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Dutch City of Enschede Piloting

Enschede, the 13th-largest city in the Netherlands, will cancel its annual subscription licenses of Microsoft Office and Windows to save money and better serve its 155,000 inhabitants, the Open Source Observatory announces:

“The city council was contacted by Microsoft a few months ago to renew the licence contract for MS Office and MS Windows, for which the city pays some 450,000 euro per year. According to Hans Koenders, IT-policy adviser for the city council, renewing the contract would enable the city council to migrate to the latest version of Office and Windows. “That is not very compelling, for we are not planning an overhaul of our desktop software.”

“The city’s licence ran out on Monday. However, not renewing still gives the city administration the right to continue to use its current version of Microsoft Office (2003) on all of its 2,000 desktop PCs, for the next three years.

“The city council wants to use this period to test OpenOffice… [and] to slowly increase the amount of Open Source software, reasoning that this will strengthen local IT service providers. “It is possible that migrating to Open Source ends up not being cheaper than using proprietary software. However, it is likely that this way we will be paying a local company, instead of sending our money overseas.”

Enschede is entering this project with the wisdom collected from many previous migrations, and with a deep understanding of the obvious and hidden benefits it can expect to accrue from the adoption of OpenOffice and other FOSS applications. Furthermore, paying 225 euros per year per PC, I am sure they will save money right from the start with this change. (That monopoly license cost, just for renting software, is obscene!)

Congratulations and good luck to them!

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