“Total cost of ownership (including exit costs) must continue to be considered by government organisations on a case by case basis. In the same way, transition costs from current technology to meet ODF requirements cannot be included in cost assessments, as they represent the cost of vendor lock-in.”
See Costs and benefits of ODF – Open Document Format (ODF): guidance for UK governmentThe government of the UK, in its guidance on using ODF (Open Document Format) surveys usage of ODF and LibreOffice by EU governments. Usage is huge and widespread and profitable. Lately, The Netherlands is considering making ODF mandatory in government. That this was obvious to me 15 years ago but is now being acknowledged shows the depth of lock-in M$ has caused in the world but, in 2015, folks are now running on the sandy beaches instead of in neck-deep water. The world is finally being freed. Better late than never.
ODF was not visible back in 1999 when I first used GNU/Linux but I had already used StarOffice. It worked for us and saved a bundle of money and headaches obtaining M$’s office suite. When OpenOffice.org became available in 2002, I made a few installations the first day and was annoyed for a year or so with crashes. By the time ODF and LibreOffice became available, both were slick and reliable tools of IT usable by everyone.
I saved myself and my employers $thousands by using OpenOffice.org and then LibreOffice. A million or so installations in EU governments must be saving them hundreds of millions of dollars. On the grand scale of things that’s not huge but it’s money better spent paying down debt, paying teachers, soldiers, or just holding the line on the burden of taxes. Then there’s the ease of sharing documents facilitated by a proper open standard. It’s all good. Better, using LibreOffice on That Other OS is a gateway to using GNU/Linux instead, another very large saving which can also boost local economies by making and distributing software locally instead of being locked in to a single supplier. That’s the right way to do IT.