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25,000 Danish Hospital Staff Moving To LibreOffice

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the freeing-up-the-budget dept.

Medicine 247

An anonymous reader writes with news that 25,000 staff across 13 hospitals in Denmark will be switching to LibreOffice over the course of the next year. "The group of hospitals is phasing out a proprietary alternative, 'for long term strategic reasons,' which at the same time saves the group some 40 million Kroner [about $7.7 million] worth of proprietary licenses. The ditching of the proprietary alternative is a consequence of the group's move to virtual desktops, allowing staff members to log in on any PC or thin client. The group found that deploying this new desktop infrastructure would 'trigger unacceptably high costs' for proprietary office licenses... The move is Europe's second largest migration project involving public administrations using an open source office suite."

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Stroking a blow! (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159070)

Stroking a blow for software freedom!

Wait, this was about freedom from paying, not the "real" definition of free... dammit.

Re:Stroking a blow! (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159092)

Come for the beer; stay for the freedom.

--
BMO

Re:Stroking a blow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159190)

That pretty much sums up Denmark.

Re:Stroking a blow! (-1, Flamebait)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159362)

More likely 'come for the beer, get royally fucked like a drunken prom date when it comes to compatibility'.

Like it or not LO compatibility with MS Office royally sucks ass, and big businesses? they use MS Office. Wait until they start getting complaints like "What is wrong with this doc you sent us, it is just gibberish!" or "Hey we need this Excel sheet to open and all it does is crash!" or "What happened to my PPT? It looks like it has been fed through a grinder!"

LO works great if you are little Timmy writing a report he is gonna print anyway, I give it to my home users for just that purpose. but I have to warn them not to be sending any LO docs by email because anything of ANY complexity, like say headers and footers and fonts? Word Salad. I have seen students dinged over LO docs turning to crap when the teacher opened them in MS Office. it was bad enough at the local college they got a site license for the students just so they wouldn't have to deal with it.

But of course all we'll hear after I post this is "La la la I can't hear you, you must be a M$ Ninja!" to which I say here is the proof, try it yourself IF YOU DARE. There are tons of nice and complex Word docs on government websites, help yourself, download a dozen. do the same for Excel sheets. I'm sure most geeks here have access to MS Office yes? Try editing one of those complex docs or sheets in LO, IF you can get then to open correctly, and then save it in a standard Word 97-03 format. Now open that same doc and sheet you just saved in MS Office, version of your choice. What do you get? Word Salad or number hosing.

The fact they can get it to open at all is frankly a miracle but don't kid yourselves, the world uses MS Office for a REASON. it is because everyone has to share docs and sheets and PPTs with everyone else and that means compatibility. Now I'm sure some dude will chime in about how some doc he saw or heard about in 2004 didn't open right in MS Office to which I say, so what? for 99.9995% it "just works". I've had to deal with projects where I had Office 2K, 2K3, 2K4 for Mac, and 2K7 all collaborating on a 14Mb mess of a doc, the ONLY one who had trouble with it? The one kid trying to use open Office. We ended up getting him a copy of 2K3 just so we didn't have to deal, and sadly we'll see in 2 or 3 years the same in TFA.

This is a classic case of "penny wise pound foolish" as it'll cost them more in lost hours dealing with borked data than it would be just to buy the damned MS Office licenses, which they could probably get a discount on if their guy in charge of purchasing didn't suck.

Re:Stroking a blow! (3, Informative)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159424)

When your entire company will operate without MS Office i would have to say that this issue is not going to come up for general staff. (LO uses odf not doc.)

I would think .odf's features would already be implemented in MSO so converting for external use is not terrible.

Im calling you a 'M$ Ninja![!!!]' for trying to convince everyone that this is actually an issue with no simple work around.

Re:Stroking a blow! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159560)

Not only that, but if they do need to show a document to some other party, just export it to PDF.

Re:Stroking a blow! (0)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159432)

Having used both LO and Office, the only difference there is to choose between them in terms of the features they support - there's not much to choose between them. Yes there are very important features which won't work in LO (similarly there are features which won't work in MO such as very large tables).

But come on, its a Hospital. I'm sure they don't need uber-fancy designs or whatever it is. If you own a printing shop by all means.

Re:Stroking a blow! (4, Informative)

tacet (1142479) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159576)

while, big business can use emacs, for what it's worth, hospitals in denmark, probably need an easy way to produce odf, as it's official standard for denmarks government bodies and lot of documentation flow for hospitals is with government.

libre office does that, so they can cut expenses on software rather than, say patient care or staff salary.

