"Ridiculous" for govts to push open source: Analyst

Efforts to legislate the use of open-source software in government agencies has been criticised by a veteran IT researcher.

Efforts to legislate the use of open-source software in government agencies has been criticized by a veteran IT researcher.

"Legislation for open source is ridiculous," said Bruce McCabe, managing director of research firm S2 Intelligence.

Why should open-source software get preferential treatment in government, McCabe asked.

He said it's imperative for the purchasing habits of government agencies to change. "It's about education and not legislation," he told reporters at an IT conference in Brisbane.

Several states and politicians are pushing to mandate or "consider" open-source software during IT buying cycles.

On the SCO Group's actions against open source, McCabe said IT managers in Australia are not losing sleep over the company's threats. "[If anything] SCO has cut their own throats by threatening their customers," said McCabe.

Meanwhile, interviews with 70 Australian CIOs conducted by S2 Intelligence revealed different "maturity levels" for Linux adoption in enterprises.

"They [CIOs] are happy with Linux on servers because it lowers cost but on the client side, the jury is still out," McCabe said.

He added that there won't be any meaningful presence of Linux on desktops for at least two years.

Only three percent of the top 1,000 companies in Australia have Linux installed on the desktop but it's mostly in the education sector, he said.

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