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Secret EU Open Source Migration Study Leaked 311

Elektroschock writes "For 4 years MEP Marco Cappato tried to get access to the EU Council's 2005 open source migration study because he is a member of a responsible IT oversight committee in the European Parliament. His repeated requests for access were denied. Now they have finally been answered because the Council's study has escaped into the wild (PDF in French and English). Here is a quick look. It is embarrassing! Gartner, when asked if there were any mature public Linux installations in Europe, claimed that there were none. Michael Silver said, 'I have not spoken to any sizable deployments of Linux on the desktop and only one or two StarOffice deployments.' Gartner spread patent and TCO FUD. Also, the European Patent Office participated in the project, although it is not an EU institution."
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Secret EU Open Source Migration Study Leaked

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  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DeBaas ( 470886 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:04AM (#27964911) Homepage

    Actuall a PC system ( created especially for the elderly is based on Linux (Gentoo to be precise). That little device has a UI that is kept very simple and foolproof. Read only system, just some user files locally and remote (synced)

    Same concept can easily be used for six year olds. I believe in this way Linux is even more suited for the 6 and 96 year old.

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jawn98685 ( 687784 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:14AM (#27965009)
    Why would I mod you down? I have the points to do it right now, BTW. Your argument is sound. Your knowledge of the current state of Linux desktop distributions though, not so much. The Xandros distro that came on my Eeepc is nothing if not "full-retard". Big friendly buttons that enable commonly used functions. Clearly, "ease of use" is not the show stopper here.
    Start over.
  • by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:23AM (#27965113)
    * Linux will be less expensive than Windows because StarOffice/ can be used instead of Microsoft Office.

    * Linux is free.

    * There are no forced upgrades.

    * Linux will require significantly less labor to manage.

    * Linux will have a lower TCO than Windows because of available management tools.

    * Applications will be inexpensive or free.

    * Hardware can be kept longer if Linux is used, or older hardware can be used.

    * Skills are transferable. - Gartner
  • by bosson ( 793519 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:25AM (#27965131) Homepage
    Gartner also made the case that EU governments should not abandon open standards, but rather redefine open standards by removing royalty free use. Thats basically tossing the success story of the Internet out the window and still using it as branding name for the new EIFv2 "European Interoperability Framework" See EU-commission pages at: [] and a post about it here: []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:33AM (#27965233)

    I used to work for a small company that developed an enterprise software package that competed successfully with incredibly expensive products from the big players (IBM, CA, etc.) Yet a certain IT research company never mentioned our product in their comparitive reviews. Until, at their suggestion, we took out a subscription to their BS reports. I've always been amused by this coincidence.

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:34AM (#27965253)

    > A modern 6 year old can move between Windows, Linux and MacOS and not even realize they are different operating sytsems.

    A modern 6 year old can move between Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and MacOS and not even realize they are different operating sytsems.

    A modern 6 year old can move between Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and MacOS and not even realize they are operating sytsems.

    There, fixed that for you. (what's a sytsem!?)

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:36AM (#27965293) Homepage Journal

    Stewart owned Cramer because Cramer made the mistake of fucking up in a domain that virtually everybody cares about, and most people know at least a little about.

    Stewart owned Cramer because Cramer spilled the beans about how easy it is to manipulate the market and gave examples of things he would do as a hedge fund manager.

    It was a video for or something like that. I guess back then he thought the internet was just full of investors and pedophiles and there would be some sort of honor among thieves and they wouldn't rat him out. But once the web was replaced by tubes, people that were afraid of spiders started joining the party.

    There's some guy that puts videos collages of cramer on youtube showing how he completely backtracks what he says to make himself look good.

    Can't believe that they keep him on the air. Anyone that listens to this guy must not watch the show regularly or have a very poor short term memory.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`moc.stiucricve' `ta' `ive'> on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:44AM (#27965433) Homepage

    Yes there are. They have been in the news. There have been instances in the UK and France since 2006, there are many schools and educational institutions as well as companies that have made the switch. I know in the Netherlands and Belgium government agencies have been looking into it and if I'm correct a lot of the ex-Soviet countries that are now part of the EU (Hungary, Poland, ...) and the Scandinavians have less advertised but nonetheless important conversions.

