US Navy's new policy: Only open software

The US Navy is betting the farm on open source and open standards. Why aren't enterprises following suit in greater numbers?

The US Navy just announced a bold IT policy: no more proprietary software:

"The days of proprietary technology must come to an end," [Vice Admiral Mark Edwards, deputy chief of naval operations for communications] said. "We will no longer accept systems that couple hardware, software and data."

The reasons? Innovation and cost are considered superior when delivered by open source and open standards:

"We can't accept the increasing costs of maintaining our present-day capabilities," Edwards said. "In the civilian marketplace, it's just the opposite. Some private-sector concerns are cutting their costs by 90 percent while expanding their performance."

Edwards goes on to suggest that staying ahead of the IT innovation game is a matter of national security. The same holds true for private enterprises: those that dump money into the trash can of proprietary software are doing themselves and their customers a disservice.

The open-source savvy shall inherit the earth.

Via John Scott's blog.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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