Re:Stroking a blow! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159588)

"...and big businesses..."

Never saw a big business sitting in an emergency room.
If they want to sell something to the hospital, I bet they'll be able to open _any_ document from their clients-to-be.

Re:Stroking a blow! (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159864)

That only works as long as the payment is not complete.
Any support request documentation it's "oh sorry we couldn't open the document"

Re:Stroking a blow! (5, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159604)

On the other hand, ODF is the only approved editable format for use by the Danish government (citation: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/it-strategy/2010/02/02/denmark-adopts-odf-and-pdfa-40016263/ [zdnet.co.uk] ) in which case your compatibility will actually be better with LO than with MSO.

Remember these are Danish hospitals, in a country with state funded healthcare... ODF and PDF is what they require compatibility with, not any proprietary garbage... It is actually businesses using MSO who will be at a disadvantage when trying to do business with the government, because MS has extremely half-assed ODF support. So you have the situation backwards, the cost of MSO + the cost of dealing with its poor compatibility with everything else, vs the cost of LO.

Also the article mentions they are using a virtual desktop infrastructure, whereby they log in on a dumb terminal and a VM server somewhere fires up a desktop image for them and exports the display to their terminal. Now if you consider their requirements, any of those users who don't require any proprietary windows software can be given a linux image with the same software, thus saving the hospital the cost of windows licenses too.

Re:Stroking a blow! (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160110)

MS Office has been capable of saving ODFs since Office 2007 - you needed an add-in. Since Office 2010, I _believe_ saving to ODF is available by default.

Re:Stroking a blow! (1)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159800)

here is an interesting point

Many years ago I started to use open office, and i could send and receive files in MSO formats ,no problems
then something changed
when I emailed a file in doc format, sometimes it would get to its recipient as garbage, sometimes not.
if I took the file direct to them on a floppy (pre USB), no problems
so I started to send my files as PDF and no more problems, but i did some more investigating.

It seems that when my files were received as garbage, it was almost always that the person receiving them was using IE (6 or above), and it did not matter which office suite they were using.

However when the recipients of my files were using any other email program or if i took my files directly to them, that is to say, if I used any other delivery vector than IE, then, no problems.

Even to the extent that I was the sole person in a small office using OO up to the start of this year, any files I pushed around the office, or emailed to certain people (FF users) always worked fine, But the accounts person needed PDF's every time, (she used IE).

So I am starting to think that it is IE that is causing the doc files from OO (and maybe libre too ?)to be converted to garbage.

Now wouldn't that be interesting, so that if anyone accuses Micro$oft of playing unfair with their office suite by turning files from competitors office suites to garbage, they can say with their hands on their hearts, "no, our office suite will read Doc files from any and all other office suites", knowing all the time that as long as they have a good percentage of the browser market, they can make all other office suites instantly unusable.

Maybe this also applies to files pushed around an office by outlook exchanges, I don't know.

Re:Stroking a blow! (4, Insightful)

wrook (134116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159422)

Now what the Libre Office guys need to do is wander up to them and say, "You're saving 40 million Kroner in licensing fees. But is there anything in LO that doesn't meet your standards? Because for a tiny fraction of those savings we'd be happy to fix the problem right away."

Freedom isn't free. (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159130)

... which at the same time saves the group some 40 million Kroner [about $7.7 million] worth of proprietary licenses.

I hope that they're going to use SOME of that savings to hire a programmer or two to help improve LibreOffice. In Denmark, of course. Might as well keep the work local and focus on local requirements.

Re:Freedom isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159254)

I was thinking the same thing. If you aren't prepared to pay something in situations like this then you can't expect to save money over the long term. LibreOffice needs improvements before even the "most advanced" users will be able to use it. I seriously question though there are any real "advanced users" out there who couldn't get by on LibreOffice currently. The failure to do it is different from the ability to do.

Re:Freedom isn't free. (1, Insightful)

1mck (861167) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159556)

I totally agree with you about the fact that there aren't any real "advanced users" out there! I would say that 99% of the people out there that are using office software wouldn't know if they were using M$ or LO. In fact, if you were to "only" have a shop that runs LO, and had the staff trained on it, then they'd think the MS Office would stupid and counter intuitive and really hard to work. Most of the people that I've worked with don't have a clue about technology, so the fact that 25,000 staff across 13 hospitals in Denmark will be switching to LibreOffice over the course of the next year indicates that someone has their head on straight over there in Denmark...finally!

Re:Freedom isn't free. (1)

bluegreen997 (2096462) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160190)

I have to wonder if this is part of the reason why MS has forced their 'ribbon' menu on everyone. To force the majority of those who still use MSO to become used to that setup.

