Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Will ODF Bring a New Orange Revolution?

Maybe a new Orange Revolution is coming. If so, the first shot was fired in the small Dutch city of Groningen.

A municipal government in the Netherlands has decided to cancel its Microsoft contract and migrate to OpenOffice beginning in 2007. The main driver behind the unanimous decision of the City Commission of Groningen: cost savings.

And plenty of it. At least €330,000 of savings. That is real money for a city of 180,000 people and translates into saving €1.8 per person. Extrapolate that for the entire Netherlands and you have a savings of about €29 million. Even with the cost for training and ongoing support, the long-term savings should be considerable.

The decision was the result of a 3-year process which begin in 2003 when three organizations proposed a move to open source and open standards to the City Commission.

And since OpenOffice provides full support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF), Groningen is going open on the open standards and open source tracks at the same time.

That should give the Dutch fans something to cheer about.