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French Police To Switch 72,000 Desktop PCs To Linux 183

Posted by timothy
from the year-of-the-linux-desktop dept.
jones_supa writes "France's National Gendarmerie — the national law enforcement agency — is now running 37,000 desktop PCs with a custom distribution of Linux, and by summer of 2014, the agency plans to switch over all 72,000 of its desktop machines. The agency claims that the TCO of open source software is about 40 percent less than proprietary software from Microsoft, referring to their article published by EU's Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations. Initially Gendarmerie has moved to Windows versions of cross-platform OSS applications such as OpenOffice, Firefox, and Thunderbird. Now they are completing the process by changing the OS. This is one of the largest known government deployments of Linux on the desktop."
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French Police To Switch 72,000 Desktop PCs To Linux

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  • by sxpert (139117) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @02:35PM (#45027925)
    technically, the Gendarmerie are the military police force, that is mostly managing the countryside.
  • Re:Proud (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:00PM (#45028263) Homepage

    Much of my time in Canada has been spent camping, with only basic water purification. "Diluted by moose" is not something I consider a good quality.

    Probably still better than being French, though.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:06PM (#45028375) Homepage

    On the contrary, I recently did support at a company migrating from Office to LibreOffice to save on transition costs. Standard issue was Office 2007, but 2010 was present and 2013 was announced, boasting yet another new interface to learn. The company switched to LibreOffice, with only a few key Office installations for things that had to be perfectly correct to leave the company.

    There was no real training budget, but there was only one brief period of transition rather than several, no licensing costs, and everything just worked.

  • by boule75 (649166) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:18PM (#45028541) Homepage
    The situation is a bit peculiar : - both the Police Nationale and the Gendarmerie report to the Ministère de l'Interieur. But Gendarmes retain a military status while Policiers are civilians: some differences in duties and in pay, but a strong difference on rights: les gendarmes are not allowed to go on strike or to publicly profess political preferences (as all soldiers here) while les policiers can do both. - both forces have elite counter-terrorism teams, altough the most renowed one belongs to the Gendarmerie (GIGN). And both forces are requested to work together if need be, and regularly train together. As for the police : Windows on the desktop, 80% Linux in the datacenters, with some AIX and windows.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:22PM (#45028601)

    Actually the Gendarmerie Nationale is part of the Military. It is not a civilian institution.
    So Police in the USA = Police in France.
    Gendarmerie in France is something in between military police and the FBI in the USA.

  • Re:Cue lobbyists ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:27PM (#45028685)

    And Microsoft will now unleash the flying monkeys to try to refute any claims about lower TCO.

    I'm sure there will be studies trotted out, and all sorts of attempts to discredit this.

    they tried that with the "Get The Facts" campaign and it backfired so badly that they took down the page.

    There's no way in hell they'll take this lying down, or without trying to get the government to intervene on their behalf -- perhaps as a trade issue and claim they're being unfairly excluded.

    nah, in the EU, it's not so easy to manipulate governments and really this is small beans to get worked up about. far smaller than say, having the london stock exchange switch to linux.

  • Re:I'm taking bets! (Score:4, Informative)

    by godrik (1287354) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:36PM (#45028779)

    They did multiple pilot test and all went all. I don't think they will migrate back anytime soon.

  • Re:I'm taking bets! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 03, 2013 @04:03PM (#45029139)

    Unlikely. They have already demonstrated 40% cost cuts. It takes something big to undo a budget cut like that!

    And to them, Microsoft is a foreign company - they have no reason to stick with ms at all. Whereas at least some of the linux developers are French.

    Now, if the American government saved 40% on purchasing cisco equipment instead of huawei - would any Americans protest? Didn't think so . . .

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @04:19PM (#45029341)

    So not only do they get lower TCO, they also get 100% less built in spyware (literally) by the NSA.

    It's truely a win-win!

    There are thousands of separate groups of people working codes that go into open source distributions. Most openly accept patches from anyone...

    So yea "Mission accomplished" Linux must 100% less big brother...

    I know I know... "but...but . we have source!"...

    And a lengthy historical record of innocent vulnerabilities caused by **innocent** human mistakes only being found years after the fact to prove how much having the source is worth.

  • by jalet (36114) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @05:16PM (#45029975) Homepage

    Not really.

    Police is usually mostly for urban areas, and Gendarmerie mostly found in the country side.

    Also Gendarmerie staff are military personnel, while Police are not.

  • by devent (1627873) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @08:37PM (#45031689) Homepage

    Gnome is a completely new design of the desktop. KDE is the traditional desktop from Win 3.11. (KDE have an option to switch to a netbook style desktop). As for performance: I run KDE just fine on an Asus Atom with Intel integrated graphics; Btw, it still runs just fine, the family of my wife is using that Netbook now for Skype and YMail.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.