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Operating Systems Microsoft Windows IT Linux

The Man Behind Munich's Migration of 15,000 PCs From Windows To Linux 264

An anonymous reader writes "It's one of the biggest migrations in the history of Linux, and it made Steve Ballmer very angry: Munich, in southwest Germany, has completed its transition of 15,000 PCs from Windows to Linux. It has saved money, fueled the local economy, and improved security. Linux Voice talked to the man behind the migration: 'One of the biggest aims of LiMux was to make the city more independent. Germany’s major center-left political party is the SPD, and its local Munich politicians backed the idea of the city council switching to Linux. They wanted to promote small and medium-sized companies in the area, giving them funding to improve the city’s IT infrastructure, instead of sending the money overseas to a large American corporation. The SPD argued that moving to Linux would foster the local IT market, as the city would pay localcompanies to do the work.' (Linux Voice is making the PDF article free [CC-BY-SA] so that everyone can send it to their local councilors and encourage them to investigate Linux)."
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The Man Behind Munich's Migration of 15,000 PCs From Windows To Linux

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  • Not only that... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NapalmV ( 1934294 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @10:02AM (#46958841)
    ... but they're also taking care of the citizens screwed by the XP-end-of-life: []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2014 @10:13AM (#46958937)

    They could have saved a lot of money just by threatening plausibly to switch to GNU/Linux.

    Microsoft is known to be very forthcoming when people start considering alternatives. "We'll give you the Ballmers and Chains for free. You'll just pay for the thumbscrews later on. And you'll get a sweet deal for rack-mounted whatevers to boot."

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @10:13AM (#46958941)
    Large organisations and governments typically do have access to the source code, under heavily restrictive NDAs.

    You don't get to put Windows on a warship without the DoD being able to see what it does.
  • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @10:35AM (#46959151)
    And at this point you have to ask whether the NSA took a look at the code for the Pentagon and found some holes and diligently reported them back to Microsoft to get them fixed... or did they certify the code figuring it was better to know about the vulnerabilities and be able to exploit them than to try and fix them? I think the track record here is that relying on the NSA to certify windows at least in some way has been an exercise in balancing an inherent conflict of interest. And in terms of institutional self interest it seems that the NSA is going to be more on the hook for what they can find out through surveillance than what kind of compromises of US computers there are on their watch. That combined with monthly patches creates a moving target that is probably well beyond the capabilities of even hundreds of dedicated people to adequately keep up with. In that environment finding a few holes out of perhaps many and exploiting them, at least for some period of time before reporting them, is clearly in the NSA's institutional best interest even if that means leaving the DOD and Industry more vulnerable. Even the latest directive from the Obama administration left that door wide open... saying that the NSA only had to report security vulnerabilities if they couldn't be used in the interest of national security... so basically publicly confirming the NSA policy of finding vulnerabilities and not reporting them because they can use them for their own surveillance activities.
  • by higuita ( 129722 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @11:09AM (#46959473) Homepage

    They where using ancient versions of thunderbird and openoffice because of internal rules that didn't allowed upgrades... by doing this, of course any interoperability problem would get worst each year. They even report that updating most software would solve most problems...

    So it was not a open source problem directly, but a internal planning and rules that caused the problems. I'm just guessing, but i suspect that the one that made the "no updates" rule didn't knew anything about computers or was already secretly preparing everything to cause problems and propose later a migration.

  • Re:Not only that... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:26PM (#46960833)
    You can easily have a 13-year-old machine running on modern Linux. This isn't possible on Windows.
  • by Steve Hamlin ( 29353 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:28PM (#46960855) Homepage

    "Actually, you don't get to put Windows on a warship, period."

    While it was only a test bed, the USS Yorktown (USN cruiser) was using Windows NT in a test capacity and in 1997 a divide-by-zero error took down the integrated control, navigation, engine and machinery monitoring systems. []

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