Migration To LibreOffice For The Textbooks

Munich migrated a bunch of things to GNU/Linux from that other OS but the office suite was the biggest/most universal bit of lock-in. The Umbrian region of Italy has documented their migration to LibreOffice which definitely was to save money, lots of money.
“The cost of the migration is calculated to be around €56,000 per thousand workstations while the price of the same number of Microsoft Office licences would amount to €284,490. "That’s what we would have to have paid had we decided to upgrade our licences which, for budget reasons, were stuck on the 2010 version of Office: so it’s roughly a saving of €228,000,"”

This reinforces the argument I have made many times, that whatever the effort required to migrate to FLOSS, it’s worth it because the cost of M$’s licences one time may pay for the migration and the Wintel treadmill goes on forever. Forever multiplied by whatever price M$ wants to charge is far more than the one-time cost of migrating. The biggest migration I ever did broke even on the first day because we were able to buy twice as much equipment with the savings on software licences.

Another quote, documenting the obvious software-bloat in M$’s products: “We found out that most of our users exploit just 15 percent of their productivity suite, but you paying for the other 85 percent as well. It’s just like if you owned a Ferrari and only used it to drive at 30km per hour through the middle of town”

It’s a variation on the “80:20” rule. If you have a few people who actually use M$’s stuff reasonably effectively, it is much cheaper to migrate the rest or retrain those few than to keep everyone using M$’s stuff. I have never known anyone, in my entire career, that used that other OS effectively. I hardly ever saw a user of M$’s office suite that used “full justification”, for instance, because that feature, while available was not the default. It wasn’t even on the menu often. LibreOffice has it a click away. It always seemed bizarre to me that an office suite held to be state-of-the-art so resembled a typewriter. I remember typewriters and I know why the world moved past them.

See 'Like driving a Ferrari at 20mph': Why one region ditched Microsoft Office for LibreOffice.

See also, Regione Umbria awarded for the migration to LibreOffice

See also, LibreUmbria

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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11 Responses to Migration To LibreOffice For The Textbooks

  1. dougman says:

    Linux ATMs are much more secure obviously.

    Now that XP being done away with ATMs will be even more at risk.


    I do know that PetroBras has invested heavily in Linux, and now as they realize they were under the spying eye of the NSA, are looking to bolster their cyber-security and IT infrastructure with more Linux.

    In a few years, no one will want anything to do with M$ due to NSA involvement.

  2. rudregues says:

    dougman, yet another victory to Brazil. If you don’t know two banks (Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil) uses exclusively linux inside it’s atms. Migration started in 2010. Banco do Brasil has near 52 million clients and Caixa has near 58 millions. They are really big and not private banks. Sadly the private banks in majority has M$ junk.

  3. dougman says:

    M$ Office is just a bloated mess, what takes me 90-sec to install or update, it takes almost almost 30-minutes for the bloated mess to complete, take about lots and lots of bloat.

    Now, instead of buy once and installing, M$ wants you to fork over a $100 annually and rent its software, its a smart move for them but one cannot help but laugh.

    Who needs to pay for a sports car when a sedan does just fine for 99% of the population, makes better sense to deploy Libreoffice for the masses in a SMB.


    When I am on my Chromebook, I just use Writebox app and save to my Dropbox account, content comes first then formatting later.

  4. T.R. says:

    Something else that needs migrating:

    95% of ATMs still running Windows XP

  5. ram says:

    In many places, governments at all levels base their procurements ONLY on who gives them the biggest bribe or kickback.
    Without a big corporate “sponsor” it will be very difficult to get Linux into corrupt government organizations.

  6. rudregues wrote, “Never seen a computer with GNU/Linux in normal stores, just websites.”

    Too bad. Brazil make millions of them but perhaps most get sold to government/schools. GNU/Linux needs more salesmen/women.

  7. rudregues says:

    Itautec made a distro called Librix which many OEM’s used in low/mid end notebooks sold in websites. It’s pretty rare nowadays… Dell has some better hardware pre-installed with Ubuntu in their website but no top notebooks.
    Never seen a computer with GNU/Linux in normal stores, just websites. And this becomes even worse because I live in a big city. Rio de Janeiro.
    Chromebooks are very new market here, but I hope it starts to sell more units this year. Some websites are including a filter “Chome OS” alongside with the other OS.
    Here the kids should be the teachers, they don’t have fear to test many OS’s to find one they like. Put a kid in front of any Ubuntu pc and the kid will like it and play with and prefer it over M$ OS. Put an adult and you will hear complaints about “the pc is broken” or “something wrong with this, give me back the old”. Your link is exactly the problem with many adults, they heard much FUD in their life and are afraid to adapt themselves to other system. They will follow the great majority of people. Few exceptions exists of course.

  8. dougman says:

    The IT-IDIOT director, ho-hah *strongly* recommended against such a change…LOL..

    “It might even be illegal for us to remove Microsoft Office or Windows from previously purchased computers, due to the vendor agreement the school district signed with Microsoft.”

    See, I am not the ONLY one that has come across that line. These MicroSh1t suck-ups scream bloody-murder when you even mention the word Linux.

  9. rudregues wrote, “many local governments are opening their eyes to reality”.

    Ken Starks has a piece along those lines. He struggled for years with his local school district which insisted students must buy M$’s office suite licences. He argued, he pleaded, to no avail. They even claimed they had agreement on this policy with M$ but it would cost him $2K to see a copy… Eventually, the school division moved to Google Docs… after wasting untold $millions on non-$free software.

    rudregues, is it possible to buy GNU/Linux systems on retail shelves where you are? Do consumers have a real choice?

  10. rudregues says:

    Of course many local governments are opening their eyes to reality. But even in specific niches, like gaming, we are getting there. Valve is developing an independent-vendor OpenGL debugger for gaming developers. The Linux gaming ecosystem is improving and when it is good enough even games developers will start using more free software.

    I think the open source office ecosystem is mature enough to be adopted (more than games one). It’s just inertia we need win.

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