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Windows EU Government Linux

Munich Plans New Vote on Dumping Linux For Windows 10 (techrepublic.com) 412

An anonymous reader quotes TechRepublic: The city of Munich has suggested it will cost too much to carry on using Linux alongside Windows, despite having spent millions of euros switching PCs to open-source software... "Today, with a Linux client-centric environment, we are often confronted with major difficulties and additional costs when it comes to acquiring and operating professional application software," the city council told the German Federation of Taxpayers. Running Linux will ultimately prove unsustainable, suggests the council, due to the need to also keep a minority of Windows machines to run line-of-business software incompatible with Linux. "In the long term, this situation means that the operation of the non-uniform client landscape can no longer be made cost-efficient"... Since completing the multi-year move to LiMux, a custom-version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu, the city always kept a smaller number of Windows machines to run incompatible software. As of last year it had about 4,163 Windows-based PCs, compared to about 20,000 Linux-based PCs.

The assessment is at odds with a wide-ranging review of the city's IT systems by Accenture last year, which found that most of the problems stem not from the use of open-source software, but from inefficiencies in how Munich co-ordinates the efforts of IT teams scattered throughout different departments. Dr. Florian Roth, leader of the Green Party at Munich City Council, said the review had also not recommended a wholesale shift to Windows. "The Accenture report suggested to run both systems because the complete 'rollback' to Windows and MS Office would mean a waste of experience, technology, work and money," he said... The city's administration is investigating how long it would take and how much it would cost to build a Windows 10 client for use by the city's employees. Once this work is complete, the council will vote again in November on whether this Windows client should replace LiMux across the authority from 2021.

A taxpayer's federation post urged "Penguin, adieu!" -- while also admitting that returning to Windows "will devour further tax money in the millions," according to TechRepublic.

"The federation's post also makes no mention of the licensing and other savings achieved by switching to LiMux, estimated to stand at about €10m."
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Munich Plans New Vote on Dumping Linux For Windows 10

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  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @10:39PM (#55375047)

    ...Afford! If selling out to Microsoft is cheaper, then so be it.

  • by orin ( 113079 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @10:39PM (#55375049)
    Microsoft put together a huge infrastructure in MS Learning to teach people to use and support their software. This meant that while you had to pay more to license their software, it was relatively easy to find people that could use and support their software. Because it's more challenging to "grow" people who can support open source software, their services have never come cheap. The most expensive part of any IT deployment is the geeks - reduce the cost of that (by prioritizing the creation of training material) and the cost of licensing your software really becomes a secondary concern.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15, 2017 @10:54PM (#55375091)

      It can't help that modern Linux distros have become such a shitshow. By that I mean the Linux and open source software ecosystem undergoes totally unnecessary change very rapidly. Often this has made the user experience worse, and it makes it harder to use and support Linux.

      Some good examples of this are GNOME 3, systemd, PulseAudio, NetworkManager, and Firefox. They are examples of change for the sake of change alone.

      Debian is a good example of what happens at the distro level. For much of its existence it was a stable OS, even if somewhat slow-moving at times. What you learned today could often be applied next year, if not several years after that. When there was change, it was done gradually and in a way that avoided disruption.

      But Debian has taken a turn for the worst over the last several years, with things like systemd and GNOME 3 disruptively forced into the distro very rapidly, and even against the wishes of the Debian user community. Problems with such software have effectively ruined Debian for many users, especially long-time Debian users who came to expect a very high level of stability and reliability.

      While some people claim that moving to a niche distro like Devuan, or Slackware, or Gentoo is an option, the reality is that such distros don't really provide a better experience. It's much more effective to move to an OS like FreeBSD, where its developers and maintainers have shown that they won't make radically disruptive changes on a frequent basis.

      I can't blame organizations from moving away from Linux today. Modern Linux distros are nothing like typical Linux distros were a decade ago. Stability and sensible change have been thrown out in favor of hipster-oriented fads involving radical and disruptive change without much, if any, benefit.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:33PM (#55375181)

        Linux and open source software ecosystem undergoes totally unnecessary change very rapidly. Often this has made the user experience worse, and it makes it harder to use and support Linux.

        This is so spot on. There are some parts of Windows, especially on the server side e.g. the Service Control Manager or the RRAS admin console that look EXACTLY the same as they did in 1999. Why you ask? BECAUSE THEY DON'T NEED TO FUCKING CHANGE. They are "done" and the only changes are to fix bugs.

        If this was Linux these dialogs would have changed 6 times by now, because OSS developers prefer to fuck with things to feed their creative brains rather than focusing their energy on fixing bugs. Why? Well you can consider OSS developers are not being paid and in many cases are volunteers. You can't criticize or fire them since they're doing it for free. New design is more fun than fixing bugs which everyone will agree is boring. QED. So what you have is a constant influx of new features / requirements creep and moving shit around in the UI for no good reason while legit bugs never get fixed. The best example of this is Firefox and we all know why.

        In commercial (proprietary) software you're typically working to a list of requirements and churning through them. Going off and doing whatever you feel like? You're fired. There's a lot of guys in Bangalore right now working for Intel, MS, IBM, etc doing boring as fuck work fixing bugs and software maintenance. It's a job, it pays the bills, they go home after 40 hrs but bugs get fixed.

        In the OSS world this model is completely inappropriate to their development philosophy. It's apples to oranges.

        Now if you'll excuse me I need to restart Firefox because of the fucking memory leaks.

        • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:49PM (#55375219)

          So Linux adds some dumb audio drivers, whereas Windows changes it's entire UI that makes even GNOME 3 look good. So you say, that Metro UI is for home users and not servers? Well, GNOME 3 and PulseAudio aren't for back office servers either. Your Red Hat server is going to run the same software from 10 years ago most likely, whereas Windows is bad at doing this.

          You will often hear the Windows guru say "have you tried shutting it off and turning it back on?" Yes, sounds like a joke but it happens. But you don't hear that from the Linux guru.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            You will often hear the Windows guru say "have you tried shutting it off and turning it back on?" Yes, sounds like a joke but it happens. But you don't hear that from the Linux guru.

            You're right, the Linux guru knows that systemd might keep the server from booting for some fuckall reason if he power cycles it, and it's on with the shoes and coat at 3am as you're off to the data center.

            • by lucm ( 889690 )

              You will often hear the Windows guru say "have you tried shutting it off and turning it back on?" Yes, sounds like a joke but it happens. But you don't hear that from the Linux guru.

              You're right, the Linux guru knows that systemd might keep the server from booting for some fuckall reason if he power cycles it, and it's on with the shoes and coat at 3am as you're off to the data center.

              If you experience SERVER problems due to systemd, you can look at the documentation on their website at https://www.freedesktop.org/wi... [freedesktop.org]

              freedesktop... every time it makes me chuckle

          • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @03:12AM (#55375703)

            Windows not likely to run a software from 10 years ago? Are you from some kind of a parallel universe? Windows backwards compatibility is legendary. Windows 10 is able to run most software written for Windows 95, but it is often very difficult to get a package from Debian Jessie running in Debian Stretch.

        • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @12:41AM (#55375335)

          Windows 8, windows 10... suffering. Change not just for change sake but also with more instrumentation to spy on you, to advertise to you. Ultimate goal is that we pay a monthly fee AND we have to put up with commercials to use our own computer.

          • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @03:39AM (#55375741)

            And I forgot to mention the ribbon bar interface change where some functionality was completely lost for 6 months before I figured out how to do it again because it had been so well hidden.

      • by Shikaku ( 1129753 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @02:18AM (#55375547)

        https://systemd-free.org/ [systemd-free.org]

        There's openRC if you really hate systemd that much. And I would just stick with XFCE and ALSA since that's all you need basically https://sourceforge.net/projec... [sourceforge.net] here's a base installer if you think you have to install then remove systemd.

        • by Rob Y. ( 110975 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @09:54AM (#55377011)

          For what it's worth, Munich's LiMux is running an ancient linux desktop - which is part of the problem and part of why (some) users don't like it. A more modern desktop like Linux Mint would probably be better received. And systemd has fuck-all to do with it, haters. As noted above, the servers are probably running RedHat. And, in fact, Munich's desktop is probably so outdated that it doesn't run systemd either.

          That said, the fact that Munich had to decide on a desktop to use - and that desktop is now more or less orphaned software now isn't a good thing. If Munich's needs required a frozen, non-standard Linux desktop in order for everyone to run the same apps, that's gotta be a point against it. Then again, these folks were early adopters, and endured a long, painful learning curve. If they weren't facing political opposition (and bribes) to switch to Windows, they could probably migrate to a newer generation Linux desktop that works much better than what they're using now.

