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LXer: The Real Cost of Retraining for OpenOffice.org

Nov 05, 2005, 09:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by D.C. Parris)

"One of the most frequently voiced objections when discussing a migration to OpenOffice.org is the cost of retraining the users. The argument is raised as a cost barrier, and essentially amounts to claiming that it would be cheaper to upgrade to the next version of Microsoft Office than to retrain users on OpenOffice.org. It's an attempt at the old 'libre software isn't gratis' argument. Let's examine this argument closely to find out why it doesn't hold water.

"The fallacy of of this argument lies in the assumption that 100% of the users will be using an office environment so new and foreign as to render them 100% useless until trained on the new software. If true, it certainly would explain why people balk at the idea. In reality, it generally takes users about two weeks of normal use to get comfortable using OpenOffice.org without any training at all. A little training could boost productivity in the short term by reducing the time it takes for users to familiarize themselves with the new software..."

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