And I also wonder if MSO was not a defacto standard would MS have provided an option to include the standard drop down menu/tool bar setup rather than forcing UI changes on people.

Re:Freedom isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160192)

I was thinking the same thing. If you aren't prepared to pay something in situations like this then you can't expect to save money over the long term. LibreOffice needs improvements before even the "most advanced" users will be able to use it. I seriously question though there are any real "advanced users" out there who couldn't get by on LibreOffice currently. The failure to do it is different from the ability to do.

Not sure if you are talking specifically about the hospitals or not, and I know nothing about how they use office, but people who are not familiar with how many large companies use office software, and think of basic simple spreadsheets and documents, seriously underestimate how "advanced" it is used in many settings. It is more of an application platform in itself than standalone document applications. Excel "documents" with live input and output into several line of business applications, with advanced pre-programmed data-manipulation, rules, presentation and workflow. Not many are producing such spreadsheets, but many are using them (and it might look like a much simpler document to these users than it actually is), and doing something similar on Open Office (I have not looked at that for Libre after giving up on Open Office) is a major major software development project and investment that would easily throw all savings calculations in the complete opposite direction, if at all possible to do.

Re:Freedom isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159806)

Yes!

Re:Freedom isn't free. (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159882)

Here in the UK, the National Health Service ditched an enterprise-wide agreement for MS Office ; a back-of-envelope calculation suggests it must have been worth around $100M a year - imagine what could be developed for LibreOffice for only a fraction of this.

Re:Stroking a blow! (0)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159334)

Freedom from paying is a "real" freedom, not the same as GPL freedoms, but just as real and important nevertheless. But I'm sure you know that :)

also very important : general ODF usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159632)

one very important aspect for big organizations : ODF usage allows a vendor-independent free format, ensuring that you can read your archive documents in 50 years...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux
http://media.ccc.de/browse/conferences/eh2010/EH2010-3784-de-limux.html

LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (2, Interesting)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159094)

And it's important to notice they asked for LibreOffice, not OpenOffice. The really free version.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159140)

And it's important to notice they asked for LibreOffice, not OpenOffice. The really free version.

Now that we've established that you're about 14: It's important to note that they're getting off a proprietary solution. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Danes likely neither know nor care about your and your playmates' little "We're giving Oracle the finger because WE CAN!!" hardons.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159240)

YOU likely neither know nor care about giving Oracle the finger, coward. I bet the guys making these decisions know every bit of them.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159268)

care about giving Oracle the finger, coward.

Yeah, I'd say 14 is about right.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159544)

Maybe even 15.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159330)

Now that we've established that you're about 14

I think that's a nice example of guilt by association.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (3, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159714)

LibreOffice, not OpenOffice. The really free version

OpenOffice is not free? According to Google [google.com] , it is Open Source (and see the new Google Best Guess feature...).
I don't want to be the devil's advocate, but whatever one may think about Oracle, it isn't fair to tell OpenOffice is not free.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159832)

Free as free of patents, including obscure future claims by Oracle. LibreOffice is the sure bet.

Re:LibreOffice vs OpenOffice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159900)

The product is free, but the project itself and the development processes are less free.

It sounds like playing with words, but there are direct consequences of these differences.

whatever happened to (3, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159102)

software with a specific goal in mind, why is this medical system ran by excel and nothing else?

Re:whatever happened to (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159120)

Maybe its not. If you had a large pool of staff who needed to edit the occasional office document (say a doctor who needs to fill out an HR form) then a free office package makes a lot of sense.

Re:whatever happened to (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159164)

Maybe its not. If you had a large pool of staff who needed to edit the occasional office document (say a doctor who needs to fill out an HR form) then a free office package makes a lot of sense.

If their medical staff are filling out medical or office forms stored in Word format, their IT staff has no idea what they're doing.

Re:whatever happened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159174)

Harsh call. IT staff don't necessarily have a say. The people in IT don't necessarily have the time or mandate to run around chasing all of the little "systems" that people will build without their knowledge or involvement.

Re:whatever happened to (0)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159176)

Maybe its not. If you had a large pool of staff who needed to edit the occasional office document (say a doctor who needs to fill out an HR form) then a free office package makes a lot of sense.

If their medical staff are filling out medical or office forms stored in Word format, their IT staff has no say in what the medical staff are doing.

Somehow I find this scenario more likely.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159272)

Hospitals, at least in Denmark, are run by doctors, because supposedly only doctors knows how to run them.
Apparently, your skill with a scalpel is directly proportional to your skill at organizational management.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159288)

Hospitals, at least in Denmark, are run by doctors, because supposedly only doctors knows how to run them.

