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LiMux Project Has Saved Munich €10m So Far

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the freedom-hating-socialists dept.

Government 219

Mojo66 writes "After project savings had been estimated to amount to at least €4 million in March, more precise figures are now in: Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city's own Linux platform. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million. The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich's city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Overall, the project says that Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost just over €34 million, while Windows with Open Office would have cost about €30 million. The LiMux scenario, on the other hand, has reportedly cost less than €23 million. A detailed report (in German) is available."

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hope it's true (4, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42075353)

I hope the numbers hold water because that would make a great research case (all info has been public from the begining)

Re:hope it's true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075449)

Is Munich full of Jews or something? Why not just pay for Windows which is far superior to Linsux. The productivity of your workers will go up when using good software rather than open sores junk. And don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee, you cocksmoking teabaggers!

Re:hope it's true (-1, Flamebait)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42075617)

I'm sorry, I thought that "Cocksmoking teabaggers" was a US political party, not a German one?

Re:hope it's true (5, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42075703)

Is Munich full of Jews or something?

Note that in Israel, people use more than 90% Windows and negligible amount of Linux. [statcounter.com] Given that there's probably no place with a higher percentage of Jews than Israel, clearly Windows is the favourite operating system of Jews. Not that it matters.

And don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee, you cocksmoking teabaggers!

"Teabaggers" refers to Tea Party movement members. Those are the far right wing of the US. Given that even the US left wing is right wing from European view, but Munich is governed by Social Democrats, i.e. left wing from European view, I'd say they are as far from being Teabaggers as they can be (OK, not really; "Die Linke" would be even more left-wing, as the name already tells: It is German for "The Left"). You are so completely off, that's not even funny. Could you not at least have taken the "communist" stereotype?

But maybe it's just that you lack miR-941 :-)

Re:hope it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076265)

The T.E.A. bagger movement is based on Taxed Enough Already. It is at its heart a tax protest.

Comparing European taxes to American taxes, I don't think there is anyway on God's Green Earth, that Europeans can conceive what they are about. So best to leave that out.

In the long run, say the next two decades as track record is built up, it will be interesting to see how the German experience with Linux works out. Until then, I would reserve my opinion.

Re:hope it's true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076313)

"Teabaggers" refers to Tea Party movement members.

Actually, this also refers to gay men who like to dunk their testicles in another man's mouth.

Re:hope it's true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076533)

tomayto, tomahto.

Re:hope it's true (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42075939)

I see several possibilities here.

1: AC is just retarded.
2: AC is a Microsoft troll
3: AC is a racist bitch who needed only the flimsiest excuse to slam Jews.
4: AC is a software salesman in Munich who lost a lot of money to LiMux
5: AC is simply so small minded that he doesn't understand what ten million Euros are worth

Anyway, moving past AC's tantrum, I wonder if the full saving are being reported? What does it cost for anti-virus protection, in an organization that size? Kaspersky, or Symantec, or whoever, doesn't just give away their software to big cities, do they? Other malware protections, like Spybot S&D have to be purchased, unless they are for personal home use. Not to mention that it takes a lot of IT time to cleanse and restore systems that have been FUBAR'd by malware.

The report seems to just skirt around that little issue. It's possible that they are assuming that all of the updated/upgraded Windows computers would have been running Microsoft's own Security Essentials, instead of a third party application.

Re:hope it's true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076357)

I see several possibilities here.

I see another possibility. Cocksucker1956 gets a raging hard-on when he thinks about licking the toejam from Richard Stallman's crusty feed. By the way, your son is a faggot. I bet you're proud of that!

Re:hope it's true (1)

xlsior (524145) | about a year ago | (#42076673)

Note that Microsoft Security essentials is only 'free' if you install it on 10 other less computers in an organization; more than that requires additional licensing.

Re:hope it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076797)

6: All of the above.

Re:hope it's true (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#42076955)

1: AC is just retarded.
2: AC is a Microsoft troll
3: AC is a racist bitch who needed only the flimsiest excuse to slam Jews.
4: AC is a software salesman in Munich who lost a lot of money to LiMux
5: AC is simply so small minded that he doesn't understand what ten million Euros are worth

I am open to the possibility that he/she is all of the above.

Yippiii (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076317)

Windows == Nazi Operating System. Keep saying that !

ROTFLMAO! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076561)

I am going to write a new tune called "When Munich was full of jews" - The line immediately proceeding that one? "You knew the world was over..." lol - yes, yes, "twill be VeRy-MeTaL" as befits a tune about a post-apocalyptic dystopian future age!

