German city dumps OpenOffice and switches to Microsoft

Freiburg will return to Microsoft Office because of severe compatibility problems using an open-source alternative

A majority of the city council in Freiburg, Germany, has voted in favor of ditching the open source suite OpenOffice to return to Microsoft Office after severe problems and complaints from employees.

The council voted 25 in favor and 20 against the decision with 2 abstentions in a vote on the switch on Tuesday afternoon, said Edith Lamersdorf, spokeswoman for the Freiburg city council in an email.

"So Freiburg will return to Microsoft Office," she said.

Last week the council revealed it was contemplating the switch when it said that its hopes and expectations for OpenOffice in 2007 were not fulfilled. Continuing to use the outdated OpenOffice 3.2.1 in combination with Microsoft Office 2000 would lead to more aggravation and frustration on the part of employees and external parties as well as performance impairments, the council said.

Employees had compatibility problems with text documents, spreadsheet and presentation files. The OpenOffice spreadsheet program Calc and presentation software Impress were seen as significantly underperforming compared to the Microsoft alternatives, according to the council.

After weighing its options, the only viable choice appeared to be migrating to Microsoft Office 2010, the council said.

Several open source groups protested the proposal on Friday in a last minute attempt to make the council change its mind, saying that it should at least consider upgrading to a current version of LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but that effort turned out to be futile.

Council member Timothy Simms of the Green party, who is in favor of using open source software, said in an email that he was "very disappointed," and that in the council debate there were "no good arguments in favor of Microsoft, no counter-arguments against our points."

If the council's budgetary plans are approved, the migration process could start by the middle of next year, the council spokeswoman said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags open sourceLibreOfficeapplicationsMicrosoftsoftwareOffice suitesOpenOffice.org

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?