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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux 370

New submitter Mojo66 writes "Mayor Ude reported today that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far (Google translation of German original) by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7."
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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux

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  • Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:20PM (#39503849)
    Linux is better, faster, and more stable. Just the savings on support calls alone would be enormous.
  • by iroll ( 717924 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:58PM (#39504137) Homepage

    Training? Ahahahaha, ohohohoho, eehehehehee.

    Purely from an office drone's perspective (all software proselytizing aside), training is the bogeyman. The vendors bring it out to scare the customer, but it doesn't exist. It "costs" eleventy billion dollars! Nobody will know how to do anything if you don't buy training!

    But big offices make big changes all the time, and they don't *really* do squat for training. They might gather the group around a conference table and click through some slides, and tell everybody that Joe has used the program before and they should ask him if they're having trouble.

    Hooray, you wasted a day watching powerpoint and you got a photocopied certificate that you get to scrawl your own name on!

    How many offices have gone from something, to Lotus, to Exchange, to Google... etc.? And it's not just email infrastructure. Your billing system as a consultant might change every few years; your code management system as a programmer might change. Your document control system might change. The way your network space is apportioned, the way you print; any number of things can change depending on the way the wind blows in management.

    And then, you top it off with planned obsolescence: remember going from Office 97 to Office XP? And then to the new craziness of Office 2010? A little old lady secretary wouldn't be any more confused by moving to Open Office... and she's not getting any training when MS Office 2014 comes out and scraps everything she knows for touch-screen inspired insanity!

    Even universities, where you would expect old systems to soldier on for far too long, seem to do that kind of thing in less than 10 year intervals. And the employees who you would expect to get some "training" (office staff, geezer professors) don't--they complain, they suffer, and then they figure it out ;-)

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bob@[ ] ['hot' in gap]> on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:00PM (#39504179) Journal

    On the various computers where I've installed most "trendy" modern distros (ubuntu, etc), they actually run slower under Linux than Windows.

    In what way?

    Reduced CPU speed? Slower network access? How does your OS reduce the speed of your hardware? Do you have any benchmarks showing comparative speed?

    (The incredible sluggishness of nautilus is one of the things that made me reinstall windows on one of my development machines).

    You're a developer and you changed your entire OS because you couldn't change the settings to speed up a file manager? (hint: Nautilus shows thumbnails and previews audio). Please tell/warn us which projects you're working on!

  • Re:Popcorn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:09PM (#39504231)

    Why? Competition is good. Even if you think microsoft makes decent products this gives you a sense of how much the competition compares and if it's cheaper, well MS needs to come out with cheaper.

    The question with all of these things is whether or not employees are just working on personal laptops instead of linux machines (I've seen that happen a few times, and that's a very serious problem), and whether or not they have any productivity changes. They might, they might not. Depends what they're doing. Saving money on licencing isn't the same as saving money. If you have 10 000 computers (as per the article) but you reduce productivity by even 1% you're worse off with linux than windows since to make up 1% is 100 people, which runs about 10 million euros.

    TCO is a hard thing to calculate. It's pretty obvious that you can save money on licencing using linux, and probably training as well (no microsoft certifications). The hard part is measuring employee compliance, the cost of non compliance (this is a big issue where I am, where the IT guys are very pro linux, so about half our staff just do all their work on personal equipment, since it's a university department that's not a huge problem, but for a corporation or a city that could be problematic), and productivity gain/loss. You'd think that in this day and age, when everything is on the web and a web service that most of this wouldn't matter too much productivity wise, if not a productivity increase by not being able to waste as much time with crap that isn't work related since you can lock down linux more easily.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cjav ( 1331511 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:15PM (#39504269)
    First, I couldn't tell for sure as for more than 10 years Linux and recently some OSX have been all I've used. I do however have to troubleshoot Windows PCs for friends and family, none run as smooth as my Linux machines. Why?, the only reason I can come of, these aren't new installs. Please make the same comparison 6 months after using your Windows machine. Maybe you are fine doing clean reinstalls every 6 months, I'm not.
  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rve ( 4436 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:17PM (#39504299)

    Wouldn't help that much. When I worked for the provincial government IT, literally 90% of calls were people forgetting their passwords.

    Seriously, that's your fault, with your password policies (passwords expire each month or two, have to be so and so long, contain the usualy mix of upper & lower case, numbers, special characters, and the icing on the cake: may not have 3 or more characters in common with a password ever used previously), the only way to remember your passwords is to write them down, which is officiallly a firing offense by the way. At some point, users, even the techies, are just not going to bother trying to come up with a new password that will pass the validation and can still be remembered, they'll simply call you and ask you to reset the password every time it expires. That's what I did.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:23PM (#39504325)

    It doesn't even include a study of productivity. The report seems to be done from a pure IT angle, as if IT weren't a tool to achieve goals.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:50PM (#39504511)

    Either that or it's areally GOOD thing. Maybe all the other support calls dried up because everything just worked.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dudpixel ( 1429789 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:30PM (#39504763)

    If you care about performance, why are you running nouveau?

    Yes its the default, but use a recent video card in windows and see how you like the default.

    Just because its linux doesn't mean you dont have to install the right drivers from the manufacturer sometimes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:32PM (#39504775)

    > But how much have they lost?

    - Lock-in to a single-source supplier
    - Worries about not being able to read their own archived documents saved in legacy formats (OpenOffice supports over 100 office file formats)
    - All trace of malware
    - The need for a license compliance officer
    - Any threat of being audited, or having a disgruntled employee dob them in to the BSA
    - The upgrade treadmill
    - Long delays during Windows updates

  • by iroll ( 717924 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:44PM (#39504839) Homepage

    You're right; I was being a little hyperbolic, for humor's sake. Heck, I taught a pretty mean Outlook class to a bunch of little old ladies. I wanted to talk about sorting and mailboxes; they just wanted to know how to put background colors in their emails =)

    But not all corporate computer training is good, either, and my experience has definitely been defined by the bad. I've got a whole folder full of those baloney certificates, and don't get me started on "mandatory online training." You know, the kind where you click through a powerpoint, guess "C" for all of the answers on the multiple choice test, and then get to go back and do it again once you know the right answers.

    Most of the things that I hear about the potential cost of retraining a workforce to use (insert Linux, Google, etc here) seem like they were estimated using the same math that the local news uses to give a half-smoked joint a street value of thousands of dollars.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macshit ( 157376 ) <.snogglethorpe. .at.> on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:50PM (#39504881) Homepage

    The policy at the time was 6 characters, with at least 1 capital and at least 1 number, and couldn't be the same as the last one.

    What do you want? One character passwords?

    Of course not, but also not useless-yet-annoying rules like the above...

    Require a capital letter? 95% will make it the first one. Require a digit? 95% will just append "0". Increase in difficulty for someone trying to guess passwords? Zero.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @04:57AM (#39506515)

    Games... the last great reason to have Windows machines. My kids originally both had Ubuntu, but the whining about games was too much for me to withstand, and I installed Windows for both of them. Now I seem to install Windows fairly often, as they get freaking computer viruses like other children get the flu.

    This story is about the city of Munich i.e. a German government organization saving cash by prefering Linux to Windows. Games should be the last thing on their list. It may be a legitimate reason for home users not to want to adopt Linux, but it's a piss poor reason for either a company or a government organization not to adopt a particular platform.

    For this particular problem, get your kids an XBox, and then put the PCs back to Ubuntu.

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