Re:hope it's true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076215)

Nah, it's not true. This disaster has been documented from the very start. Legions of gold plated linux consultants became VERY wealthy from this. However, they had to keep "moving the goal posts" to make it look like it wasn't an epic failure.

You Mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076717)

..some German Software-Meisters took a part of the money that should have gone to the Masters of Monopoly, Masters Of Cornering Markers, Masters Of selling half-baked crap ? You mean Bill gates can't shaft the people of Munich so that he can "invest" millions into this "philantrophic" projects ? Horrible Indeed !

Re:hope it's true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076239)

They report has 15,000 Windows upgrades costing 4.2 Million Euros, or 280 Euros each. That is $362 for each office suite. I can find 1 copy of Office Pro for $179, and 3 copies for $350.

Here's the link: http://www.softwareking.com/office-2010-pro.html

Something smells fishy.

Re:hope it's true (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42076387)

They report has 15,000 Windows upgrades costing 4.2 Million Euros, or 280 Euros each. That is $362 for each office suite. I can find 1 copy of Office Pro for $179, and 3 copies for $350.

Here's the link: http://www.softwareking.com/office-2010-pro.html [softwareking.com]

Something smells fishy.

Does your figure include Windows + MS office + windows server & CALs (AD, WSUS, SCCM, etc) + whatever else you need to run an all-MS network? You're not going to install 15,000 desktops by buying 15,000 discount install disks online.

Re:hope it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076581)

I'd bet the München help desk could compete on the European level in marathon once they have supported 15000 individual discount installs for a couple of years.

Re:hope it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42077057)

That was the price the quoted for Office alone. Servers etc are elsewhere in the PDF.

They are saying they pay way more than retail for a volume license for Office. It doesn't make sense.

Re:hope it's true (2, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42076355)

If they're true Microsoft will whatever it takes to either silence them or make theirs cheaper. Personally I think their lower pricing for Windows 8 should be considered along the lines of dumping already.

Cancelled (1, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#42075363)

I thought I heard that the project had been cancelled because of problems in dealing with proprietary file formats (Word, etc). Was that somewhere else?

Re:Cancelled (1, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42075421)

Re:Cancelled (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42075453)

D'oh, that's Freiburg. I put Munich in my search Google!!!

Re:Cancelled (4, Informative)

ilguido (1704434) | about 2 years ago | (#42075653)

Freiburg != Munich

Re:Cancelled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42077083)

by GameboyRMH on Friday November 23, @01:28PM
D'oh, that's Freiburg. I put Munich in my search Google!!!

by ilguido on Friday November 23, @01:51PM
Freiburg != Munich

Way to point out the obvious and already pointed out :P

Linux Can't Bribe (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076793)

..and of course It Can't Kick Back. The severest deficiency of all in the world of business and government.

Re:Cancelled (3, Informative)

Dupple (1016592) | about 2 years ago | (#42075429)

I think you're thinking of Freiburg

http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/3411884/openoffice-dumped-as-freiburg-plots-return-to-microsoft/ [techworld.com]

It was on /. but I can't seem to find the story

Re:Cancelled (4, Funny)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#42075845)

Freiburg found that Microsoft would pay them well not to be a free burg any longer...

Hard to ask this... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075387)

...without sounding like a shill, but I'm really curious if the end result works just as well. If all your people are are trained on Windows and Office, switching to Linux and OpenOffice will have an associated cost in terms of retraining and reduced productivity while people become proficient in the new software, right? I don't read German, so I have no idea if those numbers are included in the final cost. And I think it's great that they are showing that home grown Linux can be cheaper (for their needs). I'm just wondering what the *real* cost is in the short term.

Re:Hard to ask this... (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42075439)

Look at it this way, can it be worse than Microsoft's switch to a ribbon interface? (And now brace for tiles...)

Re:Hard to ask this... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#42075789)

and the ribbon interface adds lots more clicks and finding what you need becomes a lot more effort as you have more than one interface to search.

Re:Hard to ask this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42077035)

it's easier to google what you need to find than look on that ribbon... talk about a brutal interface change

Stupid to ask it. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075451)

Since you can't have been Proficient in Windows 7 until it was released in 2011, staying on Windows would have cost you in terms of retraining and reduced productivity while people become proficient in the new software, right?

And yes the figures are included in the costs.

