Leaving its options open

Shortly before Newfoundland’s Information Technology Management Division signed a three-year contract with Microsoft Canada to deploy its Office products, Brian Hunt posted an open letter to premier Danny Williams on the site Linux Today asking his government to reconsider its options. Hunt says

choosing Microsoft over open source software contravenes the objective of the province’s IT procurement policy, which emphasizes maximizing the value of all IT acquisitions.

Harry Hutchings, the IT Management Division’s director, said the government looked at alternative platforms, but the Microsoft contract was cheaper than buying the same software off the shelf. Newfoundland had standing relationship with Ottawa-based Corel, but the de facto standard among federal and provincial governments is Microsoft’s Word, he says. Hutchings is experimenting with programs such as Sun Microsystems’ StarOffice.

“”We’re looking at alternatives just the same as anyone else is,”” he says.

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