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LiMux Project Has Saved Munich €10m So Far 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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LiMux Project Has Saved Munich €10m So Far

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  • hope it's true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @02:19PM (#42075353)

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

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Friday November 23, 2012 @02:27PM (#42075439) Journal

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

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @02:32PM (#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.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @02:36PM (#42075541) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:01PM (#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.


  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:13PM (#42075815) Homepage

    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.

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <> on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:14PM (#42075821) Homepage

    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 ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:26PM (#42075925)

    Ordinary users do not use betas. DIAF, troll.

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

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:27PM (#42075939) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:37PM (#42075987) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @04:24PM (#42076381) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:hope it's true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @04:25PM (#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: []

    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.

  • by chilvence ( 1210312 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @09:43PM (#42078733)

    This is a point that I think is very under-represented. I imagine a vast majority of the work people do on computers is really indifferent to the operating system being used. Most people do actual real life(tm) work, that is simply supported by a computer, where it serves the function of a glorified typewriter for purposes of simple communication. Mac, windows, linux, who cares?

    The only trouble is that the people that actually are dependent on a particular system seem to be the ones that shout the loudest, sowing the seeds of uncertainty in people that would not really be that affected by a change. People are prone to waiting to see how other people fare before they jump in to anything themselves, and so no one actually changes, and Microsoft win again at charging people for something that the other guys are giving away for free!

    It makes about as much sense to me as jerks who drink bottled water, but then that's another rant...(hint: you have been able to boil your own since the invention of that thing called fire)

  • Re:hope it's true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bob@[ ] ['hot' in gap]> on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:46PM (#42079367) Journal

    Personally I think their lower pricing for Windows 8 should be considered along the lines of dumping already.

    The marginal cost of an operating system is zero. Competition is pushing OS prices down to that point. That's the way capitalism is supposed to work, and hasn't for the past few decades.

    Lower prices are a good thing.

  • Re:Cancelled (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dadioflex ( 854298 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @12:33AM (#42079597)
    Open Source software programs like Open or Libre Office and Google Docs in particular deal with Microsoft's proprietary data formats better than Microsoft does. Good luck getting your five year old Office installation to read the latest version from MS. Meanwhile Google et al can cope with it fine. Perhaps not perfectly, but fine. The lesson here isn't that using non-MS software gives a less than perfect experience, it's that using MS software encourages a less than perfect experience. 99% of users demand little or nothing more than MS was offering in the 90s, but they're forced to upgrade because otherwise they can't read the files they're getting from that work colleague with the new PC.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.