e-democ / e-gov

The Story of Newham Council

IT journalists had their laptops purring in anticipation over Newham's press conference on their decision to stay with Microsoft. El Reg covers the conference with their usual jocular style including the giggles over claims that Microsoft was more secure than Open Source alternatives. Oh and Newham will be using Internet Explorer because Microsoft are serious about dealing with its security issues despite not having released a new version of IE in how long…?

KableNET also cover the Newham saga including details of the little TabletPC trial with social workers. Very sexy but really a distraction from the main event – a Cap Gemini report which inexplicably finds Microsoft to be cheaper and more secure. Yes Open Source would have a large migration cost for those using Microsoft today, but few people can seriously consider a Microsoft-funded report claiming security and low cost.

Of course, despite 'butter wouldn't melt in my mouth' denials to the contrary, Newham used the Open Source trials to negotiate a better deal from Microsoft. It's just that Microsoft don't want everyone to know better prices are available otherwise their profit margins will drop alarmingly.

Personally I'm not surprised Newham stuck with Microsoft, it's a low-risk, low-cost option (once you've done some negotiating) whereas Open Source is still a gargantuan changeover for most organisation. Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, a recent study I did for a start-up showed that MacOS X was the cheapest platform to go for when including software, hardware and support costs. Vive la difference!