Sounds better than the UK where hospitals are run by managers who have no clue about medicine, waste money on outside consultants/PFI-deals, spunk cash on fat bonuses for the pen-pushers while cutting costs on front-line services and who hound whistle-blowers into the dust.

Re:whatever happened to (3, Insightful)

Dominic (3849) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159790)

Except that getting doctors to run hospitals is completely stupid. They are massively more expensive than managers, and when you do medicine at university you tend to learn how to treat people, not run businesses. That's not to say that *appropriate* managers aren't doctors (people such as clinical directors), but if you think that doctors are the best people to decide which printer paper supplier to use, or the logistics company that is responsible for transporting samples around the country, or the million other things that running a multi-million pound business (which is what a hospital is), then you are severely misguided.

Only 3% of NHS staff are managers. That is lower than pretty much any company in the oh-so-efficient private sector. The NHS is also the most efficient healthcare system of seven top industrialised nations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10375877 [bbc.co.uk]

You, sir, are a right-wing troll. I suggest sticking to facts in your future posts.

Re:whatever happened to (2)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159972)

Except that PFI is a right-wing policy. Using vast army of outside consultants is a right-wing policy.
The eye-watering costs and problems of PFI are well documented (for people who don't know, PFI is a scheme whereby a private company buys/builds something like a hospital/school and the leases it to the state. The costs all kept "off-book" so it looks like savings are being made, when in fact the costs are generally double the normal state-funded routess. It also lumbers future generations with massive debt).
The horrendous treatment of NHS whistle-blowers is also well documented.
The "cherry-picking" of patients and services by out-side contractors is also well documented (and in some cases, this has led to serious misdiagnoses).

So when it comes to the likes of the NHS I am, in fact, anything but right-wing.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160048)

The NHS is also the most efficient healthcare system of seven top industrialised nations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10375877 [bbc.co.uk] [bbc.co.uk]

I don't know which is scarier, that the NHS is "efficient", or that other countries have it worse.

Re:whatever happened to (2)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159666)

Would you like to tell me who, apart from doctors, understand what 'good' treatment actually is? It's not about skill with a scalpel, it's about being ultimately responsible for the welfare of your patient, and therefore understanding clearly where all of the impediments to this happening occurs.

At our hospital we have a 'ring-fenced bed', which is a bed kept empty on a haematological unit, save only for haematological emergencies requiring chemotherapy. Unless the manager understands why a patient with acute leukaemia is a medical emergency and can only managed in one (or two) places in the hospital, then actually, it's the physicians who are best placed to manage the ward in this way.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159252)

Maybe its not. If you had a large pool of staff who needed to edit the occasional office document (say a doctor who needs to fill out an HR form) then a free office package makes a lot of sense.

If their medical staff are filling out medical or office forms stored in Word format, their IT staff has no idea what they're doing.

I think its stupid too but its the normal way things are done at my workplace.

Re:whatever happened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159290)

Welcome back you mighty DOS overlords!

Re:whatever happened to (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159358)

Medical forms yes, since a doctor must fill in maybe 50 a day, they come in a limited verity of forms and they need to be centrally archived, this would be the classic use-case of a relational database. Doctors should be using a database to manage records, otherwise information is disorganised and it is very unlikely that the patient would be receiving the same level of care as if they were.

Office forms? Who gives a shit, if the total time wasted on doing it in a word processor is not much more than what it takes to train the doctors how to do it in whatever tool they should be using, then just leave it.

And what do they really need a word processor for? Same things normal people use them for: writing letters, writing submissions to medical journals, office memos, whatever. You know, the thousand miscellaneous usecases that always fall through the miriad cracks of whatever office automation system that is supposed to handle everything.

Anyway, it's not such a huge problem since the doctors I know tend to be very computer focused. Probably it uses a similar part of the brain. My uncle who's a doctor seems to have his surgery database upgraded every two years or so and has gotten an IT department for a surgery with 6 doctors.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159626)

If the doctors are already used to the medical forms, which for the reasons you state are done in a database driven system, then it makes sense for other less important forms to be done in the same or a similar system. Not much point wasting the doctor's time filling in trivial forms.

Re:whatever happened to (2, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160172)

Let's be more clear on this. We are up to 14 versions of M$ Office, so not free once but free fourteen times and, in those upgrades, hardware upgrades forced by software upgrades forced by data incompatibility and add retraining, data conversions. So either make the switch once or pay and pay and pay.

