August 22, 2002

Swedish government mulls Linux

Author: JT Smith

By Andrew Orlowski
of The Register -

Despite signing a recent deal with Microsoft, Sweden has become the latest country to investigate the benefits of Free Software.
In a report entitled "The state wants to save money" in Swedish magazine Ny Teknik, the Statskontoret, (Swedish Agency for Public Management) is setting up a working group to investigate the value Linux could provide.

The work is in the initial stages, and it is too soon to see what the actual result will be, according to Irene Andersson, who is responsible for all software at the purchasing department in Statskontoret.

Contributors to the working party include the police, the unemployment agency and the tax office.

Sweden recently signed a half-billion dollar kroner deal with Microsoft to run two years. This encompasses central government and local authorities. (Thanks to Tomas for the translation -- we thought about asking Linus, as his first language is Swedish, but he's very busy).

Earlier this year Denmark announced it was considering moving 55,000 desktops to Linux, and the Norwegian government -- a supporter of its indigenous Opera browser -- recently canceled a public sector Select contract with Microsoft.

These are dwarfed by public sector IT decisions being made elsewhere, notably in Asia. About 120,000 Korean public sector desktops are being migrated to Linux, and the biggest big government spend of them all, China, is developing its own, homegrown distros.

The call for software libre comes from all corners of the political spectrum: Norway's decision was encouraged by Administration Secretary Victor D. Norman, a conservative free marketeer.

So it's a possibility that Bill might soon be booking a flight to Scandinavia bearing gifts. In which case, The Register can help with pronunciation and cultural nuances.

All Content copyright 2002 The Register


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