“At our most recent round of usability testing, for example, many participants came to the sessions already aware of the project. Several of them said amazing things about how it was making their working lives easier as well as teaching them things they never knew about government (some even said they’d like to spend spare time just clicking around). In the round before that, the research company told us it was the most positive response to user testing they had ever experienced.
What we are building is not only world class, but a world first. The governments of New Zealand, Croatia, Sweden and Norway have told us they intend to reuse aspects of what we have built, from the design down to the entire codebase.”
See. FLOSS and openness works. You can do it as well. Just use Free/Libre Open Source Software and GNU/Linux operating systems. I have often set up such systems in schools and people enjoyed the freedom to do what they wanted with IT, freed from restrictive EULAs and malware. In one school, every student and staff had an account with their own webpage, access to all the usual desktop stuff and many databases overflowing with useful data. Compare that with the usual stuff from M$ just sitting their waiting for people to type stuff not knowing when the system will pause or freeze. I have worked in schools where staff were fearful to click on an HTML link using XP. With Free Software users are limited only by their imaginations and they romp around the pasture when they realize they can do anything they put their minds to do.
I recommend using Debian GNU/Linux because it works just to save shopping for a distro although that can be fun too. Some schools are set up to allow users to choose a distro and get it on the next reboot. I like to make individual configurations for users. It’s not hard with systems like Sabayon. One could even arrange that users would be able to publish their configurations and have users choose any of them to be theirs. Compare that flexibility with the rigidity of that other OS. To think that people actually pay extra for that other OS is simply sad. It’s like a billion people paying to be locked up.