Terminal Services Plus Open Office Equals

Money in your small business person’s pocket!

I often have the opportunity to take advantage of my Microsoft Partner status when evaluating solutions for clients. I’ve been a Gates fan since he stole DOS from IBM. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer company, back then. How things have changed. I’m also an IBM partner, having fallen head over heals with the RS6000 and IBM server hardware in general.

I’ve just completed a proof of concept project for a client that could potentially save close to over $10000 in upfront Microsoft licensing costs. I was stunned, because I didn’t intend to go in that direction. These days, $10000 is a sizable chunk of change for a small business owner.

As a Microsoft Partner, I own MAPS, not the kind that you find your way around town with, but the software version. MAPS allows me to have legit copies of all of Microsoft’s software offerings. Consequently, I maintain intimate knowledge of Microsoft’s desktop and server products. And, I am a particular fan of Server 2008 Terminal Services. If Microsoft ever got anything right, they got Server 2008 right.

My proof of concept project consisted of creating a 2008 Terminal Server with desktop access to QuickBooks Enterprise and Microsoft Office for 30 users. Just as I was to complete the install of Microsoft Office, I discovered that I did not have the correct volume license keys to make the software work! My deadline was 24 hours away, over a weekend (that spells Monday morning), without any ability to get the keys on time.

After I stopped shaking, I remembered the requirements for the project were QuickBooks, Word Processing and Spreadsheet capability. I stopped thinking Microsoft Office and started thinking Open Office. Within the hour, I had completed my proof of concept project.

Open Office version 3 is as good an office suite as money can buy. The best part is that it is free! “That means you are free to download it, free to install it on as many PCs as you like, free to pass copies to as many people as you like. You may use OpenOffice.org 3 for any purpose without restriction: private, educational, public administration, commercial… Free, really free.” And, it’s really well done!

Thirty Terminal Server licensed users equals thirty Microsoft Office licenses needed, times $400 plus per license, equals, well, you get the picture. Contact me, I could use the work!

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