The NSW Office of State Revenue (OSR) is taking a tough stance against Microsoft’s decision to make the enterprise edition of Windows Vista only available to companies that have signed on to its Software Assurance programme. The tax collection agency has declared it would rather switch desktop operating systems than lock itself into Microsoft’s licensing regime.
Delivering a presentation at the South East Asian Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC 2005) in Sydney, OSR chief information officer Mike Kennedy and the agency’s manager of client services, Pravash Babhoota, confirmed they would start scoping for a move to a Linux desktop within six months.
The OSR collects taxes, levies and duty for the NSW government and is the second biggest revenue authority in Australia after the Australian Taxation Office. Answering directly to the NSW Treasury, OSR has about 600 staff, 200 of them recruited during the past year.
NSW is New South Wales which is the most heavily populated and urbanized state in Australia. It includes Sydney. I’ve mentioned exclusive licensing of certain Vista versions through the Microsoft Software Assurance program previously and it now looks like some campers aren’t happy.