Of course with open applications, the idea of open documents also grows. With many different hospitals sharing generic documents and macros, saving development costs and, easing training requirements, this open document development spread not just nationally but globally as language permits. Sharing and caring in document development can save billions just in document production world wide.

Re:whatever happened to (3, Informative)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159256)

I've maintained corporate systems which relied heavily upon specialized software, and virtually none of the employees needed an office suite for the official business functions. Yet they insisted upon using such software to jot down quick notes or make quick calculations. Things that they really could have used calculator or notepad for, but they were more productive using the office suite (if for no other reason than they weren't wasting their and our time complaining about it).

I could easily imagine that being the case here. After all, if the hospitals' operations depended upon that proprietary office suite, it would be a bugger to switch to LibreOffice.

Re:whatever happened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159694)

So give them wordpad. It's got bullets, fonts, font variations and options (size, bold, italic, superscript, subscript, etc.), justification, indent, line spacing, and in-line images. 99% of people don't need anything more as far as word processing goes.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159458)

software with a specific goal in mind, why is this medical system ran by excel and nothing else?

It's not, they have a proper system for the actual medical stuff, not entirely sure what they'll need LO for.

Either way, go Danes.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159594)

An Office suite is needed for witing letters, handover lists, running audits, preparing and giving presentations etc..., but they aren't used that often in hospital by the clinical staff.

Also, at most hospitals, a lot of the clinical software (i.e. for dictated letters or letters stored electronically) is integrated with microsoft office.

This is great news, and I hope it works out for them.

Re:whatever happened to (3, Informative)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159660)

That's pretty much what the article says. They have 25,000 computers, currently 10,000 of them have Office since only a subset of the staff have any need of the software. However when changing to virtual desktops, they'd be required to buy another 15,000 licences according to their vendor, so they said fuck no.

Re:whatever happened to (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159644)

Trivial tasks, like writing short letters, doing simple calculations or viewing documents sent by others (which should have been sent as pdf)... The same thing that probably 99% of users of such software do, which is why the price tags charged by proprietary vendors are so disgusting.

Actually, ideally we need everyone using ODF, and then a selection of applications depending on requirement. Most people would be able to do with a very simple, ultra lightweight application and would probably get on better with it since the toolbars wouldn't be cluttered with advanced features they never use.

It isn't. (1)

munch117 (214551) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159878)

If they were all using MS Office, I'm sure they wouldn't mind paying for it. No, the problem is that they'd have to pay as if everyone was using MS Office, because virtualisation and commercial licensing don't play ball.

From computerworld.dk, my translation:

The cause of the extra licensing costs are according to Vivian Thomsen in Microsoft's licensing policy. She explains that if just one single VDI user among the 25,000 clinicians has access to Microsoft Office, that will trigger Office license payment for every single computer/client with access to the virtual desktop environment View from VMware.

They are in for a suprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159108)

God aweful software LibreOffie is comparied to itself or a "proprietary alternative"

Re:They are in for a suprise (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159214)

Don't worry. The US company will offer low rent just to stop the idea from spreading.
If that fails they will call in the State Dept.
Words will be had with the gov and a list of troublemakers presented. People who pushed for 'free' will get new jobs, be offered packages or new safe positions well away from the stress of buying software.
A new cost saving deal will done the new staff and US exports will be safe again.

Re:They are in for a suprise (2)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159320)

A new cost saving deal will done the new staff and US exports will be safe again.

I think that's what happened in Germany, when their foreign office dropped Linux. It was working rather well, but words were had and the experiment dropped.
(There was also a political shift to a party that favoured the profits of their friends in business over the costs borne by the people).

Re:They are in for a suprise (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159652)

Have you ever tried using "business software", especially from a large vendor? Most of it is pretty crap and the employees hate it, but they don't get a choice and are forced to use it.

"Proprietary Office Suite" (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159160)

Why not just name it? Repeating "proprietary office suite", over and over, just makes the author sound like an fool.

Re:"Proprietary Office Suite" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159184)

Why is it that everybody knows what "proprietary office suite" is? In healthy market economy that shouldn’t be possible because there would be several options.
And it is responsibility of public sector to try to keep markets working, to enable competition. By using anything else but MS product is a necessity. MS product works only with MS product.

Re:"Proprietary Office Suite" (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159188)

If you are curious to know which office suite it is, just hang around the it department managers of these hospital. They will likely be taken to dinner by sales drones of that suite for the next 12 months or so :)

Re:"Proprietary Office Suite" (0)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159224)

The writer, probably, doesnt want a web search for "MS Office" lead to this article. I will leave it to the tin foil hats to explain why, though.

