’s code certification process, although the exact reason for the hold-up remains unclear.

As The Reg reported previously, the Secure Boot feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) found on modern Windows 8 PCs will only allow an OS to boot if its code has been digitally signed with a key obtained from Microsoft.

That’s a problem for many Linux distributions, because some lack the resources to purchase a Microsoft key, while others simply refuse to.

To help get around UEFI’s restrictions, the Linux Foundation has been developing a signed “pre-bootloader” as a stop-gap measure that will allow Linux distributions to boot, until such time as open source developers can come up with more effective solutions.

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