Re: When M$ inevitably pulls the standard non-recurring licence desktop version of Office ...
"Presumably because they didn't realise they would end up running both old and new platforms for ever more, and having to provide users with genuine Office via VDI whenever they needed to get real work done. Not really surprising as public sector IT often tends to scape the bottom of the barrel due to the low rates of pay."
If you bother to research the matter you'll find they don't need VDI. If they really need some Windows-only application they use Wine, setting up a specific configuration for each application and, from what I read earlier this year, that amounts to just two. It's surprising what nuggets you find at the bottom of the barrel when all the froth has floated away.
So what were their drivers. As far as I can see, there were two. One was security - Microsoft couldn't or wouldn't assure them that their stuff wouldn't phone home. The other might require you to answer a simple question:
What's the most valuable and often the longest lived component of any system?
Software? Nope, especially when it gets updated on a regular basis.
Hardware? Nope. That also goes out of date.
Data. Hardware and software come and go but data lives on.
If you're working in public administration some document may be needed many years after it was written. And if it was in a proprietary format long since obsolete that can be tough. Here's an example of the problems encountered with stuff that was less than 20 years old: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/07/11/bbc_domesday_project_saved/
If you can't open the document you won't be able to use macros & add-ins. If you can't open the document you'll not be worrying about whether the presentation is exactly the same. If you can't open the document you're stuck.
Relying on MS Office would rely on MS continuing to exist in, say 50 years time and to be providing a version of Office that could read all those old documents. Is it so unthinkable that that might not be the case? If the long term is more important than next quarter's results you need to take that approach. Munich made the call that the best chance of long term access to data is to use open standards for data formats.