          But ultimately, the sad state of affairs is that, unless an organization has bitten the bullet and learned how to live without Windows desktop applications - i.e., they have gone with web-based apps for almost everything, Linux is not going to fit the bill for them. That said, there is a lot they can do to move in that direction. And tying themselves to the full suite of Microsoft stuff isn't it. So, switch to Windows on the desktop if you must - for those few 3rd party Windows apps you're still dependent on. But use LibreOffice - or if you must, Office 365 or Google web stuff. And use PDF for distributing documents. Or bite the bullet and make plans to migrate to a full web infrastructure with Chromebooks on the desktop. And if you can't do any of that, well, all is lost. But bear in mind that new organizations don't have the lock in that you do. Fine if you're a government that isn't in a competitive situation, then it's just a waste of money - but that's nothing new for governments. Businesses need to remain competitive, and new ones don't have to drag along a ton of Microsoft baggage.

      • Um...Windows 8? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @04:33AM (#55375861) Homepage

        Because Microsoft never inflicted Windows Vista and Windows 8 on the world. They didn't destroy a stable Office interface with the disaster known as the "Ribbon". Windows is totally stable, and immune to the whims of GUI designers looking to make their mark. /sarc

        Seriously, this is a disease that affects the entire software community. However, Linux gives you the tools to minimize the problems. Granted, you won't escape SystemD easily, but Gnome is actually easy: choose a more stable desktop, like xfce. I've been using Xubuntu for ages - any changes to the desktop have been minor. There are a few hiccups in getting things configured, but even those hiccups have been stable for a long time.

        I think the mistake that Munich has made is allowing such a large set of Windows computers to exist. This means that they are essentially maintaining two complete infrastructures, requiring two sets of administrators, support personnel who have to cover both worlds, etc.. They haven't ever finished their migration, and that is the real problem.

    • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:13PM (#55375139)

      There are many Microsoft "engineers" simply due to Windows being easier to use, but many of those people couldn't script themselves out of a paper-bag.
      When Windows decides to break (which is all too often), the most common fix is to reboot the server or restart the service.
      Windows Server is a black box which nobody really understands... but people manage to live with it somehow, and "trick" it into working.

      This is unlike Linux engineers who can generally fix problems due to source code or good scripting skills. ...but mostly what tips people over to Windows are the apps that businesses need to use. They're just not available on Linux.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:29PM (#55375177)

        I work with both Windows (various versions) and Linux on a daily basis. As a long time user of Linux and a former UNIX (Solaris, HP-UX and AIX) sysadmin, I don't like to say this but the reality is that Windows is far more stable and reliable than Linux these days.

        Despite dealing with far more Windows systems than Linux systems, I haven't had to deal with a Windows booting problem in ages. On the other hand, I've had to deal with numerous incidents where Linux systems wouldn't boot properly due to various problems with systemd. Some of these problems have been truly idiotic.

        It's not 1995 any longer. Recent versions of Windows have been remarkably stable.

        It's also not 2005 any longer. Recent versions of Linux have been disturbingly unstable.

        While Windows has gotten better than it was in the past, I'm sad to say that Linux has gotten worse than it was in the past. Linux used to be all about stability and reliability and robustness. Now Linux is all about frivolous changes and software like systemd, GNOME 3 and PulseAudio that I've found to be crap.

        • by e432776 ( 4495975 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @01:24AM (#55375441)
          A lot of what you write resonates with me. I'll add another variable that I don't see mentioned yet: Linux support of notebook computers. Its another layer of problems (power management, nvidia optimus, even wifi drivers) that really put me over the edge. Many of the 'client' machines out there in 2017 are laptops, and poor support on those makes things difficult beyond the "interoperability" issues.

          Things are clearly constantly changing, including my own ability to keep up (generally decreasing over time). Makes it hard to get a handle on comparisons between MS Windows, Linux; but my view is that when I started using Linux in 2001 it was clearly superior to the Microsoft offering. By the time I moved off of Linux for as a primary client computing platform (2015) it was much less clear. Today, as I have dabbled around, the tables seem to have turned, at least on notebooks. I'd be interested to read what others think on this aspect.
          • I'd agree with your and the parent's assessment as well.

            Back in 2007:

            * Windows stability was joke. /que Your mouse has moved, please reboot!
            * Linux stability was legendary. Custom kernels FTW!

