vrijdag 21 augustus 2015

Microsoft uses controversial publication to promote Office 365

The giant from Redmond must be desperate since it has to use a controversial story from a relatively small Italian city to combat open source software, as in the mean time many larger deployments also in Italy are happy with LibreOffice and the numbers produced by Provincia di Perugia prove the opposite of the Microsoft-publication.

Microsoft writes about the switch of the city of Pesaro from OpenOffice to Office 365. There are however many questions around the publication that should provide backing for the switch. Yet Microsoft uses that publication on it's website for promotion goals.
There are several facts that make the publication controversial. It mentions, for example, the sum of € 300.000 for migration and training costs and extra phone costs of € 85 a year without any data to back that. Sonia Motegiove, an Italian IT consultant, comments that an extensive training for 600 people would cost € 25.000 maximum.
The publication also claims that the interface would cause problems, but apparently the new 365 environment is not considered to cause users any problems.. When a lack of compatibility of OpenOffice is mentioned, Motegiove asks why Pesaro didn't choose for LibreOffice, with a much improved exchange of documents.
In another publication Italo Vignoli from LibreOffice-Italy points to the fact that Pesaro ignores facts such as the security issues that come with the use of Microsoft Office but in stead chooses wording to explain the migration that read as Microsoft propaganda.
All questions to the city of Pesaro or the project manager however, have remained unanswered.
Sources around Pesaro tell that the whole migration project was broken. First the involved IT company could not finish the project, and also half way there was a new IT-director with less focus on the project.

All this does not prevent Microsoft from using a 'study' to make false claims.
This situation looks similar to what happened with a Microsoft sponsored HP publication regarding the city of Munich, that works with Linux and LibreOffice. The HP publication 'proved' high costs in Munich coming with the open source solution. Yet the reality is that during the migration alone, 13 million was saved. That apart from the million or more license fees that ware saved every year since 2013. Savings that are partly spend to support the development of the open source software that Munich uses, and that also stimulate local/regional IT-firms.
Does these actions from Microsoft look so desperate because now also it's office-business faces serious competition?

donderdag 4 juni 2015

Looking back and forth

LibreOffice is entering the mobile and on-line space, and we'll see full open source private cloud solutions soon. Great! Still sometimes I'm forced to look back. Simply because the name "Open Office" is known by many people, based on its great history. I have to explain regularly what LibreOffice is and what makes it so much different.
To put some more weight on the latter, my colleague Barend and me worked on comparison of the features of LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. Read it here. Be warned: it's a nearly 60 page document. It focuses on areas as feasibility, smart use, quality and improvements, localization and more. It lists hundreds of smaller and larger improvements in LibreOffice, and only few in Apache OpenOffice.

There is a notable difference between this information and many comparisons of LibreOffice with Apache OpenOffice found in articles on the internet. Journalists often seem to lack time for a better analysis of the vast amount of features a productivity suite offers. We hope that our document does offer that comparison in a comprehensive and structured manner.
In my opinion now is the moment for all to let OpenOffice be just what it is: an important part of history. More than enough work ahead for LibreOffice, I would say - see the introduction of this article. It is my hope and wish that people will be able to focus on that and find joy and satisfaction in the development and use of LibreOffice.

woensdag 25 maart 2015

your most beautiful work with LibreOffice Writer

What brings more joy then publishing a guide on Document Freedom Day to help scholars making beautiful work with a free open document standard? Therefore today the Dutch Language LibreOffice-community made available the publication "Maak je mooiste werkstuk met LibreOffice Writer" ("Create your most beautiful work with LibreOffice Writer"). The guide is for scholars in the age of 11 and older.
Currently the publication is Dutch only, but will be available in other languages soon thanks to the ODF Authors-community.
There will also be a version for scholars in the age of 9-11 year.
Download here.
And read the full announcement here.

woensdag 31 december 2014

New years wish - lessons from "AutoCorrect"

During trainings in LibreOffice Writer, that we give at customers offices or in the LibreOffice-Trainingcenter, a standard part is how to handle AutoCorrect. As long as people don't know what happens, AutoCorrect is a source of annoyance and errors. Once they've learned how it works, this changes drastically.

