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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