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

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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  • Proud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechNeilogy (2948399) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @01:40PM (#45027993)
    There are days when you wake up proud to have French ancestry.
  • by schwep (173358) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @01:48PM (#45028091)

    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!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 03, 2013 @01:57PM (#45028221)

    Jean Reno

  • All about the apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dega704 (1454673) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @02:03PM (#45028321)
    Moving to said open source applications beforehand was a smart move. Large-scale deployments like this can fail spectacularly, mostly due to the shock of having all of their applications change, rather than the actual OS. When the end users are already using Firefox, Open Office, etc., I have found that the transition goes much more smoothly with very little resistance.
  • Cue lobbyists ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @02:15PM (#45028493) Homepage

    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.

    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.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @02:15PM (#45028507) Journal

    Pert of the problem is that the typical requirement for an office suite is described as "Work like Microsoft Office". Of course any competing office suite is going to be less good when compared to Microsoft Office using this criterion.

    I know someone who is always talking up Windows. He knows that Windows has problems but assumes that Linux has these same problems (which it frequently does not), while highlighting issues with Linux. Put another way, he is blinded to problems in Windows while he exaggerates problems in Linux. I think that this is typical behaviour that has slowed down adoption of Linux.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:28PM (#45029453) Journal

    Well, in many ways, Linux *is* inferior to Windows. Don't kid yourself. Especially for business use.

    And you are doing the same as the person I discussed in the GP post.

    Because, while Linux doesn't have Active Directory, it has other benefits that Windows does not have. So, if you define your criteria to be "must support Active Directory", then, obviously, Linux doesn't pass. If, on the other hand, you define your requirement as (for example), "must support SELinux", then Linux is your only choice.

    As for the "nice GUI tools", they may make manageability easy, but they don't make it efficient.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @05:15PM (#45030557)

    You do need to be more adaptable, which cops notoriously are NOT. I can hear right now the complaint of every (L)user getting a new Linux desktop, "It doesn't look right. The icons are in the wrong place. I can't use this. Give me my Windows machine back."

    What do you think is going to happen when you switch them to Windows 8? Put a Win8 machine next to a Linux machine and they'll chose the Linux machine, surely.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @10:50PM (#45032651)

    Exchange replacement

    Hide all mail in a database
    Make it difficult for third party tools to backup and impossible with the provided ones
    Mangle database
    Lose email
    There's your Exchange replacement

    Meanwhile there are dozens of things that provide the same sorts of features people really want instead of what you get with MS Exchange - google provides a few of them but there are many others.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI