A few months back the city of Munich determined that a software upgrade was in order. City officials decided to move away from Windows XP and Office 2003 and migrate to open source solutions, Linux and OpenOffice.

Apparently, it ticked Redmond off that the city publicly announced to the technology world that it had saved in excess of $14.3 million up until now. Ticked it off so much that Microsoft decided to respond by conducting its own research.

The outcome, you ask? Microsoft says it’s a downright waste of cash.

A report on TechEye.net maintains that analysts at Vole carried out the study of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) where they found that Munich would have averted expenses totaling $57.23 million had they stayed on Microsoft software.

Microsoft, along with HP (the report was leaked by an employee at the hardware company, by the way) claims that the German city miscalculated the numbers when they said the switch saved them millions.

The gist of the matter is that Microsoft believes the local authorities have compared the migration costs of a decade old Linux platform to those of the latest Windows versions. According to the technology giant staying with Windows XP would have been a much more affordable solution.

It is not often you see Microsoft emphasizing to stick with Windows XP, that’s for sure.

But the major point of contention here is also the Office suite. As Bay Arinze so eloquently elaborated in a recent article, the biggest threat to Microsoft is people moving away from its business software. Microsoft Office has been the de facto standard for years upon years now.

Sure, city authorities making public the cost savings in such as way annoyed Microsoft to an extent. But this is something executives at Redmond would be quite wary about for the future.

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  • Matt

    Microsoft is so stupid. Linux is FREE. Open Office is FREE. Only cost involved: Hardware and Training.

    Upgrading to a newer version of Windows, like Windows 7 or 8, would cost in excess of $150 per seat.

    Staying with XP is never an option, seeing that XP has security issues as recent articles have shown.

  • Sean Random

    OK, Microsoft is giving us a load of schiβe about this. They’re simply trying to promote their products and make more money. The Germans are realizing that Linux is much better as an OS and are switching to it. In my eyes, this is a good choice.

  • willemoforange

    To say that Microsoft is only saying this out of only self interest is a bit naïve. If we want to evaluate a situation we have to look at the whole picture and not just react. What we need to do is check out the coat – all the training, all the IT work, all the hardware changes, all the lost hours of productivity, all the license fees, all the changes to specialist software that the city already had, all the software that no longer works because it is not supported by Linux.
    Add it all up for both systems and then compare. Licensing fees are only one part, and often a small part of the cost. I know this. I use high quality open source software and the cost of the learning curve has exceeded the cost of the licensing fee by a considerable margin.
    To do a fair comparison you must include all the costs.

    • Rex

      Absolutely correct. There is no such thing as free when it comes to enterprises or work purposes.

  • MSAppleMan

    They should have migrated to all Apple products as that would have been more cost affective for the future as all the OS updates are very cheap and Apple products very rarely go wrong. Initial cost might have been more but would have saved them lots of money in the future! Apple would have probably done them a very good bulk deal on products too which would have helped. Microsoft knows its days are numbered as you can tell as they have took this as a threat because people are realising Microsoft products are not the way forward. I have to say though I do like Windows 8 very much and is very easy to use once you know about the hot corners.