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Re: [LUG] Have I been drinking? Government to drop MS Office...


On 29/01/14 12:30, Tom wrote:
> http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/29/uk-government-plans-switch-to-open-source-from-microsoft-office-suite
> Tom te tom te tom

Whilst that seems nice in principle, in reality this is going to be very
severely, if not fatally, hampered by two things:

1: Legacy VB crap 'logic' literally *everywhere* in public sector
2: Married to Sharepoint

Those two things alone are enough to basically scupper an otherwise
no-brainer switch to Libre/Open Office for at least 50% of users in my
(extensive) experience of working for our beloved government.

The funny thing is, back in the NHS despite my protestations our
standard desktop images were pretty restrictive, poorly equipped with
basic tools and running already ageing software - mostly Office XP
without the updated format/filter packs for the newer docx/xlsx/etc
documents. Crappy compatibility between different generations of Office
suites, the consultants' Macs and the torrents of emailed documents the
hospital processed every day got to be such a headache that I got
permission to roll out OpenOffice to all my departments PAs,
secretaries, researchers, etc. Needless to say, even a good few years
back, OpenOffice had better compatibility and format handling for
Microsoft formats than Microsoft Office did so everyone was happy. After
a three month very successful trial we presented our results to the
directors quarterly meeting and pointed out we could save at least 90%
of the trusts' Office licensing budget by switching pretty much everyone
except finance (who utterly relied on legacy VB rubbish) to open-source
Office instead and also save countless hours of frustration and time
wasting support calls whilst we were at it. Even with favourable NHS
volume licensing rates, we're talking about saving the MS Office tax on
approx ~10k machines across all our different campuses here.

I bet you can guess what happened...

My spies tell me that most of the trust is still on XP + Office 2003,
having borked the proposed Win7 roll out numerous times.


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