Netherlands Looks to Move to OpenDocument Format for Goverment



  • Following major announcements from Italy, China and India - the government of The Netherlands is strongly considering making the OpenDocument Format the required format for all government documents. A major move. After a long time stalled fighting with OpenXML, the ODF seems to be seeing a snowball effect happening right now.



  • I'm very surprised that any country wants to continue using Microsoft's document formats. Just the cost alone for the software would make me (if I were a country leader) require a change to OpenDoc format and applications for all software.



  • There is a tremendous bit of pressure from vendors and their partners and people with hands in pockets to maintain status quo and keep the money flowing where it is. Remember that governments often get huge kickbacks and other incentives to decision makers to make sure that they keep buying expensive, unneeded products. You find this especially with big storage products.

    Benefits are rarely cash, but more often dinners, cars, golf club memberships, etc.



  • True, corruption at all levels.



  • Corrupt government dealings??? If that's true, then everything I believe is.... true.



  • I'd be surprised if corruption is the cause of Microsoft's dominance in the public sector. Certainly in the UK, levels of corruption are pretty low. At the very highest level, possibly, but that is more likely to be in the form of political donations rather than golf club memberships. Anti-corruption laws are pretty vigorous here. I'd also be surprised to hear that Holland is much different.



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I'd be surprised if corruption is the cause of Microsoft's dominance in the public sector. Certainly in the UK, levels of corruption are pretty low. At the very highest level, possibly, but that is more likely to be in the form of political donations rather than golf club memberships. Anti-corruption laws are pretty vigorous here. I'd also be surprised to hear that Holland is much different.

    Which is why those are often places where we see ODF making faster inroads. Germany was one of the leaders of the shift.

    Although it is shocking that India, China and Italy, all famous for government corruption, are all leaders in the move now too.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    I'm very surprised that any country wants to continue using Microsoft's document formats. Just the cost alone for the software would make me (if I were a country leader) require a change to OpenDoc format and applications for all software.

    I can see the benefits in the long term of switching, but in the short term I'd imagine there is a large cost (training, installation etc etc). It's a big investment to move. The problem is all European governments are basically broke, so will generally only look at the short term costs.



  • I wonder if there are good studies on the cost of switching. I've seen companies do it and find the cost to be very low, but I am sure that it varies a lot. Both depending on who the users are as well as on how the software is used.



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    I'm very surprised that any country wants to continue using Microsoft's document formats. Just the cost alone for the software would make me (if I were a country leader) require a change to OpenDoc format and applications for all software.

    I can see the benefits in the long term of switching, but in the short term I'd imagine there is a large cost (training, installation etc etc). It's a big investment to move. The problem is all European governments are basically broke, so will generally only look at the short term costs.

    I keep hearing about the associated training costs being too much with things like this... I can't imagine that they are really that much. Especially since 90-95% of all actions done on OpenOffice/LibreOffice (I know they are different) are identical to the actions performed on Microsoft Office. The only thing I can think of being different are some arcane Excel formulas... even then many of the basic Excel formulas are automatically translated to the corresponding ones in LibreOffice (at least in my experience).



  • @coliver said:

    @Carnival-Boy said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    I'm very surprised that any country wants to continue using Microsoft's document formats. Just the cost alone for the software would make me (if I were a country leader) require a change to OpenDoc format and applications for all software.

    I can see the benefits in the long term of switching, but in the short term I'd imagine there is a large cost (training, installation etc etc). It's a big investment to move. The problem is all European governments are basically broke, so will generally only look at the short term costs.

    I keep hearing about the associated training costs being too much with things like this... I can't imagine that they are really that much. Especially since 90-95% of all actions done on OpenOffice/LibreOffice (I know they are different) are identical to the actions performed on Microsoft Office. The only thing I can think of being different are some arcane Excel formulas... even then many of the basic Excel formulas are automatically translated to the corresponding ones in LibreOffice (at least in my experience).

