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French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu 368

Posted by timothy
from the justified-disdain dept.
Ynot_82 writes "The French national police force, the Gendarmerie Nationale, has spoken about their migration away from the Windows platform to Linux. Estimated to have already saved the force 50 Million Euros, the migration is due to be completed on all 90,000 workstations by 2015. Of the move, Lt. Col. Guimard had this comment: '"Moving from Microsoft XP to Vista would not have brought us many advantages and Microsoft said it would require training of users. Moving from XP to Ubuntu, however, proved very easy. The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority."'"
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French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu

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  • Go France! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:08PM (#27171221)

    Now if only state and federal agencies in the US would do some of the same. Sadly, so long as corporations are allowed to lobby, the pork train will probably continue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:13PM (#27171305)

    What the summary doesn't mention, but is worth noting, is that they were already using open source programs where possible---Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo. Now I think their migration is wonderful, but I suspect it might have been somewhat more difficult if users were asked to adjust to new programs, as well.

  • Re:Go France! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by SIR_Taco (467460) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:16PM (#27171361) Homepage

    Honestly, not supporting a business that resides in your nation during the current state of the economy is a pretty bad thing for the government to do. I am not arguing that it should not happen, but right now may not be the time.
    In Canada, the government run Lottery corporation just bought 20 Mercedes for prizes, when all the auto companies here are having massive lay-offs/closures. Needless to say they're taking a little flak.
    The point is that the government should be helping to foster the development of it's own economy by investing into it.

    Just my two cents

  • Re:Go France! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:23PM (#27171451)

    Honestly, not supporting a business that resides in your nation during the current state of the economy is a pretty bad thing for the government to do.

    But which companies to support? Red Hat is based in the USA as are many other Linux-based companies. The thing is, when you keep buying things from a certain company just because its made in the USA, you help monopolies and deny justice. Why would the justice department pass a ruling on MS if everything they use is MS based and in the short term it would cost more money to switch?

    The point is that the government should be helping to foster the development of it's own economy by investing into it.

    But why support a company convicted of running an abusive monopoly? Sure, if it was cheaper to do it the MS way it might make some sense, but compared to Linux, MS is very expensive for little to no quality benefit. By buying MS products governments are helping MS build an even larger monopoly along with effectively tying the hands of judges in monopoly cases.

  • Re:Go France! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Caue (909322) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:30PM (#27171561)
    Yeah. Slashdotters forget basic economy like the rest of North Americans. Hurray closed markets... oh wait, I guess not.

    If someone needs to explain to you why this is such a dumbass idea, try the cotton or the corn lobby. They will explain how that kind of thinking made americans choose the least efficient bio-fuel. Go sugarcane, go (that was a no-brainer by the way.. sugarcane = sugar = energy for your children AND you car)!

  • Re:Go France! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:31PM (#27171569) Journal
    If your choice is between equivalent options, one foreign and one domestic, then perhaps that is true. However, if the options are not equivalent, that doesn't necessarily hold.

    In this case, for instance, the contention is that a government agency can save millions of dollars by using Linux. Millions of dollars saved is millions you don't have to collect in taxes, or millions that you can do other things with(depending on whether you think the organization in question should focus on present level of service, controlling costs, or present level of cost, improving service).

    If a government can actually save money by using linux, then their using Windows amounts to overtaxing their citizens for the benefit of a private corporation. That is bad.
  • Re:Go France! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stewie241 (1035724) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:34PM (#27171623)

    In some cases, I would agree. However this is an issue of a police force saving money, not just spending money differently. They could easily use local support agencies for their Linux and it would still help drive the economy.

    I'd rather they save money and redistribute it as needed rather than going for the more expensive option for the sake of it.

    The other problem with the car thing, is what cars are actually made in Canada? Each of the big 3 only make about 6 different vehicles in Canada, and none of them compare in luxury to an MB. Not only that, but the MB is apparently made from Canadian steel anyway, so...

  • Re:For information (Score:3, Insightful)

    by getclear (1338437) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:38PM (#27171697)
    Not particularly, they would have had to offer retraining from 2003 to 2007, as well as on the new OS.
  • Re:Go France! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IdleTime (561841) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:54PM (#27171975) Journal
    And the corn syrup produced in such copious amounts can now be found around Americans waists...
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:02PM (#27172095) Homepage

    What the summary doesn't mention, but is worth noting, is that they were already using open source programs where possible---Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo. Now I think their migration is wonderful, but I suspect it might have been somewhat more difficult if users were asked to adjust to new programs, as well.

    Of course it would have been more difficult. That just means they did it right, switching to Free applications first then to the Free OS. They probably saved money in the first step as well as the second, and lowered the burden by doing it phased rather than dumping it all on the users at once.

  • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:13PM (#27172229)
    Your anecdote further strengthens my view that American companies are all run by idiots. I swear, American companies sit down and figure out the most efficient way to run the company and then say "Ok, great -- lets do the exact opposite".
  • Re:For information (Score:2, Insightful)

    by godrik (1287354) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:21PM (#27172377)
    My point was that moving from office 2003/windows to openoffice/ubuntu would induce much more compatibility issues than from openoffice/windows. since the file format are fully compatible.
  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:35PM (#27175825)

    I suggested OpenOffice to several execs, and not a single one would consider moving away from Office. It is just unthinkable.

    How did you mention it? Did you write a proposal that examined the financial ramifications of switching from MS Office to OpenOffice, including not only licensing costs but also retraining expenses? Did you outline the benefits of switching including how quality would be improved? Did you explain possible alternatives including the possibility of doing nothing? This is how executives think. They want to see a written business case before they'll consider taking actions like you propose. You'll have to make your case for how the company will improve their operations, save time and money, and most importantly how the success of the project will be measured.

  • Re:Pretty easy? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @11:06PM (#27176891)

    It's not about email client, web browser, word processor...

    But I believe in a Police department, there are specific apps that people would have to learn.
    Like how to file a case, how to associate the statement to the case, how to search...police car dispatching, scheduling, etc.

    If it's on Web then it might be fine. If it's Java you still need to run the whole test pass again and fix any bug you have right? (Potentially have to rewrite some import/export that designed to work with Microsoft Office)

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