Spanish Administration and the cost of Windows

The blog “Nación Red” has published an article revealing how much the Spanish Administration spent on Windows Licences. This is public information, available through the BOE (Official Bulletin of the State), but a member of the Spanish Pirate Party has taken the time to put together some data. The list reveals an expense of more than 30 million euros in the last 15 months. That’s just for Windows licences, and the list only covers 19 institutions – a small part of all the city halls, agencies, institutes and administrations existing in Spain. 

30 million euros is quite a bit. Especially when there are free alternatives available, based on Linux. I know there are limitations when using Linux, but a lot of the administration’s computers are mainly used to write documents, make calculations and run searches in databases, tasks perfectly doable with Linux.  Even if there are some limitations, Spain is being hit hard by the economic crisis and the administration is cutting budgets and applying polemic measures to reduce expenses (recently, the speed limit was taken down from 120 km/h to 110 in order to save energy!). So, the cost of Windows becomes an illogical waste of money.

Actually most of the administration could work in cloud computing based systems. Since the complex software would be working in the cloud and the information saved in external servers, the computers would only have to run an Internet browser, which means the administration could use cheaper computers.  And what is more important, using cloud computing would not only save a lot of resources, but would also be a good step towards open government: all public information could be centralized, standardized and made easily accessible via web.

One thought on “Spanish Administration and the cost of Windows”

  1. Lástima que este tipo de temas no pasen a ser considerados en la Administración Pública, la austeridad debería incluir también la ofimática general, pero de nuevo, la optimización de recursos no es algo característico de la Administración…

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