    I go back and forth and barely notice. Power Users, though, in Office do some whacky stuff. They are where the cost can be hiding.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @Carnival-Boy said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    I'm very surprised that any country wants to continue using Microsoft's document formats. Just the cost alone for the software would make me (if I were a country leader) require a change to OpenDoc format and applications for all software.

    I can see the benefits in the long term of switching, but in the short term I'd imagine there is a large cost (training, installation etc etc). It's a big investment to move. The problem is all European governments are basically broke, so will generally only look at the short term costs.

    I keep hearing about the associated training costs being too much with things like this... I can't imagine that they are really that much. Especially since 90-95% of all actions done on OpenOffice/LibreOffice (I know they are different) are identical to the actions performed on Microsoft Office. The only thing I can think of being different are some arcane Excel formulas... even then many of the basic Excel formulas are automatically translated to the corresponding ones in LibreOffice (at least in my experience).

    I go back and forth and barely notice. Power Users, though, in Office do some whacky stuff. They are where the cost can be hiding.

    I go back and forth fairly regularly as well but I rarely use Office software for much of anything these days.



  • I'd hate to lose Office. On the rare occasions I've used other packages I've always found them to be rubbish in comparison. I find the cost of an Office licence to be pretty trivial compared with the benefits.



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I'd hate to lose Office. On the rare occasions I've used other packages I've always found them to be rubbish in comparison. I find the cost of an Office licence to be pretty trivial compared with the benefits.

    At this scale I also find the cost of Office to be nearly trivial compared to the other costs associated with employees/workers.



  • @Dashrender said:

    At this scale I also find the cost of Office to be nearly trivial compared to the other costs associated with employees/workers.

    MS Office never gets to be all that cheap. It's more expensive, for example, than an iPad (see other discussions around user efficiency.) Yes, it's cheap compared to the cost of an employee in both cases, but it is never cheap. It's, in my experience, on par with a whole PC in cost. But the big costs of MS Office come from managing licenses, updates, deployments and other things that it does not do well. And in locking people in to Windows and Mac platforms. The costs are mostly hidden and I've never seen anything that suggests that MS Office makes people more efficient than the alternatives.

    Don't get me wrong, MS Office is an amazingly good product. But it carries a lot of costs and caveats too, mostly hidden in things like license management and audits.



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I'd hate to lose Office. On the rare occasions I've used other packages I've always found them to be rubbish in comparison. I find the cost of an Office licence to be pretty trivial compared with the benefits.

    The "other packages" all being LibreOffice, I assume? What other serious competitor is there? I've never found it to be rubbish, though, using both I routinely prefer LibreOffice. It's lighter, easier to manage and maintain, no licensing issues, etc.



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I find the cost of an Office licence to be pretty trivial compared with the benefits.

    What benefits do you find are compelling with it? The big ones that I see most often are users already familiar with it (this seems to be becoming less common rather than more common as people stop using PCs at home) and integration with other products (also becoming less and less common from what I see.)



  • The one amazing benefit that I see with MS Office, and what makes us use it, isn't the MS Office platform itself but its full top to bottom integration with SharePoint and Office 365 platforms. That one thing is what makes it super valuable to us.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    The one amazing benefit that I see with MS Office, and what makes us use it, isn't the MS Office platform itself but its full top to bottom integration with SharePoint and Office 365 platforms. That one thing is what makes it super valuable to us.

    How much of that can't be handled in the online apps these days? I really don't know since I don't really use the online apps.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The one amazing benefit that I see with MS Office, and what makes us use it, isn't the MS Office platform itself but its full top to bottom integration with SharePoint and Office 365 platforms. That one thing is what makes it super valuable to us.

    How much of that can't be handled in the online apps these days? I really don't know since I don't really use the online apps.

    That portion, all. But few people like the online app as much as the installed on. LibreOffice actually had the hosted app option ahead of MS Office.



