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Government Linux

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft 579

alphadogg (971356) writes with news that the transition from Windows to GNU/Linux in Munich may be in danger The German city of Munich, long one of the open-source community's poster children for the institutional adoption of Linux, is close to performing a major about-face and returning to Microsoft products. Munich's deputy mayor, Josef Schmid, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that user complaints had prompted a reconsideration (Google translation to English) of the city's end-user software, which has been progressively converted from Microsoft to a custom Linux distribution — "LiMux" — in a process that dates back to 2003.
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:03PM (#47699187)

    Their course only became part of city politics. There are people not wanting linux, but the city council still stands behind linux. The news is only that one of the people against linux started a study regarding linux effiency.

  • Re:Surprise? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Barlo_Mung_42 ( 411228 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:06PM (#47699205) Homepage

    Sure, just sweep under the rug all the complaints made by so many of the people who actually tried to use the system.

  • by mcl630 ( 1839996 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:06PM (#47699207)

    The actual source article says they are *considering* going back to Microsoft, while the title and summary here imply its a foregone conclusion.

  • Re:Ha ha! (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcl630 ( 1839996 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:24PM (#47699363)

    One politician said it failed... all other reports of the project (even very recently) have said it's been a success. The actual article says they are convening a panel of experts to consider whether to go back to Microsoft, so despite the misleading summary here, nothing has been decided.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:27PM (#47699387) Homepage

    Well when the First Mayor is making statements like "Linux is limping after Microsoft" and the Second Mayor says the "employees are suffering [under Linux]" then I have a fairly good bet on how the "independent" committee to review their OS policy is going to turn out. And maybe finally we can stop flogging this dead horse, because I'm tired of hearing about Munich as the beacon of light that will usher in a new era of Linux on the desktop. It's been rather obvious to all but zealots that they weren't convincing anyone else to make the switch.

  • Re: Surprise? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['yah' in gap> on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:53PM (#47699597) Homepage Journal

    Maybe its a queue for Linux developers to pull their heads out of their asses

    There's a line for that? Man I just thought we were supposed to do it on cue...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:21PM (#47699751) is a bit better and actually contains comments from the implementation folks: this is a deputy mayor getting a lot of press.

  • Re:Surprise? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:02PM (#47699995)

    Thing didn't go the way I wanted, clearly bribery.

    It's sad but that's how the Linux desktop community has operated by and large for the past 2 decades: Don't blame yourself, blame Microsoft!

    Linux is the best and it's perfect therefore anybody who chooses Windows instead must be taking bribes!

  • Re:Surprise? (Score:5, Informative)

    by John Bokma ( 834313 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:04PM (#47700015) Homepage

    Ubuntu 14.04 user here. Every time I login I am greeted with a stack of "System problem detected" warnings. Both Firefox and Thunderbird are extremely unstable. Firefox crashes a few times a week. Thunderbird does so twice a week (about). Now and then the whole system hangs when doing a rsync to an external disk (hangs, not busy).

    Oh, I am sure Linux apologists blame me, my hardware, etc. But I've been running 10.04 for years on the same hardware, except that I replaced the 320G HDD for a 1TB one and switched to AHCI. Maybe that's the problem?

    One issue I see often is this one: [] It gives a very unfinished/unstable feel to 14.04

  • Re: Surprise? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:33PM (#47700169)

    There's far too much broken desktop stuff for Linux to be usable on the desktop en-masse. Playing a video file from the network. Simple, right? OS X will play directly from share. Windows will play directly from share. Linux will copy it (all 4 GB or whatever) before it will play.

    File dialogs are all over the shop in terms of whether they see network shares or not, where the buttons are, etc. Applications get deprecated as soon as they get anywhere near feature parity. There's an abundance of software, but virtually none of it does anywhere near 90% of what you want, rather, you need to use 3-4 different apps because each one covers maybe 75% of the feature set you need.

    Realistically, I think going directly to Linux is too big a leap for most. OS X would probably have been a more realistic proposition initially - office still exists along with a lot of other commercial software they may have been using in Windows.

