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Moving our public administration towards trust, facts and confidence

op:

Otto Kekäläinen, the Finnish FSFE country team coordinator, gave a talk in Berlin about the case regarding some of the major cities in Finland, which are considering using LibreOffice.

As he stated during his speech, which was part of the Berlin 2012 LibreOffice Conference "I assume most of us don't like the idea of paying taxes to governments so that they then spend them on closed source software and ship truckloads of money to the USA, Ireland or some tax heaven. Also I assume the idea of denying local business opportunities and limiting the governments own freedoms in computing is not anything any politician has on their agenda."

That was the situation in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku, where there have been city council initiatives to increase the use of LibreOffice and other Free Software. How ever none of these initiatives has so far been executed out.

Kekäläinen asked himself and the audience, why is there not everybody starting to use LibreOffice now when several pioneers, among others the Ministry of Justice in Finland, have shown it is both economically and technically a good move. He concluded that one of the reasons is Microsoft: "I am not trying to be politically correct, when we speak about LibreOffice and it's competitors, there is really only one enemy, and that is Microsoft", Kekäläinen said. As it was to be expected, he gave his reasons for making that statement, as well as several documented and referenced examples to conclude that the LibreOffice community has failures in communication. For example the success cases are not well documented, while Microsoft excels at public communications. And, in particular this company uses the fabricated Total Cost of Ownership calculations to claim that moving to LibreOffice is not economical, despite all government organizations that have made the move report significant savings, up to 70%.

Finally, Kekäläinen urged the LibreOffice community to resist the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt tactis used by Microsoft by spreading trust, facts and confidence.

The presentation is available for download:

  • Slides and notes
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