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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2011-12-13">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>Helsinki city officials highly satisfied with Free Software</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>Helsinki city officials highly satisfied with Free Software</h1>
  9. <p>City officials in Helsinki, Finland, are overwhelmingly
  10. satisfied after trying
  11. out the Free Software office suite OpenOffice.org on their laptops. 75% of 600
  12. officials have been using OpenOffice.org exclusively since February, as part of
  13. a pilot project where the city installed the program on 22,500 workstations.</p>
  14. <p>
  15. In the spring of 2011, the city installed the Free Software office suite
  16. OpenOffice on 22,500 desktops. On the laptops of 600 officials, it was
  17. deployed as the only office suite. Even though these latter users only received
  18. a written manual and no actual training, still 75 % of the users where
  19. satisfied. The pilot project is based on an initiative by Helsinki city council
  20. member Johanna Sumuvuori.
  21. </p>
  22. <p>
  23. "This feedback is very encouraging. We congratulate the City of
  24. Helsinki on its successful pilot project, and hope others will follow,"
  25. comments Otto Kekäläinen, the Free Software
  26. Foundation Europe's coordinator for Finland. "Free Software means
  27. that public bodies no longer depend on a single vendor, and don't have
  28. to pay monopoly prices for their software and services anymore. This
  29. is a crucial difference in these economically straightened times."
  30. </p>
  31. <p>
  32. The key reason why some users were not satisfied were difficulties in opening
  33. files generated with the proprietary Microsoft Office. Yet according to a
  34. Twitter messages from Helsinki city transport board member Mirva
  35. Haltia-Holmberg, most of these interoperability issues would be solved if all
  36. users learned to save their files in the correct format.
  37. </p>
  38. <p>
  39. Helsinki is far from the only city in Finland to make use of Free Software. In
  40. a similar initiative in Turku city council, Green Party chairman Ville Niinistö
  41. stated: "Migration into free and open source software and operating systems
  42. would save significant amounts of money on the city level. In office software
  43. the move into open souce could be implemented very quickly. Migration into open
  44. source software would also be good for the general development of an
  45. information society, since this type of software makes possible faster and more
  46. free software development."
  47. </p>
  48. <p>
  49. During year 2011 a number of projects have been started to increase of use of
  50. Free Software in the public administration in Finland. Besides Helsinki,
  51. similar initiatives have been undertaken in the city councils of Tampere,
  52. Turku, Paimio and Salo, usually started by the council members. In the spring
  53. of 2011 71 % of members of parliament responded "yes" to the claim that the
  54. state should prefer Free Software (such as GNU/Linux and OpenOffice
  55. <a href="http://www.valo-cd.fi/tutkimukset/pr-finland-2011-04-15-parliament -
  56. candidates-for-foss-(finnish).pdf">in its ICT acquisitions</a>).
  57. </p>
  58. <p>
  59. Finland has been a forerunner in the use of Free Software in the private sector
  60. for years. <a
  61. href="http://www.redhat.com/about/where-is-open-source/activity/">Research
  62. published two years ago</a> by Red Hat and Georgia Tech placed
  63. the Finnish industry first in the world in use of Free Software.
  64. The Finnish Ministry of Defence has been using GNU/Linux in key system since
  65. 2006. The most important argument for the use of GNU/Linux was security. The
  66. Finnish Ministry of Justice has migrated into OpenOffice in 2007. Schools
  67. around Finland have been saving significant amounts of money by moving to the
  68. Linux Terminal Server Project.
  69. </p>
  70. <p>
  71. <i> <a name="freesoftware">Find out why at FSFE, <a href="/activities/whyfs/whyfs.en.html">we speak
  72. about Free Software</a> rather than "open
  73. source"</a></i>
  74. </p>
  75. </body>
  76. <tags>
  77. <tag key="front-page"/>
  78. <tag key="fi"/>
  79. <tag key="procurement"/>
  80. </tags>
  81. </html>
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