Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Jul 2010 19:43 UTC
Microsoft U.K. government staff suggested replacing Microsoft Corp. operating systems on computers with free alternatives in response to a call for ideas for Prime Minister David Cameron's cost-cutting drive.
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RE[4]: Not likely
by kaiwai on Mon 12th Jul 2010 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not likely"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

These costs are the same kind of costs as you have when upgrading to a newer version of MS Office or Windows. And the retraining is grossly overestimated in regard to non-technical staff. Actually it is much cheaper to retrain non-technical staff to OpenOffice from Office2003 than it is to retrain the non-technical staff to Office2007 from Office2003.

Retraining the IT-staff can be quite expensive, but there are other and cheaper solutions. And planned correctly the expensive will be self-financed in less than four years. Considering how much money is wasted on inefficient proprietary solutions due to incompetent planning there is simply no basis for claiming particularly high costs for switching to GNU/Linux or *BSD.


I would argue that the retraining cost of the IT staff would be minimal; part of their job entails keeping up with the latest trends and constantly up-skilling. I've yet to go into a IT setting where at least half the staff isn't dabbling or using Linux full time on their computer at home with some sort of server/client setup. About the only thing you'll want to do in the case is maybe formalise the education to fill in the gaps but I don't see it being all that complex to be entirely honest.

The biggest problem I see is moving templates, macro's and so forth over to OpenOffice.org but like anything there will be some initial pain and suffering - as long as you keep your eye on the end target you'll pull through the transition ok. The problem is that far too many projects are given up on half way through because it is 'too tough' - which is pretty disappointing if you ask me.

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