  • I personally have never found my self without the installed application, and find the Hosted App solution rather useless.

    Maybe some time in the future (if I didn't have a working and setup device) would I have to use this feature. But it hasn't happened yet.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    I personally have never found my self without the installed application, and find the Hosted App solution rather useless.

    Maybe some time in the future (if I didn't have a working and setup device) would I have to use this feature. But it hasn't happened yet.

    I used Google Apps all through college. I prefer the apps hosted. Especially when all the documents get stored in one easily accessible place.



  • @coliver said:

    I used Google Apps all through college. I prefer the apps hosted. Especially when all the documents get stored in one easily accessible place.

    I get that with MS Office locally installed.



  • @coliver said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    I personally have never found my self without the installed application, and find the Hosted App solution rather useless.

    Maybe some time in the future (if I didn't have a working and setup device) would I have to use this feature. But it hasn't happened yet.

    I used Google Apps all through college. I prefer the apps hosted. Especially when all the documents get stored in one easily accessible place.

    Google Apps aren't included in the conversation, those are solely cloud based solutions. (Unless and correct me if I'm wrong) Google hasn't sold their Cloud App as a direct install-able that is usable without internet.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    @coliver said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    I personally have never found my self without the installed application, and find the Hosted App solution rather useless.

    Maybe some time in the future (if I didn't have a working and setup device) would I have to use this feature. But it hasn't happened yet.

    I used Google Apps all through college. I prefer the apps hosted. Especially when all the documents get stored in one easily accessible place.

    Google Apps aren't included in the conversation, those are solely cloud based solutions. (Unless and correct me if I'm wrong) Google hasn't sold their Cloud App as a direct install-able that is usable without internet.

    That used to be the case with Chromebooks, is it no longer?



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    @coliver said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    I personally have never found my self without the installed application, and find the Hosted App solution rather useless.

    Maybe some time in the future (if I didn't have a working and setup device) would I have to use this feature. But it hasn't happened yet.

    I used Google Apps all through college. I prefer the apps hosted. Especially when all the documents get stored in one easily accessible place.

    Google Apps aren't included in the conversation, those are solely cloud based solutions. (Unless and correct me if I'm wrong) Google hasn't sold their Cloud App as a direct install-able that is usable without internet.

    I assumed we were talking about Office suites in general. Even so when I can I prefer to use the hosted variant of apps as they are identical no matter which machine I use them on and will always be available. I am unable to do that currently due to some politics with my new job.



  • That is what makes things like OneDrive or OwnCloud so great.... Y ou can use them to sync files across your devices... but that's another topic.

    I have LibreOffice installed on my home Windows machine right now. It works great for everything I need it for.



  • The hosted App and the installed one, should be identical to each other, respectively.

    The Web App should always match the web app, and the installed should always match the installed.

    The functional difference you'd expect are Performance, and only performance. Everything else should work the same exact, for each platform of the same product.

    If you were working on a Web App Excel document, and you downloaded the file to your computer, and your scripts / vbs / functions stopped working it's clearly not the same application.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    The hosted App and the installed one, should be identical to each other, respectively.

    The Web App should always match the web app, and the installed should always match the installed.

    The functional difference you'd expect are Performance, and only performance. Everything else should work the same exact, for each platform of the same product.

    If you were working on a Web App Excel document, and you downloaded the file to your computer, and your scripts / vbs / functions stopped working it's clearly not the same application.

    This is clearly not the case in hosted MS Office apps vs locally installed one.
    But I'm guessin' ye knew that.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    The hosted App and the installed one, should be identical to each other, respectively.

    The Web App should always match the web app, and the installed should always match the installed.

    The functional difference you'd expect are Performance, and only performance. Everything else should work the same exact, for each platform of the same product.

    If you were working on a Web App Excel document, and you downloaded the file to your computer, and your scripts / vbs / functions stopped working it's clearly not the same application.

    You've not seen Office 365 then, I take it?