If your government quits spending money on expensive proprietary software licenses, then your taxes might go down, or at least not go up.

Using Linux-based operating systems instead of Windows in the military and other government offices would be a very cost-effective measure.

However, this fails to take into account that the government will instead of spending $200 per machine for licensing of assorted pre-existing commercial software, will instead have to spend millions of dollars hiring people to write the software that they need that does not exist on Linux. It also does not take into account the time it takes to retrain the entire government workforce to use the new operating system and software. Nor does it take into account the retraining of the sysadmins and reworking of network architectures.

Don't get me wrong, I use Linux on my machine. However, there is an incredible cost in switching installed bases. Microsoft Word has had years of market acceptance. It has had hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of developer hours put into its existing state. It is far from perfect. Yet to bring another piece of software to a similar state will likely take similar amounts of work.

Yes, Linux and other open source operating systems have an extremely powerful developer group behind them. Still, the nature of open source does not lead itself well to accepting business requirements from people. Nor has it had about 20 years of evolution of interface and functionality. Open source leads to extremely good programs to fill an arbitrary problem that takes the interest of the developers - it does not fix problems that don't interest the developers.

The point I'm trying to make is that money will be spent one way or another. It will either be spent on 'expensive' propriety software licenses, or 'expensive' software developers, training, and re-tooling of long ingrained processes. The government is a very slow beast to turn around. And yet, I doubt that a few million in software licenses will make much of a dent in the entire budget that deals with numbers in the trillions (millions of millions).

I'd much rather have the government work efficiently than cheaply.

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't have all three)
--RFC 1925 (The Twelve Networking Truths)

This can be applied to the government processes also.

Linux is free, Windows is not.

Windows could be claimed as a deductable, Linux could not (as its free).

I fail to see how GNU/Linux could reduce MY taxes (It would instead reduce my direct out-of-pocket expenses, but not taxes).

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