In Oregon we are by no means strangers to Technology in fact many Tech companies called Oregon home to their Data Centers and offices where developers are creating the next innovative product. Despite our state being welcoming to tech companies our local and state government is really not doing a good job at adopting Free Open Source Software which powers so many of the successful tech companies in our state.
Considering the Economic woes our state and country faces you would think that now would be the best time for local government at the city, county and state level to start reducing their proprietary software licensing and support costs by implementing Open Source alternatives such as Ubuntu for the desktop and server, Thunderbird for e-mail, Firefox for Web Browsing and WordPress and Drupal for government websites.
There is no doubt that Oregon could save millions and its towns and cities could save millions which could then be pumped back into Education and other crucial Social programs.
But instead of adopting Open Source governments in Oregon continue to mostly shun it or use it as little as possible. A good example is non-profit FreeGeek has a contract with the City of Portland in which they get used City computers and hardware and refurbish them and install Ubuntu but must distribute those refurbished machines to local schools however the Portland Public School system has not yet requested any of these computers for their classrooms and students.
How can local schools do teacher layoffs and cut programs yet turn down free computers and technology that would save the millions from their budget over time. Since this is clearly not a new problem its important for the potentially millions of Oregonian’s who use Open Source everyday to encourage their local government to start adopting Open Source and save money and get amazing results much like the City of Skalica in Slovakia that cut 70% of their IT costs by switching to Ubuntu the Free Open Source alternative to proprietary Operating Systems like Windows and MacOSX.
Should your government try to create savings by adopting cost saving open source software?