Entire Italian Province Drops Microsoft Office for LibreOffice

The authorities say that using Microsoft Office was like driving a Ferrari at 30mph

By on January 16th, 2014 12:44 GMT

Ditching Microsoft Office for a free alternative is proving to be a popular choice for city administrations around the globe. Authorities from a city in Italy have just made the same decision and they are saying that their use of the Office suite from Microsoft didn't justify the costs.

This trend of renouncing Microsoft software in favor of a free alternative is not something new, but it has been increasing in frequency after governments and local administrations needed to cut back on the expenses.

One of the easiest ways of cutting down spending is to reform your IT-related decisions and see if you can replace proprietary and expensive solutions with cheaper or even free versions.

The best example is the city of Munich, which has announced a complete transformation by adopting (and developing) a new Linux distribution and switching to LibreOffice for its office needs. Reportedly, it managed to save millions of dollars in the process.

Now, an entire province in Italy has decided to replace Microsof Office with the free version called LibreOffice. Both office suites have a number of similar applications, but LibreOffice is free and has a very lenient license.

According to zdnet.com, the authorities from the province of Umbria have started a project called LibreUmbria, which aims to transition the entire regional governmental apparatus from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice.

“We found out that most of our users exploit just 15 percent of their productivity suite, but you paying for the other 85 percent as well. It's just like if you owned a Ferrari and only used it to drive at 30km per hour through the middle of town,” said Alfiero Ortali, head of IT in the province of Perugia.

Italo Vignoli, a member of Assoli, an Italian association of Free Software advocates and member on the Board of Directors of The Document Foundation, the nonprofit organization that makes the LibreOffice Suite, had this to say:

“Right now, along with Munich, I'd call LibreUmbria the most advanced experience of migration in the world.”

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