            Ironically, in 2017:

            * Windows is (finally) stable
            * Linux seems to be getting more unstable with each passing year

            On the other hand, who knew that:

            * Windows would turn into a complete clusterfuck of spyware
            * Linux would dominate the Top 500 supercomputers [top500.org], and be on 2 billion devices [google.com]
            * Windows Phones. MWUAHAHA! LOL. Even

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by iCEBaLM ( 34905 )

        There are many Microsoft "engineers" simply due to Windows being easier to use, but many of those people couldn't script themselves out of a paper-bag.

        Why do you say this like it's a bad thing? Why is being easier to use bad? Why should I, as an administrator, have to script **anything**? Why do I need to script to get file shares, directory services, or email to work? Why the actual fuck should I have to write a script to bring up a NIC, or to install a printer, or to setup a client access VPN?

        It's 2017 du

      • by someone1234 ( 830754 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @01:21AM (#55375427)

        Nope, there are more microsoft engineers - and users, because microsoft paid universities to teach only windows (they gave free windows, free office, etc). At least, this is what happened here.

      • by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @01:58AM (#55375489)

        "There are many Microsoft "engineers" simply due to Windows being easier to use, but many of those people couldn't script themselves out of a paper-bag."

        Windows' *own* scripts often fail. I had the pleasure of migrating a SBS2003 system to SBS2011. I had to intervene and do some of the migration scripts' jobs manually, bcause they kept falling over. The logs told me the failure point (e.g. line 118), but not *why*.

        • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 )

          Windows' *own* scripts often fail. I had the pleasure of migrating a SBS2003 system to SBS2011. I had to intervene and do some of the migration scripts' jobs manually, bcause they kept falling over. The logs told me the failure point (e.g. line 118), but not *why*.

          Listen, I've been using Linux since kernel 1.2.13 on slackware 3. I could regale you with stories about how debian refused to take input from a PS/2 keyboard after a dist-upgrade, or how redhat wouldn't install grub properly so would fail to even

          • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

            OK - fair point. Software should improve as it matures.

            Windows server is still a weak envrironment that needs lots of support to keep running - but you get what you pay for. If you want a robust solution, you have to be prepared to pay.

            Linux/windows are good performers for lots of scenarios. No-one with any experience would consider them for five-nines situations.

            • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 ) <icebalm&icebalm,com> on Monday October 16, 2017 @05:40AM (#55375993)

              Windows server is still a weak envrironment that needs lots of support to keep running

              As someone who builds and maintains Windows server environments professionally, I would have agreed with you about 10 years ago, but now not so much. Really the only two heartburns are older installations still in operation well past their EOL date, and forced Windows updates.

              To be honest, nothing would give me more satisfaction to say that Windows Server is dogshit, but it really isn't. Stability and resource usage has improved drastically since Server 2012.

          • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

            And I was using OS400 from release 2, so what? It didn't experience any of your examples.

            Of course, it cost tens of thousands of dollars for even an entry-level machine, but you get what you pay for.

    • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:44PM (#55375207)

      Because MS created this service, it expends a ton of marketing resources trying to convince everyone that it's the only way to go. I have no doubt that his desire to change to only have Windows is due to this marketing; I see so many generic IT people who always without fail will recommend Microsoft products. The people who can easily find who know Microsoft products are not necessarily the best people for the job; their credentials are often nothing more than taking an MS class and paying for the certificate. Cheaper cost, sure, but also cheaper quality.

      This is not just a Microsoft practice. Municipal governments get the hard sell from all sides, armies of sales people descend on elected leaders and convince them that they need some new software, or overpriced routers, or that investing all the money in hedge fund is a good idea, or that a new company will bring in tons of jobs as long as they get a tax discount. And since these elected leaders have literally zero knowledge about technology, finance, management, and so forth, they will believe it all.

      • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @01:28AM (#55375449)

        I don't even think this is a "Microsoft bribe" situation. If you do a quick search about the Accenture report you'll see that the whole thing is a n-ring circus. They didn't simply switch to Linux, they decided to centralize IT at the same time.

        IT centralization is always a fuckfest, and now of course they blame Linux for that.

        Peter Ganten, a board member of the Open Source Business Alliance, told ZDNet that the organizational problems date back to around 2003, when Munich took the decision to switch to Linux. In parallel with that migration, the council also tried to centralize its IT support structure, getting rid of a system where each department had its own IT team.

        http://www.zdnet.com/article/l... [zdnet.com]

        Switching back to Microsoft won't solve this problem, unless they go full cloud with something like Office 365 which would take a big chunk of the infrastructure away from the hands of those incompetents.