Recently during a training for a regional office if the Dutch Refugee Council there was attention for the example "aanrijken" that is replaced by "aanreiken" through the AutoCorrect function.
(Since we know AutoCorrect is language dependent, it's time for a little help in this English version of the original Dutch blogpost.
The correct word "aanreiken" means: hand over, give something to someone else. The wrong word "aanrijken" has the part "rijk" what means rich. So, now back to the plot of the story ;) )

During the training I gave the next, free, explanation for the example: we see enough of the 'aanrijken': people, places where there already is a lot, the opportunities to grow that 'prosperity' are, be it knowingly or not, seldom left untouched.. Now how wonderful would it be if that behavior, that habit so often, is replaced more and more by 'aanreiken': giving, sharing. Beautiful though so short after Christmas, don't you think?

Thinking of the new year, I have added the following AutoCorrect: "2014" replaced by "2014-closed" and "2015" replaced by "2015-open". You see...
In the new year we at Nou&Off will be again acting in the front line of open source, at the route to more freedom in choice for also your IT applications.
I wish you all a blessed, successful and happy "2015-open"!

donderdag 2 oktober 2014

Hamburg gets inspired by the Munich success

Let me start with the second part of the head line of this article. Munich is a success. And not a little one too.
  • Already during the 9 year long migration to LiMux (looking for a reason why Microsoft can't count 9 ;) ) the saved money counts to 11 Mln Euro.
  • From the money spent to consultancy, nearly 50% has benefited (regional) SMB.
  • The user satisfaction has clearly increased - though there are still items in which improving is possible.
  • More then 14.000 of the 15.000 systems have been migrated. A larger number then was set as target.
  • De savings on licenses will count, year after year, millions.
  • (Also see Symposium LibrOffice in de Praktijk)

    Now is this news? Not really. But it is something we cannot repeat enough - brief and clear.
    There only needs to be one Microsoft-partner driven 'investigation' (see.. and this..) or one new major who recently has been doing business with Microsoft (see..) and there are new headlines seeding wrong impressions. FUD. Let's just mention all it is.

    Then now the news :) One would of course say: such a huge success, where are all the others? Well, those are here (see..) but less visible. Munich simply is a real huge project that goes beyond just implementing LibreOffice.
    But this October there will be an IT-top gathering from the German government in Hamburg and one open IT-Top gathering from Open Source Business Alliance and the party the Greens. "The use of open source in science and administration isn't just handy, but also offers an ocean of opportunities for innovation and security." "Hamburg and Germany must gain independence from the IT giants".
    So it is. And it can be done!

    woensdag 24 september 2014

    a picture says a thousand words

    Now and then people ask me about LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Usually I point to the statistics about number of developers and such. And to the large difference in new functions. And of course the fixed old bugs. After explaining that to an artist, he came up with a nice drawing that I don't want to hide for you.

    A nice and funny drawing. On the other hand it's of course possible that such a split in a - originally single - project has negative impact on peoples joy in work and ambitions. And might that be the case - it's something that I always regret - I do hope that time will have a healing influence. As it usually does.

    vrijdag 13 juni 2014

    Are Germans so smart or we Dutch that dumb

    No, this has nothing to do with a possible match during the soccer worldcup. It is about open source.
    Look at the German city Munich, where they started in 2005 to migrate to open source. In 2013 the project was finished successful. A migration that resulted in 14.000 of the 15.000 seats running among others Linux at the desktop and LibreOffice.
    Significant investments have been made, but already now there are savings of 11 million Euro. The money that has been spent, of course will benefit the regional economy to a large extend. Smart!
    There is by the way also a report that says that Munich loses money on the project, but that reports makes wrong assumptions and is - what a coincidence - written on request of Microsoft by its partner HP, that gives no underlying info. So all municipalities: do take good notice of this, for in case someone uses that manipulated report to give a negative advise on open source!

    So fine, a significant use of open source does make sense. Do the people in Germany act so much smarter then in The Netherlands? Or is Munich an exception, that did not accept the special offerings?

    For those municipalities that want to learn more: the Munich story will be explained on the LibreOffice-symposium (June 26 at Ede) by the project lead Peter Hofmann. With of course the focus on LibreOffice, to which the city switched in 2013.
    The symposium also brings contributions from among others the municipalities of Ede and Neerijnen (the new Dutch Munich ;) ?)

    Can in The Netherlands be done on a larger scale what already happens in Germany?

    The LibreOffice-symposium is organised by the municipality of Ede and my company Nou&Off. It is organised especially for staff of the administrations that want a better look on starting with LibreOffice.