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Australia’s Ministry of Defence trials OpenOffice

OpenOffice logoThe Department of Defence has stepped up its push for open source software to reduce its A$100 million annual software licensing bill, IT News reports.

Last week, it joined five other Australian government agencies in forming the Open Technology Foundation, which is aimed at facilitating collaboration and interoperable technology in the public sector.

In January this year, the Australian government adopted a more aggressive open source policy and, in accordance with the new policy, Defence tender documents now explicitly state that the Department would consider open source software options alongside proprietary products.

As part of the more accommodating attitude to open source, some 100 defence staff are using the free, open source OpenOffice office suite in a “semi-formal” trial that began a year ago.

Defence chief technology officer Matt Yannopoulos said he launched the trial after using OpenOffice at home.

He said he would consider extending the trial to more users, but was concerned that staff would need to be trained to use OpenOffice should it be deployed more widely.

Read the original IT News report (especially if you’re a UK government minister; you’re being left behind by rest of world + dog. Ed.).