        • Your post makes a lot of sense and I do appreciate that you speak from experience.

          Your use of "cloud," triggered a memory of a related issue: One of my firms bought into the "cloud," buzzword.

          They bought a cloud service without my input. They told me to help port all of our stuff to the cloud and then they would be reducing my hours, as outsourcing support and services increased.

          I just kept my mouth shut and faithfully and ethically did as my management directed.

          After the migration (several months), we lost

    • Yeah but.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @02:24AM (#55375567) Homepage Journal

      MS but huge efforts into wiping out all that office tools knowhow in the past decade and now it is debatable how much you can trust that they don't try to do it again.

      the thing is, MS had good solid experts on refining the basic rules of interaction, double click to select a word in the early '90s, how the windows behaved and so forth, including what was interactable - even switch to having a taskbar and a button labeled as Start needed no new basic training. all the features of the text editor you knew where to find - the applications came with solid built in help tools - and the interaction remained the same for advanced users.

      they have dialed it back a little bit with windows 10 compared to windows 8, which was so bad that it made necessary in the first time since 1990 to retrain office personnel for a new operating system in the companies that were too stupid to upgrade to it(it offering no benefits to any business users over windows 7).

      currently microsoft throws still that out good research with windows 10 install procedure even - clearly separate paths are not marked as clearly separate paths but instead another is just a word and another is clearly marked as a button(the purpose is to increase the number of people creating new online ms accounts, which is not necessary to use windows 10 but they do make an effort to _not_ be clear about that).

      add all the walking backs on having all the applications friendly for font size choosing and all that to the mix with metro apps, the dialed back enterprise control functionality, the options that are supposed to shut down call home, the random upgrades/updates that can do all kinds of breakage and well... the ms option has to be goddamned cheap to be cheaper actually and a lot less predictable in expenses. you cannot know when they decide to switch off support for old hardware and roll out the upgrade on exactly that hardware they no longer support.

  • Wonder if they can cut some type of privacy deal with MS to not slurp so much data from their machines. Even the LTSB version reports back to MS way too much info (even when you try to turn it all off!). Windows 10 has become a privacy nightmare for end users. Munich would be much better off sticking with Linux since they've already made the initial investment. The next step would be a plan to migrate from the legacy Windows apps over to open source based alternatives.
    • Re:"Telemetry" (Score:5, Informative)

      by lucm ( 889690 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @02:03AM (#55375509)

      The next step would be a plan to migrate from the legacy Windows apps over to open source based alternatives.

      This is another case where what appears to be common sense doesn't survive contact with reality.

      You live in a fantasy if you seriously believe that there's open source alternatives to everything that runs on Windows. Either that, or you're thinking in terms of "checkbox alternative", such as saying that Gnucash is an alternative to Great Plains or Accpacc, discarding the shitload of missing features or the fact that there's complex integrations and a large ecosystem of plugins required to communicate with vendors, partners or other systems.

      Here's an example. Many big suppliers won't allow B2B automation unless orders are pushed via AS2 or EDI, and many requires a full-blown GDSN connection. This means that if the city wants to JIT their toilet paper orders instead of paying a fortune in warehousing, they must be able to have their accounting system approve and transmit orders. This requires specialized plugins in products like Sage or Dynamics. You won't find anything to fork on github to deal with that, and even if you were, it would be a terrible idea because the second the protocols or headers change in the B2B schema, you're fucked since dude420@github is not going to give you a clear roadmap in lockstep with what the big suppliers or vendors request.

      In an ideal world it would all be web-based and browser-neutral and maybe even SaaS, but given the level of customization required for a large organization, it's still a pipe dream.

  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @10:51PM (#55375083)

    As much as I am a vocal Linux supporter, the fact of the matter is that Linux has no comparable turnkey Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint killer.

    Oh yes, there are comparable applications - but none of them work together in an easily managed way.

    Until something unified and stable can actually compete with the ease of setup of Microsoft's office suite, Linux has no hope here.

    So it looks like we'll be stuck with Windows Server and it's regular RDS server dropouts, printer spooler issues, DFS shares disappearing, and random Windows hangs for a long time into the forseeable future until someone can do something about it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Linux has no comparable turnkey Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint killer.

      Linux's problems are much more foundational than that. Linux still doesn't have a good desktop environment, even after two decades of trying.

