"As more and more Microsoft-based skill sets are
acquired, the switching costs become very high -- which is
precisely why Microsoft adopts this tightly-integrated approach.
"This means that, realistically, there is little scope for
swapping in open source solutions to replace those of Microsoft,
even when the total cost of acquiring and running the software is
lower. The re-training costs will always be a barrier.
"But all is not lost. Another thing that emerged from the
meeting was that Newham -- and other councils -- do write their own
software for certain more specialised areas. "