Re: Playing the long game.
"you'd free from vendor lock-in forever"
Unfortunately, whilst a noble goal, its not the OS that is preventing migration, in a lot of cases its clinical applications that have not been updated, tested and certified to run on Win 7 or something else.
It would be the same with any other OS. If a clinical application had been written in 2000 to run on RedHat7, it's unlikely that app could be moved today to Ubuntu 13 and just work. Would you trust your life on the results from whatever device was connected?
Admittedly if the clinical applications were also open-source, there would be less of a problem.
Unfortunately the history of very many of the NHS clinical applications is
1. Highly specialised clinical expert sees a lack of software for their discipline.
2. The clinician learns a bit of programming or works with a programming friend and develops the software.
3. Working in the field, the clinician meets lots of other like-minded clinicians and sells the software directly, bypassing any NHS purchasing requirements for supportability / maintainability etc. Clinical departments not only have their centrally funded budget, they have money given to them in wills etc. that they can spend as they want with no IT involvement.
4. 10 years later, the clinician has made his money and no longer supports the application, having retired at 50 to somewhere sunny. Unfortunately the app only runs on WinXP