The REAL cost in the short term is -10mil. In the long term: priceless.

Re:Stupid to ask it. (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#42075537)

Since you can't have been Proficient in Windows 7 until it was released in 2011,

Windows 7 was officially released in October of 2009. Also it would have been quite easy to have been proficient in Windows 7 prior to release due to months-long the public beta.

Re:Stupid to ask it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075925)

Ordinary users do not use betas. DIAF, troll.

Re:Stupid to ask it. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year ago | (#42076149)

And as much as I 'hate' the new Windows interface it's really not that different from 2000. The Start Menu is a mess but as far as everything else in the GUI, it's still 90% of where it was 10 years ago.

And Unlike Win8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076501)

..you can keep your familiar Windows-style GUI with lots of Linux distros.

Stupid to ask this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075481)

Since you cannot have been proficient in Windows 7 until it was released, if all your people are trained on Windows XP and Office 2003, switching to Windows 7 and Office 2010 will have an associated cost in terms of retraining and productivity while people become proficient in the new software, right?

Re:Stupid to ask this (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#42075585)

1) You could have been using it during the long public beta.
2) Windows 7 can be made to look like classic Windows with themes. For the typical office worker this would have been more than sufficient.
3) Switching to Windows 7 does not require switching to Office 2010 as Office 2003 works perfectly fine on it. And all you have to do is install the compatibility pack to get support for the newer Office formats in 2003.

So basically if their report claims that switching to Win7 requires buying new Office licenses then they are simply inflating the costs to make LiMux look better.

Re:Stupid to ask this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075663)

If you don't feel the need to upgrade from Office 2003 to 2010 then why do you feel the need to upgrade from XP to Windows 7?

Re:Stupid to ask this (2)

rbprbp (2731083) | about a year ago | (#42076495)

Because hardware eventually dies, and it will become increasingly difficult to find XP-compatible hardware.

Re:Stupid to ask this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075735)

1) No you couldn't. Companies don't roll out to everyone in their company beta releases of windows.
2) Linux can be made to look like classic windows with themes. For the typical office worker, this would have been more than sufficient.
3) Switching to Office 2010 is required because the docx standard isn't supported in 2003. Keeping on Windows doesn't require not switching to OpenOffice. And Open Office opens different versions of Office documents more easily than Office 2010 or 2003. No need to install any compatability pack.

So, basically, you have to make shit up to make it appear that maybe they didn't need to retrain. Of course, if they didn't upgrade ANY software, they wouldn't have to retrain.

Then again, they would retrain their staff else why did they train their staff for WinXP? Or why would they train their staff on Linux and OO.o if they don't on Windows?

Basically, you're turning round and round and round making assertions MERELY so you can pretend that Windows is cheaper.

Why?

Re:Stupid to ask this (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#42075767)

not necessarily - whilst any business can stick with Office 2003 or 2007, Microsoft tries their hardest to keep you upgrading - for example, if you are on the SA licencing system (ie for bulk purchases) then you must upgrade to the latest version. No option to keep running old version.

Then, of course, most companies will upgrade anyway, like they upgrade from XP when, technically, they don't really need to. Of course they will upgrade to 7 eventually due to security support, but Office has just as many problems that requires security patches.

so - yes, I'm fine with the methodology of counting Office upgrades in this mix. I'm quite curious why its only â4m though - are they really counting all the Sharepoint, OneNote, Groovy, Lync and other Office bits or not.

Re:wow speaking of shills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075779)

here is one!

Re:Stupid to ask this (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 2 years ago | (#42075817)

1. training for public beta means loss of productivity, worker has to switch from a desktop to another; moreover one is unstable, and the other is a public beta :D
Lots of stuff under windows needs new drivers when win version is bumped up...

2. are there xp official themes from MS? or are they coming from serious software houses that can give support? Because, installing binaries from random little software house which can break at any moment is a worse scenario than getting used to the new system.

3. iirc office 03 crashed more often with 7 and couldn't run under 64 bits. After some time it is fixed but workers would have had to deal with the problems.

All three points have a linux alternative coming up as very reasonable. Besides, the whole matter is incomplete: those who use a lot of FOSS know the advantage of controlling a lot more what goes into your pc.

Re:Stupid to ask this (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42076025)

The report made no such claim. The report specifically states that they made the report as realistic and as fair as possible by assuming that the city would have reached the same degree of modernization, had they stayed with Microsoft products.