    If they successfully migrated to OS X, Linux could have perhaps been a less extreme jump. But I doubt it. I switched to Linux back in the late 90s and by 2006 I had given up on the above type of problem ever being fixed.

  • by Kabukiwookie ( 2677869 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:37PM (#47700189)

    From: []

    It looks like mayor of Munich is the one complaining about Limux, while the entire city council is united and calls it "sachfremde Einzelmeinungen", which translates into 'a single opinion from someone who's talking out of his arse'.

  • Re:Surprise? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lucm ( 889690 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:38PM (#47700193)

    At my company (125 users) a while ago we moved to OpenOffice to save money. Users were not happy and started to call it "BrokenOffice". Only people who needed to exchange documents with outside clients were allowed to use MS-Office, and this created a lot of tension between the haves and have-nots. Bootleg versions started to appear, etc.

    The company has since switched to the deal (annual $100/user for 5 floating licenses), so each employee can install MS-Office on various computers in their family in addition to their workstation without requiring assistance from IT (plus they get more OneDrive space). With the recent version it's possible to "share" the licenses, so employees can authorize their kids who are in college and let them install the applications themselves.

    Employees see that as a perk, and helpdesk is less busy with "BrokenOffice" problems (real or perceived), so everyone is happy. It's more than pennies but it's not that expensive either.

  • Re: Surprise? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:42PM (#47700211)

    I use RHEL at work and Windows 7 at home.

    Linux is a joy for software development and network administration, and is 97 percent as good for web browsing (Windows gets the edge b/c sites other than Slashdot don't test Linux clients). For rich documents, though, MS Office is far superior to Open Office. Microsoft spends a small fortune in getting the UX right and it shows. FOSS developers are like, well why are you whining if it's free, contribute some localizations and bugfixes if you find problems. But nobody wants to wade through a million lines of 15-year old source code that isn't the least bit cutting edge or technically interesting.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:57PM (#47700273)

    The paid version has the server in our control, maintained by us.

    There is no version of Google Apps that is hosted on customer premise. Your company does not control the servers.

    Google only updates the executables and server side stuff

    They update whatever they want, its not on your servers. Your admins can select various options regarding what you see and how it feels and when you get new versions of the software, but its all in a Google data center somewhere.

    they dont get to see any data or anything.

    Google can read all your documents and email in the blink of an eye if its on Google Apps.

    The authentication server somehow switches from to $ somehow.

    Just because your domain is attached to it, doesn't mean you're hosting it. Anyone can do this, even in the free version of Google Apps for Domains. $ is DNS CNAME to Go ahead, look for yourself.

    Our company legal is quite sharp. They really would not like our documents outside our control.

    Reality would disagree with those statements on both accounts.

    But given the response we get from Google for down times and tech support questions it is likely to be between 50$ to 100$ per seat per year.

    Its $50/year, same as everyone else who pays for Google Apps for Enterprises, unless you've negotiated a lower rate.

  • Re:Surprise? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pherthyl ( 445706 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:52PM (#47700505)

    Yep. I used Linux almost exclusively for many years at university. Back when I had the time and desire to fix things when they broke. Eventually I was worn down by the endless cycle of update break fix that you get in Linux. When you can't even safely update to the next version the system is broken.

    About once a year I do a project on Linux or install it somewhere to see how it has progressed. In the important areas, it hasn't at all.

    We did a project just recently using Intel NUCs running Ubuntu and some of our software to be connected to TVs. Here's the linux specific problems we encountered
    1. Installing Qt dev environment is a huge pain. The default packages in both 14.04 and 13.10 are broken for multimedia playback in Qt and need files to be manually moved to work. Using a Qt build from also doesn't work with multimedia.
    2. On Kubuntu we accidentally changed the desktop resolution to one the TV wouldn't accept. There was no confirm. X totally broken, no obvious way to fix it. Reinstalled.
    3. On Kubuntu, we had to delay our delivery at the last moment because we discovered that when using a TV as a monitor and the TV was turned off, our application window disappeared (still running, just invisible). After many hours of debugging and no info, we ditched Ubuntu.
    4. Had to install Ubuntu several times and fiddle with Bios settings for it to work (some kind boot issue with UEFI).
    5. No standard mounting point for DVDs caused problems
    etc etc

    In the end it would have been far cheaper to put Windows on there and just have it work. Hours and hours wasted during development on silly bugs that should have never happened. And this is on quality hardware from a vendor that supports Linux (Intel).