Microsoft? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159308)

Incoming special discount on Office licenses in 3... 2... 1...

Re:"Proprietary Office Suite" (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159482)

Why not just name it? Repeating "proprietary office suite", over and over, just makes the author sound like an fool.

Can't be entirely sure, but IIRC at least one hospital I went to here used the Lotus office thing, not MS Office.

Have they fixed spell checking yet? (3, Interesting)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159202)

I am NOT trolling. Mod me whichever way you wish, but this is a real issue I had with Open Office that made me gave up on it. To put it simply, when running Open Office on a computer running Windows 7 32bit, the spell check would NOT work.

Here are a few things I remember doing. I tried downloading several versions. I tried installing it both as a regular user AND as administrator. I tried deleting, adding and modifying dictionaries. I tried changing languages between different English variants. I tried changing permissions on executables. I even reinstalled Windows 7. I struggled for almost a week to make it work, reading manual pages and searching forums. In the end I gave up trying to fix it. Now here's the kicker though... I did find a way that would fix the issue temporarily. If I would browse to the install folder of Open Office, right click on swriter.exe and select "run as administrator", the spell check would work. So I know all the executables, java environment and dictionaries were in place, but somehow the permissions were wrong and unfixable.

This happened around September of last year, when I was in the middle of my last year at university and I had a LOT of projects to complete. I had to almost live within SPSS and a word processor. Always using the workaround was a chore I did not need. So I completely gave up on OpenOffice and used my student discounts to buy OpenOffice's main competitor.

I can't figure out what is the real point of this post. I suppose I'm just venting, wishing I could get that week of my life back. Oh yes, and sometimes you really do get what you pay for...

Re:Have they fixed spell checking yet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159246)

So instead of venting, how about asking on a forum or submitting a bug report?

OOo English Forum [openoffice.org]

Report Bugs (OOo Wiki) [openoffice.org]

Re:Have they fixed spell checking yet? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159712)

I think that everybody here knows that submitting OOo bugs is an absolute waste of time. Guess what? You still can't group images properly [openoffice.org] , Impress doesn't wrap links [openoffice.org] , and to rotate an image in writer you have to open Draw to fix it and then paste it back into writer [openoffice.org] . FFS, Impress froze just then when I tried to create a new presentation to see if link wrapping is finally fixed! I know I should be *fixing* these bugs rather than just complaining about them, but who honestly has the time to familiarise themselves with the massive OOo/Libreoffice code base just to fix something so trivial that it should have been fixed years ago?

Re:Have they fixed spell checking yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159808)

The Office codebase is nearly as bad, just patched up better because 10x as many people use it (and it's funded by Microsoft).

My dad gave me a (legal) copy of Office a few days ago, as an upgrade to my 2007 (although I generally prefer LO anyway). I was using it on a document, and I was doing a bit of superscripting, and all of the sudden, I get a "Not Responding" error. Restart Office, and all of the borders in my tables are gone.

At least when I use LibreOffice it's stable...

Re:Have they fixed spell checking yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159446)

Tough luck. Trying to implement anything new and different in such situation is a big problem.

Nevertheless, my institution is county hospital. We use Open/LibreOffice since 2006. It is currently installed on 180+ computers, and works fine. It is also successfully adapted to local language, making things easier.
Actually, there are only about a dozen computers with "commercial office suite".

Please, please don't get me started with rants about incompatibilities within versions of that "commercial office suite". It is supposed to load/save to and from older versions, but things tend to brake down on regular basis. Presentations, spreadsheets, formatting in text documents, you name it. ... and yes, importing to and from OO does have it quirks, but as usual with computers, nothing works quite as supposed to.

Re:Have they fixed spell checking yet? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159766)

I had this problem and tracked it down to the document not registering the language. The only way I found to consistently fix it was to highlight all the text and then right click in the bottom centre information bar which displays the language - it'll be blank - and select the language of choice! Good luck.

Re:Have they fixed spell checking yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160148)

Should have used Google Docs... saved you some heartache.

Doesn't matter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159204)

Doesn't matter, it's still a library. I wonder what a "reoffice" library does, though.

A more important reason (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159250)

Dagens Medicin, a news site for local and regional administrations, quotes Thomsen explaining that most of the hospital workers, doctors and nurses, will have little trouble using Libre Office. "Most of them do not need the advanced features of these suites."

More important than thatt, 20 years from now they'll be able to open the documents they create today.

Re:A more important reason (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159510)

1991 was 20 years ago. So you'd be looking at documents created in Word for Windows 2.0.