See, they aren't running ten year old kernels, or six year old office suites. They are running the latest and the greatest of Linux offerings, in today's real world. Fully updated, upgraded, and patched for stability and security.

I'm a bit curious what desktop environments they are running - maybe I'll go do some searches!

Re:Stupid to ask this (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076145)

I have personally found many issues with working on 2003 and 2010. Specifically Accses. 2010 wants to convert and save as the 2010 format which makes 2003 clients unable to see those changesm, basically requiring 2 levels of databases or matching office versions. I have actually been converting some of our business databases to PHP / SQL to avoid the M$ update hell.

Re:Hard to ask this... (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#42075541)

Given the changes MS keeps making in it's UI, the retraining costs and productivity losses happen either way. There is a better chance that Linux w/ OOffice won't cause those costs to recur with each release.

Re:Hard to ask this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075603)

Ignoring the drastic UI changes of GNOME 3 and Unity?

Re:Hard to ask this... (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#42075871)

There is a perfectly good option to stay with the Gnome2 interface. In fact, there are two forks of Gnome explicitly to stay with the 2.x interface.

Re:Hard to ask this... (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | about 2 years ago | (#42075815)

They're quickly becoming about the same. Linux and OpenOffice on the desktop are still bad, but getting better. Gnome, etc are all pretty trivial to use until you get to things like adding printers, and Open Office is basically Word 2000. Similarly, Windows / Word is fine, but getting worse. Adding networked printers in Windows seems to keep getting harder, and Word keeps adding more and more junk until it's useless. On top of this Google Docs is more than adequate for most tasks, and the multi-user live-document-editing is an amazingly useful feature. That gives 2 solid Windows alternatives.

People don't really need training. The systems are about the same, and the parts that one would need to train for have become so far away from the normal user's abilities that there really isn't a point to training anyone other than your IT people. And your IT people shouldn't have a problem with any of this.

Re:Hard to ask this... (3, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | about a year ago | (#42076419)

> until you get to things like adding printers

Interesting. I never thought that the CUPS admin interface was very daunting. All very "in the browser" GUI-ish.

Getting networked scanning working under Linux (saned) isn't for the command-line challenged. But considering that Microsoft doesn't even provide a competing standard for networked scanners, the situation under Windows cannot be any better.

Re:Hard to ask this... (2)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#42075867)

We are now several years down this road and their people are now far more trained with Limux and OpenOffice (why?) that with MS and Office. The long term benefits are already being felt.

Re:Hard to ask this... (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42075987)

The report seems to address that added cost for switching to systems the people were unfamiliar with. And, as already has been mentioned - people who stayed with Microsoft products have had their own training expenses!

Remember too, that the report addresses relatively short-term savings. Over the course of the next decade, the saving will increase dramatically. The people are going to need less and less training and retraining as time goes on. IT expenses will decrease, probably dramatically, for that reason. Retraining for upgrades will probably remain. You can only estimate those costs if you have a crystal ball or something to predict how Linux and Windows updates/upgrades are going to work out in the years ahead. But - there will be NO LICENSING fees associated with any of those upgrade.

And, if you scroll up to my earlier post, you'll have to consider the savings in virus infections and recovery, as well as the costs involved with leaking protected data, liability, etc. No, Linux isn't the end-all and be-all in computer security, but it's track record is superior to Windows, which should translate into tremendous savings.

Re:Hard to ask this... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42076211)

Remember too, that the report addresses relatively short-term savings. Over the course of the next decade, the saving will increase dramatically. The people are going to need less and less training and retraining as time goes on.

I think that's a generous assumption, since most other people use MS Office they'll be constantly training new users, new administrators and figuring out new headaches with hardware/driver compatibility. Here in Norway our biggest OpenOffice poster boy with 20,000 seats (that's fairly big in a country of 5 mio people) dropped it last year and went back to MS Office after 7 years - you'd think they'd be well into the "long time savings" period by then.

Re:Hard to ask this... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42075989)

...without sounding like a shill, but I'm really curious if the end result works just as well. If all your people are are trained on Windows and Office, switching to Linux and OpenOffice will have an associated cost in terms of retraining and reduced productivity while people become proficient in the new software, right?

Of course it would, but there's also a license cost and a training cost in upgrading Windows and Office to stay current. The total cost of Linux and OpenOffice is less. The real difference would show in productivity. If your staff ended up spending more time fiddling with settings and formats in OpenOffice or in Microsoft Office, that could tip the scale either way. But a city ought to have a policy regarding formatting and adhere to a bare style that minimizes the time spent fiddling with formatting and other unproductive work.

