Two are more expensive more than one?

Paul Boddie paul at
Thu Aug 20 12:28:12 UTC 2015

On Thursday 20. August 2015 08.03.46 Mirko Boehm wrote:
> So they are basically saying “Deploying OpenOffice alone cost us 93% of
> 500€/user/year as opposed to 200€ for MS Office? That is about the biggest
> admission of “we don’t know how to do installation management for our IT”
> that I have ever heard.

Indeed. Some other gems from the ZDNet article:

"According to a recently published report from the Netics Observatory - 
commissioned by the municipality and Microsoft itself"

So, Microsoft-funded study favours Microsoft product.

""We encountered several hurdles and dysfunctions around the use of specific 
features," Bruscoli says in the report. "What's more, due to the impossibility 
of replacing Access and partly Excel (various macros used on tens of files), 
we decided we had to keep a hybrid solution, using the two systems at the same 
time. This mix has been devastating," he adds."

This just sounds like amateur hour. I know that people like their spreadsheets 
and ad-hoc attempts at automation, but one gets the impression that they 
didn't know what they were dealing with at all.

"In particular, having to repaginate and tweak a number of documents due to a 
lack of compatibility between the proprietary and the open source systems 
translated into a considerable waste of time and productivity. The management 
estimates that every day roughly 300 employees had to spend up to 15 minutes 
each sorting out such issues."

I think this is what Matthias is intrigued by: what's the repagination and 
tweaking all about? It sounds as if Office had caused peripheral lock-in and 
that they use other systems that depend on files being produced in Microsoft's 
proprietary formats.

"Also, OpenOffice, according to the report, was slow when used to 'call' 
specific applications the municipality used to manage its various departments. 
The IT support that had to be provided to employees further added to the 
migration bill."

So, even if they weren't still using Office, they were using other systems 
that wanted Office to be around. Maybe they should have considered the 
interoperability situation here first.


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