We posted earlier about Germany’s Freiburg council fighting for a return to productivity and to be rescued from the suckiness of Open Office, which was impeding their workflow and ability to communicate with outside councils.
In 2007 the council voted to adopt Open Document Format and standardize on Open Office. In practice to get any work done the council workers have been running Open Office and Office 2000 in parallel.
In 2012 the failure of the project was clear, and an expert appraisal recommended the council switch back to Microsoft Office.
The city council has now voted, and despite lobbying by Open Source Business Alliance, the Free Software Foundation Europe and the German Information and Communication Technology Federation sense won the day and the proposal to switch back to Microsoft Office won 25 to 20 votes, with 2 abstentions. The news was tweeted by Councillor Timothy Simms, a Green Party member of the city council, and the Pirate Party’s Martin Brink-Abeler.
Interestingly the Portuguese government has just mandated ODF as their sole editable document format, in a bid to save 500 million Euro per year. I suspect, much likely Freiburg, it will be a case of being penny wise and pound foolish, and any savings will be eaten up by reduced productivity.