Re:Hard to ask this... (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42076381)

Open Office and Linux isn't *that* different for what the average person does with a computer. Most people can't remember where things are in Office and have to search or ask. So it doesn't matter if they're asking for Office or open office.

Muha, Redmond Meme #3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076417)

"All interfaces different to Redmond contraptions are EVVIIILLL. But if we Redmondians fuck up user interfaces, that does not count. Ribbon is great and so is MS-DOS 2012/Metro".

Re:Hard to ask this... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076727)

There have been a few interviews with the limux people, and the scope of what they're doing is a little more than just stick linux+openoffice on the desktop and be done. It includes user training too, among such things as close liason with the users and giving them the tools they need, getting-toes-wet opportunities and smooth changeovers. I suspect we haven't seen the end of the savings yet.

Disclaimer: Not affiliated. Tried to but didn't get hired, which is a bit of a pity.

Re:Hard to ask this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076971)

You can choose a UI with Linux and the like where there is a minimal (re-)training and support costs. The document templates and possible applications related to those are of course an additional cost. They might have to change their server management organization as well to a more efficient one as they now can. The Windows Server 2012 would make the same transition probably possible as well in the Windows world.

Linux may be cheaper (-1, Troll)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 2 years ago | (#42075419)

But an incompetent Linux admin can cause far worse damage than an incompetent windows one.

Re:Linux may be cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075447)

Either can cause corrupted data and failed backups, so I don't see how one can possibly be worse than the other.

Re:Linux may be cheaper (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#42075489)

But an incompetent Linux admin can cause far worse damage than an incompetent windows one.

I'm not sure that this is right. Certainly it depends on how you measure damage. In my opinion an incompetent linux admin will likely not have a functioning system whereas an incompetent windows admin is more likely to have an insecure system leaking information.

Re:Linux may be cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076731)

In my opinion, the competent linux admin will make sure not have a functioning system if it's not secure.

The incompetent one will be just like the Windows one, just good enough to get things going badly.

No, windows incompetently managed is worse. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075513)

Because your compromised windows system will infect all your other windows systems even if your admin never looked at them.

And, being impossible to self-diagnose errors when the OS is hiding everything "scary" from you, you need to pay a competent Windows admin much more time to fix.

Windows is free only if you don't pay anyone.

Re:Linux may be cheaper (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#42075525)

But an incompetent Linux admin can cause far worse damage than an incompetent windows one.

What are you talking about?

An incompetent admin on any system can lead to a total outage and a lack of access to your data and software. If your admin re-formats the drives or otherwise renders your system unusable, no matter the platform, you're still dead in the water.

In what way can a Linux admin break a machine more than a Windows admin can?

I've seen the results of incompetent admins in multiple contexts -- and no matter the underlying platform, they can still screw stuff up to the point of being costly and time consuming to fix.

Re:Linux may be cheaper (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#42076117)

But an incompetent Linux admin can cause far worse damage than an incompetent windows one.

What are you talking about?

An incompetent admin on any system can lead to a total outage and a lack of access to your data and software. If your admin re-formats the drives or otherwise renders your system unusable, no matter the platform, you're still dead in the water.

In what way can a Linux admin break a machine more than a Windows admin can?

I've seen the results of incompetent admins in multiple contexts -- and no matter the underlying platform, they can still screw stuff up to the point of being costly and time consuming to fix.

Incompetent Linux admins usually show their hands pretty quickly, as you need to be competent to make things function reasonably. Incompetent Windows admins can keep the system limping along for years while data leaks out the back door and productivity suffers, but not enough to point to the admin doing a _bad_ job (because "everyone knows" that managing backups/printers/network shares on Windows just sucks).

Re:Linux may be cheaper (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#42075809)

But an incompetent Linux admin can cause far worse damage than an incompetent windows one.

[citation needed]
I have mod points but such a mindless blanket statement deserves more derision than just "-1 Flamebait" can convey. The potential for damage is more related to the depth and complexity of the systems, and to the administrator's skill, than the OS on which the systems are built? No?

Re:Linux may be cheaper (1)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#42075909)

and a competent Linux admin can do far more good than a competent Windows admin (or is that an oxymoron?). So the moral is hire competent people and sack incompetent people.

