A Real Stimulus: Use Open Source Software

Windows for Workgroups 3.
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Does the thought of upgrading to Windows Vista or Windows Seven make you cringe?

Does dishing out $200 for upgraded Microsoft Office software frutrate you, especially during tough economic times?

If so, maybe you could learn a thing or two from the French… yes, the French.

A fascinating article on ArsTechnica describes how the French government saved millions of Euros when Windows Vista launched. Instead of “upgrading” (if you can call switching from XP to Vista an upgrade!) to Vista, the French goverment decided to migrate to completely free (read: it doesn’t cost anything), open source software.

Since 2004, they have saved at least 50 million Euros in licensing and maintenance costs by switching to open source software.

It began by replacing Microsoft Office with Open Office and Microsoft Outlook and IE with Firefox and Thunderbird.

The natural next step was to replace Windows, which they have done using Ubuntu and Mandriva. They hope to be Windows-free by 2015.

The biggest challenge? The icons look different, and there aren’t as many games.

So, the next time you go to Best Buy, and they push Microsoft Office on you (and they will), remember your friends the French and consider making the switch yourself!

Read more:

French police: we saved millions of euros by adopting Ubuntu – Ars Technica.

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3 thoughts on “A Real Stimulus: Use Open Source Software

  1. While I applaud the French police for making that migration and I know it saves them a lot of money, I don’t really see how it’s a stimulus to the economy.

    I guess you could stimulate the economy by buying open source software and/or support, since that’d still be cheaper than proprietary software but pump a little money into the economy but save you money still in the long run.

  2. ubuntucat:

    The point I was trying to make was that there are lots of ways to save money during tough times. Hence, the title of the post is more hyperbole than anything… I don’t literally mean that using OS software is going to stimulate the economy; rather, I thought the title would grab the attention of some of my readers who are looking for ways to save money during tough times.

    However, you are right to point out that it’s not really a stimulus.

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