Microsoft has enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the office productivity software sector for more than two decades.
This has resulted in the public sector, businesses and individuals paying way over the odds for standard software, while many other applications used for business are available for free, or a much lower cost.
Relying on proprietary file formats and licencing, Microsoft has managed to protect this dominant market position, as organisations have felt that the Office suite was the only option available to them.
There are now multiple productivity suites capable of using Microsoft file formats, and the advent of application delivery through the cloud essentially means the traditional software licence as we know it is dead.
Alternatives to Microsoft are now available, and organisations need to start to wean themselves from this dependency on big IT vendors and explore other software solutions.
It's good to see the UK government leading the way in adopting open source to save money, collaborate more effectively and be more flexible. UK businesses also stand to gain if they follow suit.
Rafael Laguna is chief executive of Open-Xchange
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