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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux 370

New submitter Mojo66 writes "Mayor Ude reported today that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far (Google translation of German original) by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7."
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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux

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  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:44PM (#39504021) Journal

    The transition from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 and Office 2010 has enormous training costs associated with it. I would not be surprised if the training for the Linux setup was less, if the kept the basic look and feel. And a wash if the didn't bother.

  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:47PM (#39504055) Homepage

    You would be really surprised how much of this can be mitigated if your sysadmins and support staff already have a Linux backround of some sort. One person with 5 or so years of experience customizing a specific Linux distribution can virtually eliminate amost all of the cost of training for the transition for the rest of the staff simply by creating and deploying some common desktop software and related customizations to make it "more like Windows."

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wanzeo ( 1800058 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:50PM (#39504077)

    €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7

    This is an often overlooked additional benefit, especially if you use a lightweight environment. A modern distro running LXDE and LibreOffice can make 10 year old hardware an adequate machine for 90% of office uses. As a bonus, future upgrades to ARM PCs would be essentially transparent to the users.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tiffany352 ( 2485630 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:53PM (#39504103)
    I use LXDE because it reduces the bloat of a clunky window manager. You do not really have this option in windows, you only have explorer. That's it. If you want an older version? You're suggesting downgrading to an older, about to lose support, version of windows? What kind of suggestion is that? I don't have to downgrade to a distro from 2002 to get a speedy desktop, why should I have to do that with windows. In my experience, linux has always been much faster than windows (even with clunky ubuntu versus windows xp), more stable, and a friendlier environment for development. I still run windows, however, because running direct X 10/11 games in WINE is impossible if not near, and WINE is slow anyway (Ironically, blockland runs faster in wine than it does natively on windows...). And on my laptop, I have optimus graphics which are unsupported by nvidia for linux. So, I have to either play games on windows or suffer extremely slow integrated intel graphics.
  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by graphius ( 907855 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:11PM (#39504245) Homepage

    Strange, I have the exact opposite experience. Photoshop running in wine (on mint) runs faster than nativly in Windows on the same dual boot machine. I also find that from log in to finished desktop is MUCH faster with linux. Windows seems to come up, but then various programs keep popping up for attention.*
    I will admit that flash is better in windows than Linux woo hoo.....

    * before you say uninstall a bunch of programs in windows, I have the same functionality in Linux without the slowdown at boot.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:16PM (#39504297) Journal

    Linux is better, faster, and more stable. Just the savings on support calls alone would be enormous.

    On the various computers where I've installed most "trendy" modern distros (Ubuntu, etc), they actually run slower under Linux than Windows. Not that Linux doesn't have plenty of other advantages, but in my experience, for out-of-the-box installs, speed isn't one of them.

    I think the big test would be to bench them again in six months and then a year. I think you'll find the Linux box catching up to, and then passing the Windows box as Linux does not suffer from "Windows rot." Every application you install seems to just HAVE to start up with the system and run ALL THE DAMN TIME! Do I really need iTunes, Google updater, MS Office, Acrobat Reader, and Winzip running ALL THE DAMN TIME? Here's a better idea: DON'T LAUNCH UNTIL I TELL YOU TO LAUNCH! I don't need MS Office preloaded and ready to go just case I might need to create a OneNote thingie. I think I'll be OK if I have to wait the extra 1.5 seconds when I decide to launch it. Nothing is more frustrating that when I see someone complaining about their computer being slow and I find that their little notification icons run from the clock to the middle of the task bar and then fixing it for them for the fourth time in a quarter.

    It's also important to note that Linux upgrades itself for free with little user interaction. Windows can do the same, but it's not free and after four or five upgrades, your machine is useless from all the legacy stuff left over from installation's past.

  • by ( 551216 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:18PM (#39504309) Homepage
    What are they actually using in terms of special apps? I suspect most of it are web-based eGovernment applications, perhaps accounting (SAP?), on top of OpenOffice. The GNU/Linux applications involved are all very stable by now, so this seems like a reasonable decision. The press release actually mentions an increase in workstations from 1,500 to 9,500, and a reduction in system malfunctions. I don't think it is plausible to have either 70 or 46 actual support tickets, as suggested by the description here. That doesn't make sense given the number of machines involved, whether they're running Windows or GNU/Linux or whatever. Besides, the PR compares the modern-day GNU/Linux installation to Windows NT. Seriously? (PS: Was it the German foreign affairs office that changed back to Windows recently, due to general user unhappiness?)
  • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:19PM (#39504311)
    Actually, if they switched to LaTeX, they'd probably save countless hours futzing around with fonts and layout...
  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:45PM (#39504479)

    one thing - win7's drag-explorer-to-the-edge-and-it-fills-exactly-half-the-screen really saves the time i spend in a fit of OCD dragging edges around so i can move shit from two folders fast.

    In Gnome/KDE every window can do that (haven't used XFCE or LXDE so I can't say, but it seems like that's a pretty standard feature of every competent window manager).

  • Where... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:34PM (#39504783)

    Where is Florian Mueller?

    Oh Florian, do you remember this?

    "Linux violates 283 U.S. software patents," said Florian Mueller, software developer and adviser to the chief executive of Swedish open source firm MySQL,

    Such bold words back in 2004. Such brave effort in trying to get Munich to abandon the plan.

    It's 8 years later. Where is the "death by a thousand lawyers," Florian?


  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:22AM (#39505569)

    I'm sure you mean mean "my children install malware frequently".

    I'm so sick of the supposedly "smart", "tech-savvy" people on Slashdot bitching about Windows getting "viruses". If you were a good geek instead of a wayward one maybe you'd not give your children admin privileges and then they wouldn't install things they shouldn't.

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Interesting)

    by garaged ( 579941 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:50AM (#39505735) Homepage

    I've been using awesome for years without regret, I am only ashamed it took me so long to discover it.

    I usd to hate all the resizing/moving work I had to do with KDE, although I really liked KDE, after a couple of days using awesome I never came back

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Interesting)

    by emj ( 15659 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @03:16AM (#39505909) Journal

    If you were a good geek instead of a wayward one maybe you'd not give your children admin privileges and then they wouldn't install things they shouldn't.

    Sure being "smart" helps you from infection, not sure about admin rights sure it helps but not much.. The should have admin rights though, children are supposed to click everywhere and learn stuff and to do that they need to be able to break stuff. Sadly that will mean getting a slow Windows installation, or making the computer unbootable in Linux.

    John Goerzen: has some great posts about 3 year old children and Linux [], my favourites are:

There's no future in time travel.