Why Munich made the switch from Windows to Linux—and may be reversing course

After nine years of implementing a plan to switch from Windows to Linux, open source pioneer Munich appears to be doing an about face. This ebook follows the trajectory of the initiative with a look at the early days up through the recent decision by city politicians to prepare for a return to Windows.

From the ebook:

A decade ago, Munich was at the vanguard of a movement towards open source software, switching thousands of staff to Linux from Windows at a time when a move on that scale was almost unheard of.

After spending nine years and millions of euros on the project, today the city’s politicians agreed to begin preparing to return to Windows by 2021.

Under a proposal backed by the general council, the administration will investigate how long it will take and how much it will cost to build a Windows 10 client for use by the city’s employees.

Once this work is complete, the council will vote again on whether to replace LiMux, a custom version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu, across the authority from 2021.

Dr Florian Roth, leader of the Green Party in Munich, who was deeply critical of the move to drop LiMux, said Munich was now very likely to move to Microsoft.

“The final decision will be later, but it’s a formal decision. It’s only that we will decide again, once we know everything about the costs, but the direction stays the same.”

Thomas Ranft, Munich councillor and Pirate Party member, said LiMux has been held responsible for a host of unrelated IT problems, “and that’s the basis of this decision that’s going to cost the town a lot of money and even then there’s a question about whether it will actually improve quality”.

“It’s a really sad day,” he said. “We don’t have a software problem in Munich, we have a problem with IT structure.”

A decade ago, Munich was at the vanguard of a movement towards open source software, switching thousands of staff to Linux from Windows at a time when a move on that scale was almost unheard of.

After spending nine years and millions of euros on the project, today the city’s politicians agreed to begin preparing to return to Windows by 2021. Under a proposal backed by the general council, the administration will investigate how long it will take and how much it will cost to build a Windows 10 client for use by the city’s employees.

Once this work is complete, the council will vote again on whether to replace LiMux, a custom version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu, across the authority from 2021. Dr Florian Roth, leader of the Green Party in Munich, who was deeply critical of the move to drop LiMux, said Munich was now very likely to move to Microsoft.

“The final decision will be later, but it’s a formal decision. It’s only that we will decide again, once we know everything about the costs, but the direction stays the same.” Thomas Ranft, Munich councillor and Pirate Party member, said LiMux has been held responsible for a host of unrelated IT problems, “and that’s the basis of this decision that’s going to cost the town a lot of money and even then there’s a question about whether it will actually improve quality”.

“It’s a really sad day,” he said. “We don’t have a software problem in Munich, we have a problem with IT structure.”

The council also backed the use of “market standard” software, to provide “the highest possible compatibility” with “internal and external” software, casting doubt on the long-term use of open source software such as LibreOffice and the Thunderbird email client, with some SPD politicians already talking about a return to Microsoft Office.

Provided by: TechRepublic Topic: Open Source Date Added: Feb 2017 Format: PDF

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