I tried installing Octave on my Windows machine. On the whole it was not suitable as a replacement for Matlab for my needs. Simple things such as using "end" as the last index in an array were not available. This would break many of my codes and many items like this would require a large amount of time to fix. Plotting seemed very poor compared to Matlab. I found so many inconvenient things in the first five minutes of use that I gave up.
As much as I would like an open source alternative to Matlab; for the productivity that Matlab supplies I will gladly pay the Matlab license.