Freiburg Throws Away €600K

They’ve done it. Freiburg, Germany, has voted 25 to 20 with 2 abstentions to upgrade M$’s office suite rather than or LibreOffice. The twits were using M$ Office 2K and 3.2.1, both obsolete versions… The vote could have been closer because 2 of the “yes” votes were Greens. It could have been 24 to 23 against…

“Although OpenOffice is more popular in Germany than in many other countries, a 2010 study found that only 21 per cent of Germans had OpenOffice installed, compared to 72 per cent for Microsoft Office.”

see German city dumping OpenOffice for Microsoft • The Register

and Majority in Freiburg city council for switch to proprietary software | Joinup.

Some people just cannot do the maths. Whatever pain there is in switching to LibreOffice is one-time only but Freiburg will have to pay M$ ~€100K per annum forever. Anything X forever is more pain.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to Freiburg Throws Away €600K

  1. Lutz D. Meier wrote, “10 Million Euros! When will other German cities wake up? There’s really no excuse anymore to let them waste taxpayer’s money.”

    Indeed. Costs, freedom, independence, open standards, etc. are all sufficient and reasonable motivations for migrating to GNU/Linux or expanding use of GNU/Linux for any individual or organization.

    I have a post on the matter.

    Thanks. I overslept and the world moved on…

  2. Lutz D. Meier says:

    Here’s your next article, Robert:

    Linux in Munich: Over 10 Millions Saved (German)

    The gist of it is: continuing with Windows would’ve cost Munich an additional

    – 5 Million Euros for new hardware,
    – 2.6 Million Euros for Windows licenses, and
    – 4.2 Million Euros for Microsoft Office licenses.

    No licensing and no hardware costs to be paid in the case of Linux means that FLOSS — next to the operating system-independent costs — only caused additional costs of 270,000 Euros for the migration of applications.

    And remember that the Mayor a few months back estimated that Munich merely saved about 4 Millions Euros with Linux.

    10 Million Euros! When will other German cities wake up? There’s really no excuse anymore to let them waste taxpayer’s money.

  3. kozmcrae wrote, “Why pay for full page ads when you have the Web?”

    People notice full-page ads, even the media. Believe it or not there are still 10-20% of people who do not browse the web, mostly elderly folks who do have firm ideas about fiscal responsibility. Inform them that their local taxes are being scattered to the wind for no reason and all heck could break loose. Sometimes local leaders do terribly foolish things because they think they will “get away with it”. Sometimes it only takes one newbie reporter to catch wind of something to cause a reversal. When enough politicians get the question thrown at them, they might think how foolish they look allowing the employees to dictate IT-policy to the city. Even if the issue is not reverted, people will know it will not be easy to do something like this in the future. It is particularly worthwhile complaining when the margin of error was so small. This could well be part of a future election campaign platform.

  4. kozmcrae says:

    dougman wrote:

    “Taxpayers should vote out the members that voted for this and make sure it is known why they are voting against them.”

    Unfortunately the taxpayers aren’t any more informed than the city officials. As for the full page ads, I think any reports in the news should carry a link to a web page explaining the different choices available and the costs involved. Why pay for full page ads when you have the Web?

    It comes down to informing the right people and keeping Microsoft’s influence at bay. That’s the tough one. Microsoft is a master at influence.

  5. dougman says:

    Ignoramus’s they were using a 12-year old M$ product and a 2-year old Open Offiuce suite, of course things are gonna not work right. You cannot mix Ford and Chevy parts and expect the car to run do you?

    Lets see, LibreOffice Stable release 3.6.3 came out at 1 November 2012. They should have rolled out Libreoffice and saved a half-million euros, guess they like blowing money.

    Taxpayers should vote out the members that voted for this and make sure it is known why they are voting against them. Wasteful spending shall not be tolerated.

    What they should have done:

    1. Upgrade everyone to Libreoffice, removing OpenOffice and M$ 2K.

    2. Build a internal wiki with instructions on how to use the software.

    3. Mandate that all files are an OPEN format: ODT, ODS, etc.

    4. All prior documents, if any, get converted to the new OPEN format.

    5. Outside the organization, users are directed to the latest version of LibreOffice.

    6. Complainers are reminded, why this path was taken.

    7. Run a full page advertisement in the paper for one week, describing what was done, why and how this will save the city money over the next 10-years.

  6. ram says:

    It goes to show that even Greens representatives can be bribed.

    What Freiburg needs is an effective internal audit department. Obviously they don’t have one.

  7. kozmcrae says:

    To choose Microsoft is its own punishment. They will have to hone the art of denial. To pay Microsoft year after year for the same thing that other municipalities are getting for free will take a lot of artful (read BS) justification. It should make for good reading. I’m looking forward to it.

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