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08/04/2005 Archived Entry: "The Open CD"

Well, someone is getting the message. Argonne National Laboratory, tired of Microsoft licensing fees, is now distributing open-source software to their employees.

"Argonne's contract with Microsoft has recently changed, resulting in a dramatic increase in the annual licensing price of the company's products. In response, a team of Argonne systems administrators and scientists assembled the Argonne Semi-Open Desktop as a means to save the money without losing any features of the popular, costly software commonplace on most employee's desktops. The Argonne Semi-Open Desktop replaces several proprietary software titles with free, open-source applications. The software bundle contains a Microsoft Office file-compatible office suite, a Photoshop file-compatible image editor, a Web browser, an e-mail client, PDF creation tools, and many more applications that can be installed easily onto existing computers.

"There are many benefits to using open-source software. The programs can be easily downloaded, distributed and installed on all Argonne and personal computers without charge. There is no initial cost for the software or for future updates. There is no need to manage or renew licenses. Many packages are multi-platform: Users can run the same applications and work on the same documents using the Windows, Macintosh or Linux operating systems. Also, open-source software reduces Argonne's dependency on expensive, proprietary software products."

Windows users, if you don't work at Argonne, you can get a copy of The Open CD which has basically the same software. If you use Linux you probably got all this in your distribution. I've yet to hear of anyone (other than Argonne) doing a compilation of open-source software for the Mac....but then, I don't move much in Mac circles.


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