Large School District Weighs TCO of Microsoft
In response to deepening budget challenges, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) sought to reduce IT related expenses. OCPS conducted a study to compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) of different productivity suite software alternatives, in particular the 2007 Microsoft® Office system and open source software (OSS) alternatives such as StarOffice 9 and OpenOffice 3.1. The study found that while OCPS could save a great deal in upfront software license costs by migrating to OSS software instead of Office 2007, the initial savings were offset by vendor support costs and other IT labor costs associated with deploying, supporting, and maintaining the OSS software. According to the study, these additional costs would contribute to a nearly 30% increase in direct costs for an OSS software alternative over Microsoft Office. When educator and administrator downtime and productivity costs are considered, the gap between the 2007 Office system and OSS alternatives widens further.