LibreOffice Installations In EU Governments Approach One Million

“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 government
The 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.

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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3 Responses to LibreOffice Installations In EU Governments Approach One Million

  1. YY says:

    There is an extremely perverse mechanism in the Government. Worldwide, Governments pay billions for M$ Office, and those billions are used to improve M$ Office so M$ can charge again billions. WE PAY TO GET CHARGED!
    If we would have used that money for FOSS/LibreOffice, we would have a free, better, secure and open and trustworthy Office without parallel. Now we have given this money to a criminal extortion organization so they can charge more.
    Luckily, those freedom fighters have given us a very well LibreOffice. But they should have gotten those billions!
    Lets change this perverse cycle. Lets enjoy the anyway inevitable freedom and happiness!

  2. YY wrote, “GAIN FREEDOM: USE FOSS! IT IS OUR TAX MONEY!!!”

    AMEN! The purpose of government is not to prop up some monopoly. It is to do the things that make us stronger, not weaker. Even the government of USA should put its citizens’ interests above M$’s. M$ is not a citizen but a group of citizens who have damaged the economy and many other worthy organizations. They should be penalized, not rewarded for such behaviour. Further, LibreOffice works really well and keeps getting better. Because FLOSS is what it is, governments can actually take some ownership of it and guide its development toward improvements relevant to governmental activities, like “chart styles“. How many programmers would the world’s governments have to hire to fix that problem within a year or so, instead of spending $billions on yet more permissions to use their PCs for word-processing, etc.?

  3. YY says:

    It’s unbelievable that FOSS i.e. LibreOffice is not mandatory with Governments worldwide.
    We know MS Office is expensive, we know that MS Office is extremely unsafe – both with privacy and with viruses – and we know that Microsoft is a Criminal Organization!

    We know that 99,999% of all users don’t use and even don’t know all the functions in MS Excel and we know that only some extremely rare functions in MS Excel are used by some highly specialized users. And we know that only for those extremely rare users of those Excel functions there is reason to use MS Office. NO OTHER USAGE IS JUSTIFIED!

    Get rid of the bugs, get rid of the extortion, get rid of the needless costs, get rid of the viruses, get rid of this M$ criminal organization, get rid of the addiction and GAIN FREEDOM: USE FOSS! IT IS OUR TAX MONEY!!!

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