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[Computerbank] Government related advocacy. Useful?

Thought this might help. It'll certainly help me! I'm currently 
(commercially) marketing to government and business in Sydney so this 
sort of paper is proof positive that other interested parties (ie UK 
Govt - Ministry of Defence) are predicting that the future is OSS! OSS 
btw means Open Source Software.

This email contains a summary of the report, the link to the pdf, and 
the original e-gov article that got my interest.

There are some of the predicitions:

Future Trends Where will it all end?

We now have to move into the area of predictions (5 ). Within five 
years, 50% of the volume of the software infrastructure market could be 
taken by OSS (6). We expect that OSS's position in the small server 
market (file and print servers and Web servers) will grow fastest. OSS's 
position in large servers (e.g. those managing massive multi-user 
databases), such as those that underpin many large Government 
procurements, will grow from its current position of near zero 
penetration, to a position where OSS is a viable option, within 2 - 3 

Within the developed world, we as yet see no sign that OSS will become a 
viable alternative to Microsoft Windows, for users (general purpose) 
desktop machines in the corporate or home PC markets (7) . However, OSS 
on the desktop may soon become a significant player on the desktop in 
the developing world. For these reasons the study recommends against any 
preference for OSS on the desktop, but also recommends that this issue 
be reassessed by the end of 2002, by which time early trials of the use 
of OSS desktops may have generated sufficient evidence to warrant a 

OSS is already suited to restricted functionality desktops, such as 
those used in industry for point-of-sales and point-of-service (8) 
terminals; and in these areas OSS s market share is likely to grow 
significantly. We expect OSS to rapidly (9) become the market leader in 
consumer computing devices 10 .

We expect the market for new portable and consumer computing devices 
(such as set-top boxes and smart mobile phones) to remain very dynamic, 
with no dominant market leader emerging. OSS is however likely to be a 
significant (11) player in this market. We expect that the software 
infrastructure that is implemented on top of operating systems 
(so-called middleware) will move gradually (12) from proprietary 
products towards OSS.


5. The Authors are members of a substantial team funded by the MOD who 
track market trends, and these are the consensus views of that team.

6. There is considerable confusion about Linux market share statistics 
and projections - see for example 
http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/11177.html for a discussion of 
current statistics of Linux server market share.

7. The first real trials are starting now. For example, see Computing 
Aug 2 2001, pg 3 which reports that Central Scottish Police and an 
unnamed local council have adopted Sun s Open Source Star Office suite. 
A comparable initiative in the City of Largo, Florida, is reported at 

8. Such as those used for airline bookings, travel agents etc.

9. Within the next year.

10. We refer here to devices such as Web pads, set-top boxes and digital 
video recorders. We exclude hard real-time embedded computers and those 
driving a range of special-purpose hardware peripherals (industrial 
process control, washing machines etc.).

11. Greater than 20% in the next 3 years.

12. We anticipate OSS taking 25% of the middleware market in 2 years, 
and 50% in 5 years.

Grab this:


This is the article that got my interest:


The UK government has recognised that the open source software movement 
is not "a hype
bubble that will burst" and could deliver better value than proprietary 
systems, in a new draft
policy document released for consultation.

'Open source software - use within UK government' suggests that open 
source solutions should
always be considered alongside proprietary ones in public tenders, and 
that the government
should seek to avoid long-term 'lock-in' to proprietary systems.

Other proposals are for the government to obtain full rights to any 
bespoke or customised
software it procures, "wherever this achieves value for money". The 
government should also
"explore further the possibilities" of demanding an open source 
specification for all government-
funded software research by academic institutions.

The document is available for consultation until 12 March on:

Meanwhile a global group has formed to promote the use of open source 
materials in schools via
an online portal, 'Schoolforge' ( http://www.schoolforge.net 

The community was formed partly in response to one of the proposed
elements in the settlement of the ongoing US Government vs Microsoft
competition trial, whereby Microsoft would provide 1 billion dollars of
software and hardware to underprivileged schools. Schoolforge says the
proposal "appears to offer an alleged monopoly still more ways to further
its grasp", and is calling for the courts to insist that Microsoft provides
hardware alone, allowing schools to run open source software.

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