M$ Drives Away Another Big Customer

I remember being driven away by M$’s crapware which didn’t work for me and my students. Now,“The German city of Leipzig is switching to using open source suites of office productivity tools: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It expects that in the first five years the anticipated savings will be swallowed by the exit costs associated with the proprietary software used by the city. Starting in 2017, however, the city expects to lower its IT costs by some 100,000 euro, says Lars Greifzu, responsible for marketing and sales at Lecos, the city-owned IT service provider.” the city of Leipzig is being driven away by licensing which didn’t work for them. M$ audited them and demanded a “fine”.

See, even, M$ calls its licences a tax, extortionate demands for permission to use a customer’s own hardware and data. What surprises me in all this is that Leipzig is only considering changing the office suite to FLOSS and not the OS along with it. A lot of M$’s lock-in comes from the office suite. Leipzig could get the same benefit they see from escaping lock-in in office suites by escaping lock-in in operating systems. Well, first things first. I expect that Leipzig will discover it costs a lot less to escape lock-in in office suites than they figure. Munich set a good example by not needing to use all of the budget for “retraining”freeing minds from slavery. It’s a GUI after all.

See Leipzig is switching to open source office suites.

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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13 Responses to M$ Drives Away Another Big Customer

  1. Mats Hagglund wrote, “I’ve no idea why Wikimedia have put iPhone and iPad on that segment.”

    I tend to ignore those myself… but you’re right. They don’t really belong in non-mobile and that makes a difference. I don’t understand how Apple gets so much respect in some quarters. If you look at some of the emerging markets, Apple barely rates a blip. It’s as if established markets never needed establishment by Apple. I blame education in the old days for indoctrinating kids into Apple as they later did into Wintel… Many schools in the old days didn’t really have a choice about hardware but they certainly could have chosen GNU/Linux with the buying power they had. That’s history. Can’t undo it but the damaged people are beginning to die off. I am old enough not to have been infected by Apple or Wintel in K-12 but now many who have are past their prime. It’s the young folks who will save the world and many of them have never owned a Wintel PC.

  2. Mats Hagglund says:

    If you are excluding iPhone and iPad in that “non-mobile” segment you get 2.1% marketshare for Linux.

    I’ve no idea why Wikimedia have put iPhone and iPad on that segment.

  3. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser remember Microsoft counts machines that are not always connected to the network. Redhat active Licensing can be done by software. Microsoft where inactive have to be counted cannot be done by software without risk of error.

    DrLoser please explain how your 500 line program is going to cope with the off-line auditing requirement of Microsoft licensing. 500 line program can cope with Redhat, Orcale, Ubuntu…. Licensing.

  4. DrLoser wrote, “there are actually free (as in no-cost) tools out there that automate auditing over the network”.

    I know that but I was working for my employer and not M$. Why should we do auditing to protect M$’s interests when we could run FLOSS and protect our own? Further, that other OS was not giving useful service with vulnerability to malware constantly requiring intervention.

    Today, I saw my first instance of malware on a GNU/Linux system. It was some .exe crapware that my wife downloaded and ran with Wine… It was trying to push her to “register” for a service it could not offer. It was giving false reports of so many infections of this kind and that and she wasn’t even running that other OS. I deleted the infection and Wine. I only installed Wine because she wanted to run some other application. M$’s OS is a burden on IT globally. Never have so many been harmed so much by so few.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Considering that there are actually free (as in no-cost) tools out there that automate auditing over the network, Robert, I suggest your experience is at best out of date. And because all the relevant information sits in the registry, I think I could hack up a quick 500 line program that would do the job without even bothering to look for a “professional” solution.

    As for oiaohm’s usual snivelling nonsense: I calculated the €25 license per desktop/work station from the cite:

    [Leipzig] expects that in the first five years the anticipated savings will be swallowed by the exit costs associated with the proprietary software used by the city. Starting in 2017, however, the city expects to lower its IT costs by some 100,000 euro, says Lars Greifzu…

    I’m not the one making assumptions here. I’m only using the data in front of me. And incidentally there is no mention of servers anywhere in the cite, so that’s another detail that oiaohm is making up out of thin air.