      GNOME 3 has been a colossal disaster. KDE is too bloated. Xfce has stagnated. The various niche environments and window managers provide a shoddy and woefully incomplete user experience.

      Windows and macOS both present a far superior desktop environment for users to work within.

      Linux not having any g

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        To be fair, bloat is really only an issue when it has a discernible negative impact on productivity. KDE works just fine if you have enough RAM... typically 32G or more, but I will agree that it's definitely not for smaller systems.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          KDE works just fine if you have enough RAM... typically 32G or more, but I will agree that it's definitely not for smaller systems.

          Well, just tap that FUD keg and let the swill flow.

          KDE works just fine on 4G or less. Often much less. 99% of Linux desktops have never even heard of 32G. Your statement is so bogus I seriously wonder what your purpose is posting it.

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )
            I've was playing with KDE5 on an 8GB machine recently. I really felt the difference in peformance between that and what I normally use. I haven't ever tried it with just 16G though, so maybe that might be fine as well. I said 32G because I've used it at that size and find that it works well.
        • "KDE works just fine if you have enough RAM... typically 32G or more"

          KDE works just perfect on 4GB RAM.

          I know: that's what my desktop has. And it also runs quite a bunch of services without problems.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by lucm ( 889690 )

        GNOME 3 has been a colossal disaster.

        I use Gnome 3 and it works pretty well. The only customization I did was to install Tweak tools so I could get min/max buttons on the windows and a taskbar on each screen. Other than that everything works well, at least on xorg (I've had a few issues with Java GUI on wayland because of my high resolution monitors).

        I've used Cinnamon and KDE but came back to Gnome because it's more stable. I use Fedora, not sure if the Gnome on other distros is broken, but overall I really don't see why some people get their

      • nothing wring with xfce you should see mint or manjaros versions of it.
    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      It's my own observation that when most people are asked about what features they *really* depend upon in Office that are simply not present in the most comparable alternatives for Linux, the #1 answer seems to be simple full compatibility with MS Office itself. While the free tools for Linux can open and edit MS Office documents, often subtle formatting differences get introduced that can rather radically change how the document ends up looking, and this is, understandably, undesirable in many cases.

      M

      • The issue is that LibreOffice doesn't have integration with Sharepoint.
        In fact, LibreOffice doesn't have integration with any Linux variants of Sharepoint, like Atlassian Confluence or anything like that.

        Also, there's no support for any of these applications. The reason why Microsoft gets money is because they exist as an entity to blame when something goes wrong (which it inevitably does)

        Free Software has who exactly to support it? Unless you're dealing with vendors like RedHat or even Oracle (and it's exc

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Linux has no comparable turnkey Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint killer.

      Nobody knows what Sharepoint actually does, so there can't possibly ever be a Linux version of such system. On a more serious note, the line of business software, whatever that might be for Munich is clearly the problem. If their client variability is an issue now, lets see just how bad the situation becomes when they want to "mobilize" their workers. Their problems just don't disappear by standardizing the clients.

      • Sharepoint is an alternative file system, largely inspired by the web. Hyperlinks and embedded documents as opposed to "folders" and "files".

        The biggest advantage of SharePoint in this regard is the ability to add additional "signage" or markups to assist the user in understanding the nature of the data in a particular file.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      As much as I am a vocal Linux supporter, the fact of the matter is that Linux has no comparable turnkey Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint killer. Oh yes, there are comparable applications - but none of them work together in an easily managed way.

      Pretty much, this is all about Linux on the client. Red Hat, creators of all things terrible according to /. trolls is on solid, stable revenue growth going from 1.5bn in FY 2015 to 2.1bn in FY 2017 and if the last quarters go as well as the first two then ~2.4bn in FY 2018. Even Microsoft says nearly one in three [microsoft.com] Azure VMs are Linux. As for the latter part, Linux proponents have tried for 20 years but essentially it boils down to two problems:

      1) It's not MS Office/Photoshop etc.
      2) Catch 22, no Linux users

    • It takes courage to post a comment that appreciates Windows!
  • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:12PM (#55375137)

    But then I just stopped using the "incompatible software."

    For most of my needs, I found new software that was compatible with the new OS. For the rest, I either replaced it with my own software or just dumped the need. After a few years, I did eventually purchase another windows machine, but it was only to drive hardware that required interfacing with Windows. I rarely boot the Windows machine up now too... Since I have had it MS decided to move all their functions around between Windows 7, 8, and 10... it's just annoying.