  • by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @11:58PM (#47700785)

    I teach IT classes for a living right now, and my experience has actually been the opposite.

    In our intro courses, we double check that the students know the basics of the Windows GUI (what's on the start menu, control panel, etc.) and then teach them basic administrative tasks. We also do the same for Linux.

    Windows is NOT user friendly. Neither is MS Office, etc etc. Pretty much anything Microsoft. How do I know? Because we have plenty of older students -- we're talking age 35-40 -- that used to be mechanics, truck drivers, etc., that are going back to school for a degree and have to take a basic computer class. If they don't know Window's idiosyncracies, which trust me they don't in general, then they are COMPLETELY LOST.

    We really take for granted how much we've been indoctrinated as IT professionals into the Microsoft way. I mean, I'm not even talking configuring group policies or IIS or anything -- I mean, just finding things on the start menu, understanding that icons on the desktop have HIDDEN extensions, knowing when to left and right click on menus to get what you want (seems to switch in every program!). Where did the A and B drive go, why is it C? Why is it called C: anyway instead of just "Main Harddrive" or maybe even simpler "Main Files". You click and drag a window to move it out the way and now suddenly you moved to far and it is maximized. Let's install Firefox -- uhoh, pop up telling me "This came from another computer. Do you want to continue?" SHOULD I? IS THAT BAD?.

    This stuff absolutely confounds my students. Nothing says anywhere that icon extensions are hidden -- you have to know how to go enable that. Nothing says anywhere "Right click here to change resolution!". You just have to right click everywhere and figure out what menu you get in every place. Stuff like that. List goes on and on.

    It takes a while to teach them the basics. They can "use computers" in the sense of get on the internet, but they really have no idea what goes on otherwise, and really Windows gives no direction on what to do, where to do it, what is possible, and only bare minimum of messages (such as the error message -- instead of yes/no, why can't it ask if you want to install or not? Or explain why it might be a bad thing, or why it might be ok?). I mean seriously, they flip out.

    Windows is NOT user friendly to a newbie. It just seems that way because we are so used to it and interact with it so much, and since it was the only major player for so long, a lot of its terminology has rubbed off people. Not because its easy, but because we're just exposed to it.

    I won't say Linux is perfect, but they seem to get it pretty well, at least as well as Windows. A lot of the students have told me they actually enjoyed Linux more.

  • Re:Surprise? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Art3x ( 973401 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:08AM (#47701367)

    there are inevitably going to be complaints; that happens any time *anything* changes

    Obligatory []

  • Re:Maybe not (Score:3, Informative)

    by CarbonShell ( 1313583 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @05:16AM (#47701685)

    For those that do not know the political parties in Germany, the CSU is basically the Republicans, SPD are the Democrats & Grünen are the Greens (though more powerful in Germany).
    And if they all agree on something (which is like nearly never), then you can pretty much take it as true. Through in the FDP (market liberals) and Pirates (popular party) and that Mayors comments are pretty much mute.

    Also, I wonder what the Mayor's technical knowledge is of the whole LiMux actually is. When my mom complains about 'the internet not working again', I know she means she probably forgot to turn on the modem again, and not that her Ubuntu (yeah my 65y/o mother uses Ubuntu, she has no clue but knows what to click and what not) or her Firefox is somehow not working. So far her system has never had a problem! **
    So I question if the Mayor even has enough ground to stand on to make such claims.

    ** contrary to the other parts of my (extended) family and friends that all use Windows. They are constantly calling because this or that won't work.

The absent ones are always at fault.