    Gartner is a sock puppet for Microsoft and everybody in the industry knows that (they made the analysis that Windows XP before SP1 was safer than Linux by comparing it to Red Hat Linux 5.3 (not RHEL, the original 5.3))

  • by cjalmeida ( 1148679 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:51AM (#27965513)
    Probably. But they DO cover more services. Bare MS licensing gives you not much more than the OS. Now add IIS support, Exchange, Office in every machine, etc. RHEL gives you an OS plus e-mail server, web server, directory server, virtualization, and all the free goodies packaged in RHEL. ALL WITHIN SCOPE OF THE SUPPORT CONTRACT.
  • Ubuntu? Really? Try clicking the "system" option, then "Synaptic Package Manager". As you would've found had you paid any attention, you click the pretty box for the software you want, and your system installs the precompiled binaries along with any dependencies. No files (not even the equivalent of a .exe or .msi) required.

    Your description of installing software on Linux is one way to do it, but it has not been the only way and certainly not the easiest way for a very long time.

  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:04AM (#27965795) Homepage

    The study was in 2005, so to show it was wrong you need to find examples of widespread Linux deployments in Europe that existed then. Not deployments that started in 2006, or governments that 'have been looking into it'.

  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:12AM (#27965945) Homepage

    all government and schools in extramadura in spain
    This started in 2006/2007 [] so of course the study in 2005 didn't notice it.
    schools in gran canaria
    I couldn't find details of this on the web, but are you sure it was up and running in 2005?
    french police (still migrating)
    This was announced in 2008 [].
    I believe the migration started in 2006 [].

    I know we all hate the Gartner Group and all that, but seriously, was it such a gross error to say there were no widespread public (that is, govermnent or municipal) Linux deployments in Europe in 2005 or earlier?

  • by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:19AM (#27966069)

    french police []
    french railway []
    cern []
    900 pharmacies []
    Thats 5 minutes of googling (im sure EU offices of google also use linux) if i got paid to do a study, I'm sure i could find more.

  • by Kulfaangaren! ( 1294552 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:23AM (#27966125)
    In goverment...
    * 1000+ in French parliament : []
    * 11000 at German Foreign ministry.
    * 14000 in Munich.
    * 13000 at The Federal Employment Office of Germany
    * 80000+ in Spain 2003: []
    * 90000 at France's national police force in 2007

    In education...
    * "Germany has announced that 560,000 students in 33 universities will migrate to Linux."
    * "Russia announced in October 2007 that all its school computers will run on Linux."
    * "9,000 computers to be converted to Linux and in school district Geneva, Switzerland by September 2008"

    In business...
    * "Peugeot, the European car maker, announced plans to deploy up to 20,000 copies of Novell's Linux desktop."

    Read more about adoption of Linux at Wikipedia: []
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:52AM (#27966645)

    The company I worked for immediately after I graduated in 2002 had Linux on all desktops in the branches - and it was already mostly rolled out when I started.

    That was something like 2-300 branches and about 1500 staff altogether.

  • by Kulfaangaren! ( 1294552 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:15AM (#27967055)
    80000+ desktops + 33 datacenters in Spain in 2003 ? Qualifies :) ?
  • by Kulfaangaren! ( 1294552 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:26AM (#27967263)
    Please read more than the first paragraph, especially if you link to a source yourself :) Goverment migration in Extramadura started in 2006/2007 however in 2002 they migrated 70000-80000 (the figures differ from source to source) desktops for their schools and they set up 33 public computer centers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:58AM (#27967951)

    Governments didn't look into Linux before 2006?

  • by sgtrock ( 191182 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @01:09PM (#27969335)

    Extramdura []. Quoting the paper's abstract:

    Extremadura is the poorest region of Spain, lagging behind the rest of the country in both the economic and technological arena. Though short on financial resources, the region has set very high goals for itself in its Regional Strategy on
    Information Society. This paper briefly describes the region's strategy and continues to discuss how the use of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) aids the regional government in achieving its goals.

    The fun part is the link that I provide comes from the EU's site! lol

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @01:11PM (#27969367)

    As you can imagine, I am in no position to say which one, but a well known bank is running an internal call centre in Linux exclusively.

    Those are several hundreds of workstations (I think around 500). Not servers, desktops.

    The same and other banks's Engineering teams are constantly evaluating the feasibility of long Linux deployments in desktops (the server battle is over, people stopped laughing at Linux in the datacentre long time ago).

    It is a matter of time before companies begin to openly talk about Linux desktop deployments as they do about Windows ones.

  • by Super_Z ( 756391 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @02:41PM (#27970691)

    B. ) what real reason is there to pay for a support contract through RedHat? What am I gaining (and I am being 100% serious) over installing the software without support?

