The administration of the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia has completed its switch to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity applications. Last week Friday the region's ICT department announced that the office suite is installed on all of the 120,000 desktop PCs of the administration, including schools and courts. The migration will save the government some 1.5 million euro per year on proprietary software licences.
120,000 with a savings of 1.5m... so they were paying €12.5 per seat for MS office?
That was a nice discount!
How much do we pay?
Per seat per year... I thought usually licences were bought for several years?
Brilliant move, although I was always under the impression that database and spreadsheet functions were not quite as good as in Microsoft Office.. Is that a load of nonsense, or has libreOffice caught up regards functionality?
They probably bought the licences outright, but were paying for the Software Assurance option to be able to update with each new release of Office or alternatively they could have been renting their licences, rather than buying them outright, although I guess it would cost more than 12 euro a year per licence.
For most routine uses, it's a perfectly adequate replacement.
Offline database software like Access and Base are becoming less and less important. I've always found Calc fine as a spreadsheet app, it has all the same sort of functions and features.
It's still used everywhere in my field, but then again there is a slow move to SQL Server in my work (Yay - more MS programs to fight with )
There's probably a cost of implementing / retraining staff / additional support assistance and so forth on libreoffice which affects the overall amount that might be saved and its an incredibly large user base to move - kudos to them - but such charges may mount up if even on a once off basis (retraining for example). Mind you with that number of desktops they probably did get a rather nice deal from their Microsoft vendors originally.
Certainly this is one to look up the details on.
It's always difficult for me to move from excel to another type of spreadsheet. I would consider myself an advanced user and I'm always left disappointed by the shortfall in functionality of open source spreadsheets.
Even if it was the case that the open source variant was lacking in some way ... your are in a tiny percentile, which uses excel for any other than very basic functionality, so it would still make sense to give the 95% the free open source product and spend money on the 5% that might need excel.
Though I doubt there is anything you can do in excel that you cannot achieve in calc. Not that I like using either.