After switching 37,000 PCs to Ubuntu, French Armed Forces says open source cuts costs 40 percent

Matthew Humphries | | September 30, 2013

The French Gendarmerie, a branch of the French Armed Forces in charge of public safety, has been a leader in moving away from proprietary software in recent years.

Back in 2004 it decided to stop using Microsoft Office and embraced OpenOffice and the Open Document Format instead. That meant 90,000 PCs moved to OpenOffice, and 20,000 Office licenses were no longer needed. Then they moved to using Firefox for web browsing and Thunderbird for email by 2006. And 2007 saw Gimp and VLC installed across the network......

The Gendarmerie says it will have 72,000 PCs moved over to Ubuntu by next summer, and they will continue to migrate because it saves so much money. And here’s the important bit: in their experience using open source software so far, the total cost of ownership falls 40 percent, which is massive when you are talking about tens of thousands of machines.

Open Health News' Take: 

As an advocate of open source software and user for quite some time, it is good seeing articles like this where the financial savings are put out into the public.  After all, a savings of 40% over "tens of thousands of machines" is funds to (hopefully) be wisely reinvested back into the organization and make the organization even more productive and viable.

The one change I would personally do is use LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice which is the "next generation" (development wise) from OpenOffice in modern times.  I migrated myself from OpenOffice after Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems (thus, OpenOffice as well at that time) and have not looked back since with satisfaction in LibreOffice.

Crawford Rainwater, Blogger @ Open Health News and CEO & President, The Linux ETC Company