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  2. <html newsdate="2011-12-13">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Helsinki city officials highly satisfied with Free Software</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Helsinki city officials highly satisfied with Free Software</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">City officials in Helsinki, Finland, are overwhelmingly
  9. satisfied after trying
  10. out the Free Software office suite OpenOffice.org on their laptops. 75% of 600
  11. officials have been using OpenOffice.org exclusively since February, as part of
  12. a pilot project where the city installed the program on 22,500 workstations.</p>
  13. <p>
  14. In the spring of 2011, the city installed the Free Software office suite
  15. OpenOffice on 22,500 desktops. On the laptops of 600 officials, it was
  16. deployed as the only office suite. Even though these latter users only received
  17. a written manual and no actual training, still 75 % of the users where
  18. satisfied. The pilot project is based on an initiative by Helsinki city council
  19. member Johanna Sumuvuori.
  20. </p>
  21. <p>
  22. "This feedback is very encouraging. We congratulate the City of
  23. Helsinki on its successful pilot project, and hope others will follow,"
  24. comments Otto Kekäläinen, the Free Software
  25. Foundation Europe's coordinator for Finland. "Free Software means
  26. that public bodies no longer depend on a single vendor, and don't have
  27. to pay monopoly prices for their software and services anymore. This
  28. is a crucial difference in these economically straightened times."
  29. </p>
  30. <p>
  31. The key reason why some users were not satisfied were difficulties in opening
  32. files generated with the proprietary Microsoft Office. Yet according to a
  33. Twitter messages from Helsinki city transport board member Mirva
  34. Haltia-Holmberg, most of these interoperability issues would be solved if all
  35. users learned to save their files in the correct format.
  36. </p>
  37. <p>
  38. Helsinki is far from the only city in Finland to make use of Free Software. In
  39. a similar initiative in Turku city council, Green Party chairman Ville Niinistö
  40. stated: "Migration into free and open source software and operating systems
  41. would save significant amounts of money on the city level. In office software
  42. the move into open souce could be implemented very quickly. Migration into open
  43. source software would also be good for the general development of an
  44. information society, since this type of software makes possible faster and more
  45. free software development."
  46. </p>
  47. <p>
  48. During year 2011 a number of projects have been started to increase of use of
  49. Free Software in the public administration in Finland. Besides Helsinki,
  50. similar initiatives have been undertaken in the city councils of Tampere,
  51. Turku, Paimio and Salo, usually started by the council members. In the spring
  52. of 2011 71 % of members of parliament responded "yes" to the claim that the
  53. state should prefer Free Software (such as GNU/Linux and OpenOffice
  54. <a href="http://www.valo-cd.fi/tutkimukset/pr-finland-2011-04-15-parliament -
  55. candidates-for-foss-(finnish).pdf">in its ICT acquisitions</a>).
  56. </p>
  57. <p>
  58. Finland has been a forerunner in the use of Free Software in the private sector
  59. for years. <a
  60. href="http://www.redhat.com/about/where-is-open-source/activity/">Research
  61. published two years ago</a> by Red Hat and Georgia Tech placed
  62. the Finnish industry first in the world in use of Free Software.
  63. The Finnish Ministry of Defence has been using GNU/Linux in key system since
  64. 2006. The most important argument for the use of GNU/Linux was security. The
  65. Finnish Ministry of Justice has migrated into OpenOffice in 2007. Schools
  66. around Finland have been saving significant amounts of money by moving to the
  67. Linux Terminal Server Project.
  68. </p>
  69. <p>
  70. <i> <a name="freesoftware">Find out why at FSFE, <a href="https://fsfe.org/documents/whyfs.en.html">we speak
  71. about Free Software</a> rather than "open
  72. source"</a></i>
  73. </p>
  74. </body>
  75. <tags>
  76. <tag>front-page</tag>
  77. <tag>fi</tag>
  78. <tag>Free Software</tag>
  79. <tag>Procurement</tag>
  80. </tags>
  81. </html>
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