If you want to open those files in Word 2010, you can follow the instructions here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922849#w2010

So if your requirement is ability to open files 20 years old, it seems like Microsoft Office does the trick.

OpenOffice/LibreOffice can trace their roots back to StarOffice, and the version avaliable in 1991 was what, StarOffice 1.0?

So the question is: Can Open/LIbreOffice open documents from StarOffice 2.0?

If it CAN'T then that means that actually, your assertions is wrong in terms of which product to chose for backwards compatibility.

Re:A more important reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159978)

got your MS Badge on then?

Re:A more important reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160014)

Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realize stating facts was considered fanboiism.

If the primary requirement is 20 year backwards compatibility, and both products have been around for over 20 years, then isn't "whether or not they can open documents from 20 years ago" worth considering? Or do you base all your decisions on ideology first and rational decision making based on facts second?

Re:A more important reason (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160180)

The point wasn't about backwards compatibility. The point is that the source for LibreOffice will still be around. Will you be able to find a version of Office in 2030 that'll open a document created today? Personally, I wouldn't bet on it despite acknowledging the precedent you've described.

I have a question: Would it be possible to open the original app used to make that document back in 91? Would it require a VM?

The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (2)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159310)

While I think this is good news, I wanted to say, generally, that I think IBM Lotus symphony is far better than other OO.org variants. I'm quite amazed that people don't really seem to consider it. If you've not tried it, you really should. It was also recently donated to the Apache foundation. But the most important think, I think is that it's actually the first office suite I've used in a long time that feels like it offers a compelling alternative to MA office, not only that it is as good where it masters, but that it is actually better in some regards.

I wish they'd get it out as the default in big distros, actually.

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159412)

What's good about Symphony? Last I checked, OO version that it is based on has been consistently lagging one major release before the mainline - and therefore all the recent improvements, bugfixes etc are simply not there. Other than weirdish UI, what else does it add?

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159426)

Saner user interface for one. LibreOffice's GUI still follows very closely the braindead Office 95's design. It's still not ribbon (which is the way to go for office applications - context sensitivity and task centralism!) but it's magnitudes better. And since User Experience is the #1 feature of every end user application, Symphony runs circles around LibreOffice.

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159738)

I hate the ribbon, it takes up all my screen space. I might like the ribbon more if it could be moved to the side, so I can actually see a whole page at 100% zoom, but I don't really care about finding out if that's possible, because I'm quite happy with the "braindead Office 95 design".

btw, office 2003 atleast does have context sensitivity - the picture, table and drawing toolbars can disappear!

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160086)

The MS move to the Ribbon was what got my business to switch to OO.o 100% about 3 years ago.

Everyone was much happier with the OO.o interface. Everything is in logical menus and they don't have to go searching through 7 different tabs of buttons to try to find the one pictured, not described, button that MIGHT do what they want it to do, only to realize that the default ribbon doesn't have the button they're looking for shown and they have to add it in manually.

Honestly, there is no worse user experience than the new MSO Ribbon interface. It assumes the user is a 3 year old. Which is great if you're so stupid you shouldn't be touching a computer to begin with, but for the rest of the real working world is a pain in the ass

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (2)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159490)

What I like about it is the more modern UI. The tabbed look it has is a metaphor I think a lot of people would get. I also think that the subtle blue colour works well compared to the dated grey-brown that we have in Libre office. The icons also have a nicer look to them, though I don't know if this is just an effect of the generally higher level of polish.

But don't think that these are trivial things. They matter both for how many people will use it, but also for productivity. It's important to have something which works visually too.

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159518)

But couldn't you improve productivity even more by going for a solid hospital green?

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159718)

I assume you are being funny.

You judge a word processor and spreadsheet by the background colour and icons?

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159922)

In part yes, it's got the same underlying base anyway, so it's akin to saying that there is something "funny"about wanting a bedroom in a color you like- hey, all room do basicaly the same thing, right?

If I'm going to spend thousands of hours looking at it, you bet I want it to look good.this is what open source software designers need to understand if they want to compete in todays market

Re:The other option - IBM Lotus symphony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159960)

The icons also have a nicer look to them, though I don't know if this is just an effect of the generally higher level of polish.

That right there is probably why people aren't using it as much. Only a very small fraction of the world population speak Polish, let alone high level Polish. Oh, also, you forgot to capitalize.

Too bad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159336)

Sadly this experiment will end in tears as that "proprietary office suite" is still going to be used by some of the staff (the management and those depending on tailored software depending on that particular office suite) and the proprietary documents will cause hiccups with LibreOffice.

