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Tony Collins is an investigative and campaigning journalist and former Executive Editor at Computer Weekly. With his friend and colleague David Bicknell he wrote "Crash", which found common factors in the world's largest public and private sector IT-related failures. He wrote "Open Verdict", a book on the strange deaths of defence scientists. He writes, and gives talks, on the tensions and disputes between suppliers and users.

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Free Microsoft upgrade when you threaten open source?

Cabinet Office official suggests Microsoft may offer free upgrades if confronted by open source bid

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Qamar Yunus, assistant director in the Cabinet Office ICT policy team, says that Microsoft provided its software for free when a government department decided to pilot open source LibreOffice as an alternative to upgrading its Microsoft software.

Yunus was making the point that considering open source helps improve competition. He added, though, that open source should be considered properly rather than simply as a negotiating tool, according to Guardian Government Computing.

Yunus was speaking at EHI Live in Birmingham. He said that extensive research has established that neither departments nor system integrators understand open source.

He was also reported as saying that the ‘myth’ that open source was less secure than proprietary had been dispelled, and every government department was now mandated to look at both proprietary and open source software. 

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