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Government Open Source Linux IT

Munich Open Source Switch 'Completed Successfully' 275

Posted by timothy
from the austin-should-follow-suit dept.
Qedward writes "Munich's switch to open source software has been successfully completed, with the vast majority of the public administration's users now running its own version of Linux, city officials said today. In one of the premier open source software deployments in Europe, the city migrated from Windows NT to LiMux, its own Linux distribution. LiMux incorporates a fully open source desktop infrastructure. The city also decided to use the Open Document Format (ODF) as a standard, instead of proprietary options. Ten years after the decision to switch, the LiMux project will now go into regular operation, the Munich City council said."
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Munich Open Source Switch 'Completed Successfully'

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  • good for them! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lyapunov (241045) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @01:46PM (#45672869)

    This is a pleasant surprise.

    Hopefully the near 12 million pound savings can be expanded upon and cause others to follow suit.

  • ODF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @01:58PM (#45673005)
    The decision to prefer ODF as the document format is my favorite part here. Office and its DOCX format is pretty much the last big thing holding people to the Microsoft monoculture. More ODF files should be put into circulation in the business world.
  • Re:good for them! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexander_686 (957440) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:04PM (#45673085)

    I would like to see a cite for that.

    I have seen him say that he would not invest in technology companies because he couldn’t understand how they would make a profit – as in lack of knowledge verse a conclusion that it could not make money.

    If you look at his investment philosophy, it is about investing in long established boring business where he can understand the cash flow. He has stated that he does not have the technical chops to wade into the tech market sector.

  • Re:Other Motives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sique (173459) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:16PM (#45673223) Homepage
    There is much dispute about this, and while the City of Munich claims strong savings, Microsoft published a study which claimed Linux would cost more.

    I tend to believe Munich more on this, because they can actually point to real numbers from the real world, while Microsoft's claims are based on speculation and estimates.

  • by Sique (173459) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:21PM (#45673301) Homepage
    In each large organisation (and Munich's administration has 15000 seats), you don't roll out the software as it comes from the vendor, you always customize and put your own addons while removing parts you don't need or consider dangerous. So I would expect the work you have to do to tweak a Microsoft install for your organisation to be on par with modifying a Linux distribution to fit your needs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:24PM (#45673327)

    Munich Open Source Switch 'Completed Successfully'

    Excellent, now the Microsoft shills and lobbyists can really get started with their...

    Doing this sort of thing to spite Microsoft is silly.

    Oh, I see. Already in progress. Wow, Microsoft really IS becoming a leaner, faster company!

  • Re:good for them! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Loki_666 (824073) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:25PM (#45673339)

    10 years in a governmental organization is bloody fast! Not to mention they would have had a ton of apps and systems dependent on proprietary stuff that would either need migrating or testing under WINE.

    But mainly, it would be the fact that a majority of departments I can imagine would have been fighting the change tooth and nail, not to mention pressure from MS sales reps who would have been doing the rounds convincing everyone they could that a change would be the end of the world!

  • Re:Other Motives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:25PM (#45673343) Homepage Journal

    No tablet interface shoehorned onto your desktop because Steve Ballmer says so...

  • by firewrought (36952) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:37PM (#45673477)

    10 years is a long time to switch

    Seems quick to me... where I work, I saw it take ~8 years for a modestly complex VisualBasic application to be replaced with a .NET one. These sort of transitions take place in an environment with a lot of moving parts and ongoing demands for change and many competing priorities. Heck, we're just now to the point of completing the Windows XP --> Windows 7 transition. Big organizations move slowly... sometimes for reasons that are dumb, but frequently because that's the only way to do it.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:54PM (#45673717) Homepage

    I know this is Germany and there are no software patents but why would that stop Microsoft (or some MS funded troll) from trying?

    They simply can't let the public know that whatever it is, it can be done with F/OSS and if it can't now, a project can be launched and funded to pay for it... ONCE! Not over and over and over again, by the seat, by the user, by the processor or however a software might be licensed. It's just better. But people have grown pretty fat, dumb and lazy and are willing to just let the product vendors tell us all how to work and what is good and what is safe.

    Also, the dairy counsel says we need more milk in our daily intake, Monsanto says their stuff is perfectly healthy and that HFCS doesn't cause any problems either.

    How on earth can a properly skeptical person ever believe that letting the people who profit the most from a thing tell us what's best?

  • Re:Other Motives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2013 @02:59PM (#45673761)

    Microsoft's claims are based on speculation and estimates and blatant self-interest.

    FTFY.

  • Re:Other Motives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @03:24PM (#45674003) Journal

    Do we know that they saved money overall? I poked around the article but I couldnâ(TM)t find anything.

    You write as though this point is the end of possible cost savings. In the future, there will be no more Windows licenses, no more CALs to buy. No more Office licenses.

    More importantly, no (or perhaps fewer) vendor(s) with a lock-in that prevents effective price negotiations and, for those that do have lock-in, a very credible threat that they will be replaced if they refuse to play ball.

  • Re:Other Motives (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @04:04PM (#45674409)

    Do we know that they saved money overall? I poked around the article but I couldnâ(TM)t find anything.

    You write as though this point is the end of possible cost savings. In the future, there will be no more Windows licenses, no more CALs to buy. No more Office licenses.

    More importantly, no (or perhaps fewer) vendor(s) with a lock-in that prevents effective price negotiations and, for those that do have lock-in, a very credible threat that they will be replaced if they refuse to play ball.

    Also no tying up tech staff with juggling licenses in fear of the Spanish Inquisition, er software license audits.

  • by kenh (9056) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @04:28PM (#45674631) Homepage Journal

    And it only took Munich ten years to upgrade - at that rate Linux will bury Microsoft in just a few years...

    This is an interesting "glass is half-empty or half-full" issue:

    Linux "advocates" will focus on the "switch completed" part of the story, MS advocates will focus on the TEN YEARS and their "need" to create their own distribution.

    No CIO in any organization of any serious size will look at this ten year effort as anything other than justification for their decision to remain on MS software.

    This is declaring our dependence on gasoline is almost upon us because one fellow in town just converted his diesel VW Rabbit to run on used cooking oil.

    Linux is 20 years old and has less than half the market share of Microsoft Vista... (3.57% v. 1.56%) [netmarketshare.com]

  • Re:good for them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday December 12, 2013 @07:44PM (#45676233) Homepage Journal

    Note to Wall Street investor types: the best guy in the business is scrupulous to the point of rigorously avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Warren Buffett became a gazillionaire without bending the rules and throwing ethics aside.

    If you feel you have to cheat to get ahead, then openly admit that you're not very good at your job. Go ahead: look in the mirror and say "I suck too much to play it honestly". If you can't do that, then maybe you need to evaluate your decision making.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

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