Re:Linux may be cheaper (2)

fwarren (579763) | about 2 years ago | (#42075965)

Whereas when you replace him with a compentent Linux admin, the new admin can probably clean up the files in /etc and get the systems going again. Even a good Windows admin can have a problem with trying to clean up strange behaviours with the mystery meat that is the windows registry. That means the windows guy is going to have to do forinsic work on what's on the box, what's its supposed to do, try an capture progam settings from programs that wont run and then reinstall the OS, reinstall the software and then configure it properply.

vi + /etc over regedit any day of the week.

What does it include? (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 2 years ago | (#42075431)

I'd like to see what that includes on the labour side. I've seen proposals before showing massive savings in software purchases but it didn't account for anything else such as expert labour, training for the staff and the headaches and inefiencies that come with changing users world. Obviously once the dust settles it doesn't matter what software you have as long as it does what it needs to do for the business.

Re:What does it include? (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 2 years ago | (#42075485)

You are correct. Any proposals for migrating to new Windows and Office versions should include training costs. Do you think those costs would be any different from migrating to Linux and OpenOffice?

Re:What does it include? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075561)

Training costs shouldn't be high. The software is most likely similar enough the users pick it up... and those that don't well you'd have the same problem in windows. We pushed an updated "image" via IBM Tivoli systems manager and the start menu was changed slightly. Most people had no issues, for the others well we got a bunch of help tickets from them (because they couldn't find things since they weren't exactly where they were before but we're now more organized)

Re:What does it include? (0)

war4peace (1628283) | about 2 years ago | (#42076113)

Training costs shouldn't be high.

costs shouldn't be high.

shouldn't

If I had a dime for each time I heard any of these mindless assumptions, backed up by nothing else than a retarded "gut feeling"... I'd probably have enough to buy Oracle, Apple and Microsoft combined.

Network admin: there shouldn't be any outage.
Result: 6 hours outage happens.

Project Manager: there shouldn't be any cost increase.
Result: cost is tripled.

VP: We shouldn't have any issues with this product.
Result: product bombs.

Et caetera.

Look, if you start anything with "shouldn't", you're in deep shit. Research is key and assumption of/preparation for the worst is key to a successful transition. No change is flawless, and if it is, then it's a fucking miracle.

To the point now: Whenever you deal with such a large change (OS+office productivity suite) for such a large number of people (in the neighborhood of thousands) there WILL be a LARGE dip in productivity. Unless they were producing almost nothing in the first place, which, considering we're talking about city administration here, is very likely.

In my company, we did have a pilot project which aimed at switching from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice. The results were... disastrous. Some reasons:
- Support Personnel had to be trained to be proficient in solving OpenOffice issues experienced by users;
- All support documentation needed to be re-created for OpenOffice;
- We had literally thousands of "How to" requests per week, all related to OpenOffice (e.g. "how do I apply the corporate template to this presentation");
- The company specific presentation master template had to be created from scratch (and looked ugly even after a month's worth of work);
- Turned out that almost half of all Excel spreadsheets used by employees relied on macros to automate stuff. Furthermore, many of those macros were designed around integration with Outlook (e.g. automatically send e-mails from Excel);
- When expanding Excel issues to include formulas present in existing files, it all became a fucking nightmare.

At that point we pulled the plug, because the project itself far exceeded the worse expectations in term of costs and time spent (which became additional cost, of course).

Generally speaking, for small companies (less than 10 employees), a conversion is largely painless. But the larger the company is, the less likely it is to switch successfully.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076567)

F.U.D. Thanks for a nice example.

Re:What does it include? (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about a year ago | (#42077097)

Too right. I really like the idea of switching to open/libreoffice, but it simply isn't practical. I have several spreadsheets that I use to get data out of Excel and into AutoCAD. I don't think that I can do this between AutoCAD and Calc.

I also wrote a very large spreadsheet that predicts parking demand based on land-use data that breaks when I use Openoffice. I tried porting it over, but one of the functions I used in Excel wasn't available in Openoffice. I started to write a custom function in Openoffice to replace the lost one, but couldn't finish it, because I still had to work with the first spreadsheet. At the time, I was working ~60 hours/week, and I didn't like the idea of working still longer hours to make this function. I gave up.

That said, I don't think that I represent normal users. If all of the templates were in place, I think most users could switch fairly easily. The problem, as I see it, is that I don't want to have to recreate all of the tools I've made with Excel in another slightly incompatible spreadsheet, never mind the partially automated spreadsheets.