    Munich should take the same approach. If they keep the crutch (Windows) around, their staff will never be able to fully commit to the new OS. They should completely ditch Windows for 5 years and let the shit hit the fan. Then, after 5 years, then can bring it back in a limited capacity if they really need it.

    In all likelyhood, they just need Windows to run some other clunky piece of accounting software written in VB that probably needs to be modernized anyway.

    • by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:55PM (#55375231)
      It is fine to take that approach, but then you have to include that in the cost of switching, for some systems that will involve 10's of millions of development costs for many places which are pretty damn hard to justify in order to save a fraction of that on licensing.
    • For most of my needs, I found new software that was compatible with the new OS.

      I'm not sure if my comment is applicable to this context, but I'm sure we all understand that the compatibility lifecycle of software is getting shorter. Switching to newer products compatible with the latest OS was easy when you could expect 5-10 years of service out of it. Today, major compatibility-breaking changed are rammed down our throats every 6 months. I don't have the time or energy to completely rebuild my workflow that often, to say nothing about new versions of software being available, let

  • Wolfgang! I have new quote from the Americans for Windows Zhen. Price went up 40%. Warum?
  • In addition to the licensing costs, there's also the costs of having viruses free to roam your network. People used to say that if more people used *nix it would get viruses too, but given the dominance of iOS/Android perhaps Windows is just insecure by (lack of) design?

  • Could you not use something like Citrix Xenapp (as an example) to stream the non compatible apps to the linux desktops, instead of changing the OS? This would kind of be the best of both worls as you can keep your free open source desktops, but run the business line apps you require that work on windows?
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shompol ( 1690084 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @11:27PM (#55375173)
    Translating from German: "The right people have been greased, this will not happen again"
  • Probably because desktop itself is on the decline and new entry in the competition does not make sense. Mobile friendly options such as Android and Android compatible ChromeOS support a larger variety of business apps than Windows, although fewer of older ones. Accidentally, these are also Linux distributions.

  • MS Headquarter (Score:5, Informative)

    by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @01:08AM (#55375387)

    The MS headquarter is in Munich. The new mayor of Munich is a great fan of MS who always wanted to end LiMux. While the LiMux made some mistakes by not including employees in their process, the Accountability Office determined that the move back would be a waste of money and time. Anyway, Schleswig-Holstein, the most northern state of Germany, us going for OSS.

  • If your organization fully adopts Windows 10 then you can boot up anywhere in the world that offers internet connectivity and securely be connected to your corporate 'mother ship' with absolutely zero end-user expertise. Sure, linux gurus can achieve the same functionality with minimal effort but once again Microsoft wins the usability wars, IMHO.
  • Very symptomatic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Archtech ( 159117 )

    This story encapsulates, with startling economy and elegance, everything that is wrong with our alleged Western "civilization". (The thing that Gandhi, when asked, said he thought "would be a very good idea").

    Apparently expensive software costs less than free software. That's the basic truth here. Of course it is all dressed up with frills and furbelows: maintenance costs, training costs, blah di blah di blah.

    But the fundamental assertion is that expensive software costs less than free software. And people

    • Well congratulations on your +5, but if one piece of software costs $0 to purchase and $1000 to train the users and another costs $200 to purchase and $0 to train the users, yeah, I would say that the "expensive" software is cheaper. I would say that you don't have to be *credulous* to believe that. In this case, it certainly seems to be true as the city was keeping Windows machines around so now they have to train everybody twice!
      • by sad_ ( 7868 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @05:39AM (#55375987) Homepage

        I'm sure Windows 10 won't need any retraining of any users.

        • Well sure, but most users are more concerned about the applications. I can see so many of you are caught up in the operating system and office suite. You do realize there are 100s of apps that governments use that only run on Windows. There is no sense to run Linux just for the sake of running Linux. You are adding the overhead of Linux admins to do nothing more than run the operating system on the clients. Might as well run Windows. Linux has great use cases. Using it for political purposes is not one of t

  • by MoarSauce123 ( 3641185 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @05:47AM (#55376017)
    The answer is easy: exclusively use Linux clients. For those cases where Windows is needed keep a handful of VMs around that run Windows. This case also shows that the common claim that for every Windows app there is an equal Linux counterpart is false. It further shows that the Windows ecosystem made it impossible to switch to alternatives because there are none.
  • by luis_a_espinal ( 1810296 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @07:51AM (#55376415) Homepage

    The city of Munich has suggested it will cost too much to carry on using Linux alongside Windows, despite having spent millions of euros switching PCs to open-source software... "

    It's the typical problem in software regarding how to account for costs. It's the eternal battle between CAPEX vs OPEX. It is always cheaper to dump all windows licenses and install whatever happens to be the Linux distro of the day (CAPEX, sorta). It is quite another when it comes to the cost of operations, finding people who can use the software, training, familiarity, etc.

