Secure Linux desktop begins shipping to UK police force

Friday, 18 October 2002, 2:32 PM EST

A pilot scheme which could see police forces throughout England and Wales switching to Linux desktops has kicked off with delivery of the first systems to the West Yorkshire force. The deployment is taking place under a contract awarded to netproject earlier this year by the UK Police IT Organisation, and if successful will cover over 60,000 desktops. In West Yorks alone the installed base is around 3,500, and a spokesman reckoned that the savings from this would be around £1 million a year.

It is however the approach and architecture of the system that is most interesting, because if it is proven to work for the police, it's likely to open doors for Linux in numerous other areas of UK public service and government. Eddie Bleasdale of netproject calls it the "Secure Open Desktop Architecture." The user-facing part of the system consists of an ultra low cost machine being supplied by the Telford office of Taiwanese company GCI, price £299, including a smart card reader.

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