I may give it another shot, though. I just discovered that several spreadsheets that handle external files are broken in the switch from Excel 2003 to 2010. Now, my only choice is to abandon the spreadsheets or port them over to the new slightly incompatible spreadsheet. *sigh* Well, at least my time isn't as much in demand in this job as the last one.

Re:What does it include? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42075499)

I would think the numbers must include labour and support.If it was purely software, the savings would be much larger.

Re:What does it include? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#42075507)

I'd like to see what that includes on the labour side. I've seen proposals before showing massive savings in software purchases but it didn't account for anything else such as expert labour, training for the staff and the headaches and inefiencies that come with changing users world. Obviously once the dust settles it doesn't matter what software you have as long as it does what it needs to do for the business.

I expect that is why the migration to Office 2010 and Windows 7 was included - it would mean that both sides had a boat-load of training

Re:What does it include? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#42075623)

Why would they have needed to migrate to Office 2010? Office 2003 with the compatibility packs can read and write the newer office formats with the same UI that they would be familiar with. Also, Windows 7 can be made to look like XP rather trivially. Seems they are just inflating the costs of the Windows side to make LiMux look better.

Re:What does it include? (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42075709)

"Why would they have needed to migrate to Office 2010? Office 2003 with the compatibility packs can read and write the newer office formats with the same UI that they would be familiar with."

What makes you think they were using Office 2003 previous to this? When this project started they were talking about migrating away from Windows NT 4.

"Seems they are just inflating the costs"

Even if they could manage to stay with whatever Office version they started the migration from, there *will* be a license migration any time in the near future. Regarding windows licensing, "saving" is merely jumping over one version.

Re:What does it include? (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about 2 years ago | (#42076005)

There are going to be switching costs no matter which way you turn it.

Maybe they switch to new versions of Windows and/or Microsoft Office. Depending on which versions they switch from and to, this could provide for a similar or dramatically different (ribbon, metro) experience.

Maybe they switch to Linux and/or LibreOffice. Depending on where they switched from and what they switch to, this could provide a similar (e.g. pre-ribbon Office to LibreOffice) or dramatically different (e.g. NT to Unity) experience.

Even if they don't change the software, there will be switching costs, because people will be used to different software than whatever the city would be refusing to upgrade from.

So, really, there is no avoiding switching costs, no matter what you do, and the study's choice to evaluate "comparable technological level" solutions doesn't seem so unreasonable.

Re:What does it include? (5, Interesting)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#42075979)

When I introduced my mother to Linux she was surprised how easy it was as she had heard all the scare mongering. You turn it on and get a desktop, like with Windows. You have a menu like with Windows. You click on items and the programmes start, like with Windows. Do I need to go on or do you all get the idea that she thought it was just like Windows except the really big bad difference... click once instead of twice, which she really liked. I went away and a couple of years later she was using Gimp which I had not shown her. She said she preferred Photoshop on the Mac which they had at art school. So eventually she bought a Mac and learnt another system. If a 70 year old great-granny can get through all that and not see what the fuss is about, I think it is time we starting sacking people who cannot.

Re:What does it include? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076365)

Lucky you, last Sunday I had to hand-hold my 71 year old mother through activating a VISA card in her online bank. Essentially just log in, card -> bank card -> activate -> [type info] -> finish. She repeatedly ignored steps, half-finished steps like clicking the login button but not actually logging in, clicked any menu item that had "card" in it and couldn't find her way out of a paper bag. Also her phone was "not working" but it turns out she wasn't pressing the right buttons - even though she'd written down the steps on a piece of paper. She does not read anything that pops up on her screen, just gives a blank deer-in-headlights look when she can't find the button she expects. She's constantly accusing things of being "broke" because she's taken crap notes and can't follow her own instructions - which she usually blames me for not having the time to do properly.

Then again I suppose she's equally lost on whatever platform she's on so it doesn't matter.

Re:What does it include? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#42076779)

My Mother in Law, had very limited schooling, but ran a butcher shop all her life. At 67 years, she had no problem at all with Linux, Firefox, Facebook and Skype.

meanwhile... (4, Funny)

miknix (1047580) | about 2 years ago | (#42075491)

meanwhile somewhere in redmoon, a chair flies through the air.

