exmoron writes "I work at a small university (5,500 students) and am in a position to potentially influence future software purchasing decisions. I use a number of FOSS solutions at home (OpenOffice.org, Zotero, GIMP, VirtualBox). My university, on the other hand, is a Microsoft and proprietary software groupie (Vista boxes running MS Office 2007, Exchange email server, Endnote, Photoshop, Blackboard, etc.). I'd like to make an argument that going open source would save the university money and think through a gradual transition process to open source software (starting small, with something like replacing Endnote with Zotero, then MS Office with OpenOffice.org, and so on). Unfortunately, I can't find very good information online on site licenses for proprietary software. How much does a site-license for Endnote cost? What about a site license for MS Office for 2,000 computers? In short, what's the skinny on moving to open source? How much money could a university like mine save? Additionally, what other benefits are there to moving to open source that I could try to sell the university on? And what are the drawbacks (other than people whining about change)?"
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