10 open-source alternatives for small business software | PCWorld is one set of alternatives to Microsoft, which will save you not only the $ mentioned in the article on a per-product basis, but, as importantly, going non-Microsoft will allow SMBs to more cost-effectively replace desktops/laptops with virtual desktops. How? Why?
The how and the why is all related to MS Windows OS licensing “non-strategy” in the cloud. For the right to use Windows on an end-client (including tablets) or on a virtual desktop, Microsoft requires you to subscribe to VDA license, another $100/user/year.
For a 100-person SMB, the VDA licensing alone will a $10,000 cost to your IT budget….when you get to be a 1000-person mid-sized business, this cost is $100,000. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on either an employee or consulting company that can help you take advantage of open-source for your office productivity software?
PS In addition to the open-source software summary listed in this article, for Office, I would add Apache’s OpenOffice. For a lower cost alternative to MS-Office, which is not open-source, SMBs should also evaluate Google Apps.