    Seems to me that Mr Greifzu is your typical bog-standard amateur incompetent who can’t run a proper system audit to save his life, has a bee in his bonnet, and wants to save his worthless hide by promoting a “solution” which is no sort of solution at all.

    And I’ve wondered about that, frankly. Perhaps we don’t need M$ licenses. But, if so, why do we need a third-party “desktop administrator” at all?

    I am 100% certain that anybody competent to work with LibreOffice is equally competent to install and maintain it on their own, without paying Herr Greifzu’s pointless salary.

    One more thing about this heinous auditing issue: if it’s so tough, why are there only scattered cases like the incompetent Herr Greifzu and the late, lamented Ernie Balls who can’t get it right?

    I mean, you’d expect thousands of organisations … tens of thousands, maybe. And yet there are so few actual quoted instances.

    I wonder why that could be? (Cue tin-foil hat, oiaohm. Screw it on tight!)

  6. Mats Hagglund wrote, ” I calculated the pc results showing 2.1% for Linux, 8.4% for Mac and 3.6% for “others” “

    Good news: Small cheap computers get 36.5%. Non-mobile gets 63.5%. In non-mobile, */Linux gets 1.06% or 1.66% of non-mobile by bc… Of all categories, */Linux gets 12.24% of which Android/Linux is 10.98%. That leaves 1.04% for GNU/Linux. I am not sure what Mats means by 2.1% for “Linux”.

  7. Mats Hagglund says:


    Windows got new low point of wiki seach (43.28%). I calculated the pc results showing 2.1% for Linux, 8.4% for Mac and 3.6% for “others” (likely combination of Linux, Mac, FreeBSD others non Windows).
    Windows pc got 85.9% which is 3.6% less than in 2009. So some 50 million pc:s have been switched from Windows to others if we are following those wiki seach figures.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson decent companies that work by hardware count it is possible to be refunded for missing machines as long as you can document when they went missing.

    Hardware count licenses I am refering to is not hardware bound licenses. For tax you are meant todo yearly inventories. Companies like redhat nicely align renewals with tax time. Redhat and Ubuntu you take you inventory count and compare to paid licensing if it matches up no problems. If it does not just pay the difference and they are happy. Server failed and you replace it hardware count has not changed.

    Ok to be correct there are three types of licenses I absolutely hate for be problems. “the too many different license for 1 product licensing(MS Office), Hardware bound and User based licenses. Hardware count licenses are workable. Hardware count fit into normal operations for tax.

    Redhat and Ubuntu and Orcale. No stickers. Lost paperwork just log into their site and reprint. Lost install files again log into their site and just download.

    Robert Pogson key thing to me software licensing should fit into general accounting deprecation process. If it does not the software company you are dealing with has too complex of licensing and will drive you nuts. Of course Open Source fits and Ubuntu, Redhat and Orcale Licensing fits. Microsoft eep. Few other companies are also eep.

  9. oiaohm wrote, “I really don’t have problems when they are hardware count licenses”.

    Then you must like being a slave doing work for M$ for $free when machines are retired/replaced/stolen/lost. How many licences are being paid because an organization doesn’t know a machine is missing for months/years? All the mistakes go to the benefit of M$ and “partners”. It’s just not fair. Mistakes happen. Why should users of IT not have a choice of much simpler FLOSS licensing? You have the software and the licence comes with the software. Simple. That’s the right way to do IT.

    e.g. In none of the many schools in which I have worked was there a proper record of licences for that other OS. I attempted to do that at my last school and found it impossible: lost/damaged stickers, lost papers, lost installation media… IT should not be impossible. That makes no sense. I have been in schools where management discovered the problem and “solved” it by relicensing every last copy of M$’s software in the building. Is that the right way to do IT? It would have been much simpler, faster and easier to have switched to GNU/Linux.