    Support. I have had network performance problems running RHEL on DL360G4s which RedHat solved after a week. The new patch was then tested, commited and served through RHN - complete with driver patches delivered upstream. I have seen communities work just as commited (postfix is one), but RedHat gives you this on all the software it ships. This is a guarantee that you can present to your customer.

    Even more seriously, RedHat backports security patches onto a given stable set of software. This is tedious work which I am more than willing to compensate someone for.

    Lastly - it is actually important to inject money into the OpenSource model. This in turn lays the fundament of solidity which is crucial for letting us play with OpenSource in a business environment.

  • by Kulfaangaren! ( 1294552 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @04:05PM (#27971847)
    I've found several articles about the Extremadura LinEx project but I have been unable to find any information about exactly which schools were migrated.
    One article ( []) from 2003 states one computer for every two children were installed so I would say a substantial amount of all schools were running LinEx by June 2003.
    An other article ( []) from November 2005 states that 66000 computers in schools and education centers and an additional 14000 in public administration buildings.
    According to a third article (posted August 2006) on, all schools were migrated to Linux during 2004 ((Article in Swedish) [])
  • by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @07:37AM (#27977861)


    Extremadura, not Extramdura.

    And don't forget Andalucía. They have their own big Linux desktop deployments both in government and public school.

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @11:12AM (#27979183) Homepage Journal

    The claim was that there were no examples of people using open alternatives, which was false.

    First, that's not what the Gartner guy said and the previous posters comment has to be taken in the context of what the Gartner guy said to be meaningful in this discussion. The summary is even misleading.

    I know shooting off without RTFA is the norm around here, but that doesn't make it right. Here's the emails where that question was raised. (emphasis added)

    Dear Mr. Silver,
    recently I attended a Gartner presentation in Brussels by Nikos Drakon on OSS. I told him that at the European Parliament we would be interested in visiting one or more sites where OSS workstations are implemented on a large scale. He was kind enough to send me your presentation titled "Client OS and Office: is Open Source in Your future?". I find this presentation brilliant, and very useful.

    At the European Parliament we often receive questions from Members on "why have we not migrated our workstations to OSS?" and we are examining the possibilities. We definitely do not want to embark in a migration without having verified that others have done it successfully before us, and that the benefits would exceed the disadvantages. In this spirit, we would like to visit 2 or 3 successful sites, if any exist.

    We have a base of 11.000 PC's (in the process of migrating from Win NT + Ofiice 97 to Win XP +
    Office 2003).

    The question is: can you help me obtaining the name and e-mail or adress of a contact person
    in some of the main Organizations that have installed, and are working with, OSS workstations ?
    I am thinking of the Organizations you quote in your slide:
    -city of Munich
    -city of Bergen (N)
    -Allied Irish Bank
    -NSW RTA
    and others:
    -Bundestag (Germany)
    -Ville de Paris
    Pietro Bianchessi

    And the response the guy from Gartner gave was:

    Dear Mr. Bianchessi,

    Thank you for your inquiry on desktop Linux and open source office products.

    The organizations I mentioned in my presentation are in their infancy, if that, in their open source desktop deployments. I have not spoken to any sizable deployments of Linux on the desktop and only one or two StarOffice deployments. Here is the status of the ones you mentioned.

    -City of Munich â" in the planning phase
    -City of Bergen (N) â" this organization is not doing Linux desktop. I mentioned these people as an example of the Linux hype. There was an erroneous press report and since then the CIO has been trying to correct it, saying that they are doing servers, not Linux desktops.
    -Allied Irish Bank â" Sun and AIB put out a press release last year, but Sun informed me a few months ago that AIB was not doing reference calls. You can ask your Sun representatives to connect you with a reference.
    -NSW RTA â" This is another Sun reference, but they are only doing StarOffice, not Sun Java (Linux)
    Desktop. Again, Sun should be able to connect you.

    I continue to work with my colleague, Andrea DiMaio, to find references at these and other
    government organizations. We will keep you in mind as we speak with other organizations that might
    be appropriate references and ask their permission to give you their contact information. Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume we are free to give them your information and ask them to contact you.

    I would be happy to discuss your Linux desktop plans with you on an ongoing basis if you like and I believe Ms. Heyneman can help you arrange a call with me. I recently spoke with a large bank that
    had been seriously considering Linux for a large portion of their users but found that staying with
    Windows would be less expensive. There may be other benefits that government organizations have
    considered that companies cannot (like economic benefit) and we can discuss that, but I cannot share this organizationâ(TM)s name or contac

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