[NetBehaviour] Criticism mounts over Birmingham's Linux project.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Nov 21 10:17:55 CET 2006
Criticism mounts over Birmingham's Linux project.
Criticism is mounting over the termination of a large-scale Linux
project in Birmingham, England.
By Richard Thurston, ZDNet UK.
Birmingham City Council pulled the plug on its 535,000 pounds
open-source pilot after its analysis concluded that it was cheaper to
upgrade to a Microsoft-based platform than proceed with open source.
The council planned to roll out Linux software and applications on 1,500
desktops in libraries across the city, but in the end went no further
than a 200-desktop project. Several industry watchers have voiced their
concerns about the project, particularly around the number of PCs rolled
out. Birmingham's expenditure averaged over 2,500 pounds per PC.
"That's ridiculous," said Eddie Bleasdale, the owner of open-source
consultancy NetProject and an early participant in the project. "It's an
unbelievable cock-up... They decided to do it all themselves, without
expertise in the area," he added, saying that a lack of skills in open
source and secure desktops would undoubtedly have raised costs.
Birmingham pulled the plug on the Linux trial after it found that an
upgrade to Windows XP would have been 100,000 pounds cheaper than
deploying a Linux desktop.
Mark Taylor, whose Open Source Consortium also exited the project in the
early stages, said: "I have no idea how anyone could spend half a
million pounds on 200 desktops, running free software".
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