The open source Linux community was hit by Freiburg's decision to return to Microsoft Office after adopting Openoffice for a few years. A few open source organizations have arranged for a counter-attack, headed by another German city, Munich.Munich has announced that it has saved over €10 million ($12.8 million) by developing and using its own Linux platform, called LiMux.
This huge sum is the result of a comparison between the current cost of LiMux migration with that of two hibryd Microsoft scenarios, Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice.
The study having revealed this number is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich's city administration and on 15,000 PCs equipped with an open source office suite.
According to h-online.com, 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.
Long story short, Windows with Microsoft Office would have generated €11.6 million ($14.9 million) operating costs. Microsoft Office and its upgrades would have cost €4.2 million ($5.42 million), and the Windows system about €2.6 million ($3.35 million).
If Munich had chosen to use Windows with Openoffice, the incurring costs would have been around €7.4 million ($9.55 million)
The final numbers for the LiMux are much, much smaller. By September 2012, the LiMux project only generated €270,000 ($348,000) in expenses because it involved no license fees and no hardware upgrades were necessary, as a result of software upgrades.
This report arrives only a few days after the city of Freiburg has decided to give up on the open source solution and to return to Microsoft Office, citing incompatibilities between formats.
A number of open source organizations, including Free Software Foundation Europe, the Document Foundation and the Open Source Business Alliance, have protested the decision to no avail.