Re:meanwhile... (-1, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#42076135)

Libreoffice is the challenger (5, Interesting)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about 2 years ago | (#42075565)

It is a smart decision to invest into Libreoffice [libreoffice.org] . The Libreoffice Development Conference this year took place at the German ministry of business and technology. Behind the scenes several European governments consider to cut costs with huge Libreoffice migrations. Add to that Libreoffice is a European foundation while Openoffice.org is hold back by Americans. The likely solution to the competitive pressure would be that Microsoft goes open source with its own Office suite. The Chinese demonstrated the Europeans with their Kingsoft Office suite how to do it, how to break free from the Microsoft dependency.

Re:Libreoffice is the challenger (1)

Lisias (447563) | about a year ago | (#42076391)

You have a good argument, but I don't agree that going open source is the more likely way out to Microsoft.

I think they'll push cloud computing first (if ever) going to some kind of open source. This way, the suite itself became expendable without compromising the monopoly.

Re:Libreoffice is the challenger (1)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about a year ago | (#42076935)

Actually they will open source Internet Explorer first. Simply because it is a giant waste of capacity to invest into a product without direct cash flows. It's not sold and all that matters is the default search engine. Google on the hand virtually got Chrome for free, all taken from KHTML, webkit and quite a cheap investment. Why did they get their browser? Because they could, and their employees develop probably five other browsers as well which were never turned into commercial products. E.g. ever heard of Classilla [google.com] ?

now wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076621)

...for all the bribes and kickbacks in support of M$ and all the effects of that.

Warren Buffett was Right (4, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#42075619)

He couldn't understand the long term viability of a software only business!

Re:Warren Buffett was Right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076233)

Maybe he's a rational principled man and forgets it's perfectly possible to live on fools wishing to part with their money...

How do the numbers scale ? (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#42075821)

This is nice because it tells us that with a large migration to a Linux based desktop saves about 1/3. What does this tell us about the migrations that will follow or are not so big ? Different factors pull in different directions.

* Munich is big enough to demand that correspondents use file formats that they can support - this is more than about LibreOffice

* The cost software rewrites (special bespoke stuff) could be amortised over many users

* The overall project costs (design, IT staff retraining, ...) could be amortised over many users

* They are pioneers - those who follow should be able to use their blueprint, avoid the mistakes that Munich made

* They were probably getting large volume license discounts on propietary s/ware, more than smaller organisations would have got, so they saved less

What do you think ? What do you say when a customer asks how much they will save ?

Re:How do the numbers scale ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42076083)

Munich is big enough to demand that Microsoft give them a cheap deal.

They have to demand Office 2010 formats from everyone since Office 2010 changes the formatting on many complex documents that are in earlier formats (i.e. if you insist that this is not an issue, then LibreOffice does as good a job).

Special bespoke software has to be rewritten for Win7 (and Vista and XP and 8)

many users require many users trained. You can't amortize that cost over many users without scaling by that number of users.

What you say is that Munich saved 1/3 in a complete change in a massive scale. And got a bespoke system set for their needs into the bargain.

The training costs (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42076001)

Looking at the report, the savings come from not having to buy software licenses (~ €6 million) and hardware upgrades (~ €4 million). They have an additional €16 million in the budget with is applied equally to the all Microsoft, LibreOffice on Microsoft and LiMux cases. That money goes to support, customization, trainings and that kind of thing. The allocated budget for each item is exactly the same in all cases.

I think there's an interesting message there: "staying with Microsoft saves you training money" is simply a myth.

LiMux documentation on Youtube (2)

phrank (112038) | about a year ago | (#42076155)

As a munich resident i follow news coverage of the LiMux project from the beginning. About two years ago there was a documentation on TV (in german): LiMux - Freie Software für München [youtube.com]
I am not sure, but I think, that guy with pink hair is a Debian maintainer. Probably, such projects succeed or fail with the competence of a few individuals, if they get the required backing. Also this weekend, a Debian bug squashing party is held in Munich.

First hand experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076431)

I had the opportunity to experience LiMux first hand from the perspective of an office worker. The software has been very well adapted to the tasks at hand, and the office assistants also seemed content witd the provided tools; I suppose the goog training played a big part. The office assistant I worked with knew she was not using MS Windows, but he did not care as long as email, printing and his document control system were available.

A seemingly meaningless result (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42076665)

This methodology sounds very fishy to me. There is no particular reason to believe that using Linux hasn't affected the work flow in truly significant ways (either positively or negatively, we don't know, cause they didn't check). Using an inferior (or superior, depending on your views), product can cost in ways truly unreflected in the budget. There does not appear to be any (and I do mean any) performance checking included in this, so the result is meaningless (unless you take the truly cynical view that the government never does anything worthwhile).

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