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Federal IT managers increasingly considering Linux, says panel

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An increasing number of federal information technology systems are being migrated from proprietary Unix systems to open-source Linux systems and desktops in order to gain quicker upgrades, platform flexibility, increased security, and several other advantages, a trio of IT experts concluded Monday during an online panel discussion.

That was the consensus of top IT experts who recently gathered for an industry summit webcast, "The Case for Linux in the Federal IT Sector," conducted by Larstan Business Reports. Panel members were Paul Smith, Red Hat vice president of government sales operations; Mike Fitzmaurice, Linux business development manager at GTSI; and Scott Ruff, manager of Linux business development at Hewlett-Packard.

In a 2005 Larstan survey of 300 federal IT managers, 63 percent of the respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: "Open source architecture is valuable, and my organization should adopt it."

The primary reason government is attracted to Linux systems and desktops, Fitzmaurice said, is that "the government can adopt these systems faster, and can deploy in much quicker time."

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