Zipping your file and adding X to end of the file extension is the best marketing scheme ever. I've heard magament say that the pressure to update "proprietary office suite" to it's latest version is increasing. And why? Because the users _need_ the new and better functions on the software? No, because someone else has upgraded and keeps sending files with this new extension or the users have bought license to home and do some of their work at home.

Everything the users _need_ to do with the software could be easily and smoothly done with a ten year old version of that "proprietary office suite". The improvement in productivity comes not from the improved functions of the software, but from the lack of hassle when trying to manage with new filetypes.

In most enviroments the actual text editing needs could be met with notepad or wordpad if one had to be really fancy. But alas, since this "proprietary office suite" has managed to get itself deeply into most educational systems all the kids are trained to use only that office suite. So this monopoly office suite is more like a tax that every government just has to pay. All the companies writing their software depending on these products are happily helping of course.

"Export to Excel..." -> Ka-Ching! (And mostly it's just a .csv file in the first place...)

Re:Too bad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159940)

well, .docx does actually use a completely different format from .doc, and you can get the converter plugin for free... whether it's an improvement is another matter.

This is far more important that it seems: (2)

Hymer (856453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159438)

Denmark is very Microsoft oriented, our former prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen even visited Steve Ballmer in Redmond.
A move away from Microsoft product is very hard, the usual management argument is either: "Worlds biggest software company surely must have the best product!" or "Worlds most sold Office package must be best!" combined with the fact that nearly every business uses either Dynamics AXA or Dynamics NAV (or some former versions of those two) makes any changes next to impossible.
This is btw. second big move away from MS Office in the health sector, "Region Midtjylland" did this a couple of years ago. Several municipalities has also moved either everything or just the education.

Re:This is far more important that it seems: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159534)

Actually, we're also putting LibreOffice on all public machines in Copenhagen, sometimes with Office 200X, sometimes not, depending on what the individual institutions want. We tried putting Office 2010 on some and the users stalled completely, asking for instruction-books. Then we fired up LibreOffice and they went "ooh I know this". Probably thought it was Office 2003.

Re:This is far more important that it seems: (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159688)

"ooh I know this" — was it a Unix system? ;-)

Cue a deluge of phone calls from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159586)

Microsoft. They will most certainly want to do a deal here with a considerably reduced unit cost.

LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice (seriously) (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159606)

What's really the actual difference for an office worker?

Granted, on Ubuntu going forward, I guess it's going to be Libre. But what if you're downloading it for Windows?

And should you or should you not get the version with Java?

Re:LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice (seriously) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159976)

LibreOffice has been actively improving since the fork, and has the full set of distribution infrastructure for Windows and Linux, where as OpenOffice has not, and does not have either yet. For a windows user the most important bits are that the insane start up time has been reduced,and the improvements to the Microsoft docx type documents, but there are many other improvements, to pivot tables in calc for example. Due to the nature of the apache foundation they will have to rip out all the non apache licensed bits and replace them before they can start, this will take a while. I am not sure whether they even have it building properly yet, but even when they do, they will find themselves over half a year (or more) behind LibreOffice, from a cold start and without the support of the Linux distributors.

Re:LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice (seriously) (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160050)

The most notable thing is that LibreOffice has more momentum than OpenOffice, and that translates to better support and likely faster bugfixes and feature improvements. For someone who needs an office suite for actual work good support and timely bugfixes are probably among the most important features.

Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159636)

Doctors of course don't need software that doesn't crash and don't ever write documents with references in them, and they absolutely never need to exchange documents with the OOXML (i.e. MS Word) using world. In short, good luck! [ivoras.net]

Re:Good luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160018)

It has not crashed on me, and I use references regularly, for the TLDR crowd, he links a blog post that complains about problems which are in the proses of being solved, or have been solved since the post was written, as if they where not planed or already in progress when the post was made.

lets summarize the things you are wining about there
            -- Support for MS Office XML file formats. - improving, if slower than I would like Microsoft modified the format for a reason, if it was easy to reverse engineer that would spoil the point
            -- Support for SVG import and export - done
            -- Java removal - in progress (java based wizard replacement for next major version)
            -- Multi-monitor support - improving, bundled plug-ins to handle power-point style presenter mode for you
            -- SQLIte for the main database engine - planed as part of the java removal to start very soon (now the wizards have been replaced)
            -- Finish the Bibliography tool. - I never used Microsoft's one so why should I use LiberOffice's Zotaro is ideal for my needs as a PHD student and is open source so this is not even a problem
 

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