  10. oiaohm says:

    Link1 http://www.redhat.com/licenses/GLOBAL_Appendix_1_English_20140414.pdf
    Link2 http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/briefs/remote-desktop-services.aspx the pdf here.

    The big difference is Redhat, Ubuntu, Solarias even Oracle nothing is measured in users. Users get confusing and bad really quickly.

    pogson I really don’t have problems when they are hardware count licenses. User count licenses are problems. New staff come in and old staff leave and magically you can be short with all user counting licenses.

    Link2 Scenario 5: Laptops as Qualified Desktops. Note the requirement that versions of Office must exactly match. Retail editions of Office, and O365 editions don’t install on terminal services. Its very simple to fall into a hole in Microsoft licensing. Client and Server both requiring matching licensing is a major issue. Note the other thing inactive clients have to remain counted.

    Scenario 7: Remote Access from a Home Device notice person working from home requires another license.

    This is just a road full of pot holes. Microsoft produces a lot of documentation every year attempting to explain their nightmare licenses.

    Every product of redhat is explained in 24 pages.

    I really wish Microsoft licensing was really like the summery at the end. 1 license per device of 1 kind of license. There are just too many licenses for MS Office with too many if doing X you require Y if doing A require B. If you are doing X and have license B you are in breach.

    I have no problem with a company trying to make a profit but they don’t have to be confusing like Microsoft licensing is.

  11. pogson says:

    DrLoser wrote about the EULA being trivial to understand…

    I did my best to understand it with respect to backing up and restoring XP. The EULA was utterly opaque. e.g. I had a mix of XP Home and XP Pro. Was I OK to use a single image for both? Probably not and because I had some missing stickers I did not know which machine came with what… GPL is much more helpful.

    DrLoser also wrote about auditing PCs being straightforward…

    OK. You have 100 PCs with a few different OS and a dozen random apps on each machine. Each non-FREE licence has different licensing terms. What maths is involved in adding one machine to the fleet? It means checking the sums on every machine in the place and possibly making new purchases. Similarly, any reduction involves likely having a licence paid but not being used. The worst horror is replacing a big chunk of the fleet. The owner of the software may insist new licences be bought for the latest and greatest whether you want it or not. The GPL, OTOH is straightforward.

  12. oiaohm says:


    Dr Loser there is a link under the date. DrLoser learn to quote complete paragraphs.

    However, according to Greifzu’s presentation, a second motivation for Leipzig to switch to LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice was a licence audit in 2010 by the IT vendor of the ubiquitous proprietary office suite. The IT vendor did not accept the licences registered and used by Lecos, and forced Lecos to pay a very high fine. “It seems that the licence model of the big software firms is aimed at raising turnover and profit”, Greifzu said in Dublin. “Worldwide, there are only a handful of persons that can understand and perhaps explain the licence rules.”

    Problem with Microsoft with MS Office you have a error you pay recommend retail not discounted rates DrLoser. Redhat you back pay the difference what ever the error was. Yes Redhat wants to make a profit but it not abusive. Redhat does not have complex contracts either. Count your servers and workstation count your cpu cores and pay the money and you are done with Redhat.

    So the idea that its 25 dollars copy is wrong. Microsoft variable pricing is a very big problem.

    Technically Redhat is not a software firm they are a support company.

    Sorry legal department cannot help you with MS Office licensing. The problem is remote desktop and terminal services and virtualisation…..

    The fact MS Office licensing end up a lot tied to users not numbers of physical hardware you can end up in breach by user actions.

    Leipzig had the issue they believed they had the correct volume of licenses yet due to usage methods they were told they were in breach.

    Both Redhat and Ubuntu are simpler in licenses. Ubuntu is also technically a IT support company. Yes IT support companies normally have simpler contracts compared to IT Software companies.

  13. DrLoser says:

    (See comment on the China thread. Apologies.)

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