Linux News Today: UK Government Kicks Out Microsoft Office and Adopts LibreOffice
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.
Microsoft is taking a big hit
It’s difficult for Microsoft to keep pace with a free office suite. Collabora is not selling the UK Government anything, but they are hired to provide technical assistance and support. It’s not free, but it’s a lot cheaper than paying for licenses and support at the same time.
“UK Government buyers have signed a new commercial deal for Open Source office applications on desktop, mobile, and cloud. The ‘Cloud Transition Agreement’ between the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), an executive arm of the Cabinet Office, and British Open Source software firm Collabora Productivity, states the Government’s commitment to Open Source and Open Document Format, and offers major cost savings for public sector bodies,” is noted in the official announcement.
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.