The inaugral LinuxWorld Australia is being held this week, with speakers including Peter Quinn, former CIO of Massachussets who was harassed out of his job by Microsoft. The Sydney Morning Herald marked the occasion with a summation of the state of open source in the country’s public sector…
Also at the conference were representatives of three Australian governments, plus the governments of Malaysia and New Zealand. While the Federal, NSW and WA governments will all be considering cost-effective open source alternatives and gaining the benefit of the experience of people such as Mr Quinn, not one representative of Victoria, Queensland or South Australia will be present. Looking at the list of delegates, there does not even appear to be one junior representative of any of those states.
Is it perhaps too much of a coincidence that the three main states - which appear to have zero interest in exploring the possibilities of open source - are also exclusive Microsoft shops?
Australia’s state government is keen on the idea of open source but is still “twitchy” about the possibility of getting sued, according to Australian IT. However, one manager interviewed for the article blamed the attitude of open source vendors:
“Open-source vendors need to be more business-like,” he says. “We’re interested in a long-term proposition and software that provides value for money.”
Oracle took the opportunity to shore up its OSS credentials by publicising research commissioned by the company suggesting that the growth of Linux will outstrip that of Windows by a factor of three over the next five years.