    No matter what Linux distro you pick, it requires a lot of elbow grease to put it to a place where non-tech users can actually use it to get work done. You do not need that with Windows even when you factor out security risks, viruses, etc (And a lot of that get filtered out if you slap something like Citrix on front of it.)

    I've done most of my development on Linux (and before that Solaris, HP and Irix, hell, even Vax in the day.) I prefer that (most of the time) over doing development in Windows. But for day-to-day non-programming work (or for media consumption or for, say, clerical/financial work). Sorry, Windows.

    That's just the gist of it. The year of the Linux desktop never came, and (unless something radical happens), it never will.

    • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @09:24AM (#55376821)

      1) MS has been attacking this from the start. Every Linux misstep is amplified and scrutinized with a double standard.
      2) Massive multinationals have more power than most governments and outlast political careers.
      3) Early adopters pay an additional price; even at a higher price, Open Source is a long term game. Commercial is a perpetual subscription to a 3rd party's short term game, on their terms.
      4) THE TREND IS TO THE CLOUD even MS is going that way! Internal services (indoor cloud?) also.
      5) When everything can run in the browser (and most government software should) it doesn't matter what OS you use. So why pay for the USA to copy all your data and raise your security threat?

  • by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @08:52AM (#55376677)

    20K linux + 4K windows? You should be running 500 windows PC's (server) at the most for legacy in an virtual machine environment. Possibly virtual terminals for workstations. You need programmers on your staff and not web developers.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday October 16, 2017 @08:52AM (#55376683) Homepage Journal

    How were those apps not moved to Windows terminal servers a decade ago?

    Sure, there may be a handful of dedicated machines that run industrial control products, but those are in a separate support silo, just like the Ricoh photocopier doesn't count as FreeBSD desktop.

    But this brings up one very good point - Linux doesn't have a lobbying arm and politicians on the take, so where politicians are involved it's not the best place to push for FLOSS solutions.

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @01:22PM (#55378415) Homepage

    I just finished 30 years working for a municipality (Calgary) with about 12,000 desktops.

    We were mixed DOS/Mac at first and when the IT department finally admitted that they were not toys, and that their beloved mainframe was dying at last, they took over PC IT from the departments, and immediately insisted on getting rid of Macs because of "one environment".

    It was always about "support costs" and "total cost of ownership", a number they never actually had to calculate. They also never had to prove it was cheaper to do everything their way - but as a gross measure, our costs never went down. Not even on a per-PC basis.

    We always had Unix, from when you had to have a workstation to run drafting software. Because IT clung to the mainframe to the bitter end, it was the engineering department Unix server room that took over running servers (this was happening around 1996, with the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China imminent, when the joke was "will it actually be Hong Kong that takes over China" was big - in our shop, it really was a bunch of drafting-support staff that took over the server room!) We also ran all the E-mail servers on Solaris because 'e-mail' was "an Internet thing" and all corporate E-mail until then had been IBM PROFS. Finally a few Windows servers were allowed to provide Outlook, but only after Windows 2000 Server got decent. Everything else is still Unix.

    Unix support staff were NOT hard to find for a large server room. Windows server staff that could support a LARGE installation were rarer! MS courses turn out lots of guys that can run a dentist's office but very few that can run a city.

    After all support went to IT...there was no actual support, except re-installs. They re-install the software, they re-install your whole machine, but they. will. NOT. come to your machine and help you with your difficult spreadsheet. None of the alleged "support" staff understand any of our software except for basic MS-Office apps they themselves have to use (and, as mentioned, the won't come help with that, either). But for any special office software of the type that the article speaks of, departments have to drum up their own local "power users" for support, who by the way are discouraged from it by IT and certainly given no passwords or special access.

    And for that matter, what does the client even matter to IT? They hate clients. All business software that can possibly be moved to web apps for easier admin, has been. It would run on Android just as well.

    So I just don't see what the big deal is. Here's an experiment: Offer, gasp TWO alternatives with internal costs that match the actual support costs of each choice, then let your customers choose which desktop they want.

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