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Open Source Desktops Have Lowest Maintenance Cost

That open source is more cost effective in initial deployment and ongoing maintenance is not surprising to anyone who uses open source software, despite the premise being attacked by Microsoft (and some people apparently do believe MS’ marketing).

The experience of the German Foreign Ministry is that open source desktops cost less to operate and maintain than Windows and Microsoft Office-based systems, reports Metamorphosis:

“Open Source desktops are far cheaper to maintain than proprietary desktop configurations, says Rolf Schuster, a diplomat at the German Embassy in Madrid and the former head of IT at the Foreign Ministry.”

This is an informed opinion, as the Ministry has been working with open source since 2001, and is currently midway through a complete migration to FOSS.

“The Foreign Ministry is migrating all of its 11,000 desktops to GNU/Linux and other open source applications. According to Schuster, this has drastically reduced maintenance costs in comparison with other ministries. “The Foreign Ministry is running desktops in many far away and some very difficult locations. Yet we spend only one thousand euros per desktop per year. That is far lower than other ministries, that on average spend more than 3,000 euros per desktop per year.

“The ministry has so far migrated almost four thousand of its desktops to GNU/Linux and expects to complete the move by the summer of 2009, Schuster said. About half of all the 230 embassies and consulates have now been switched over. “It is not without problems. It took a while to find a developer in Japan to help us with some font issues we had in OpenOffice.”

The groundwork of the past few years is beginning to pay off for a large number of first-movers around the world. I expect the migration trend will continue to accelerate as more and more case studies help to sway the slower adopters.

One Response to “Open Source Desktops Have Lowest Maintenance Cost”

  1. Don Watkins » Lower maintenance cost Says:
    November 3rd, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    […] came across a good article at SolidOffice. The author asserts that open source desktops cost less to maintain. Microsoft Windows requires an […]