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Perhaps the most high-profile authority to switch away from Microsoft is the German city of Munich.
The council that runs the Bavarian capital spent years migrating more than 15,000 staff to LiMux, a custom-version of Ubuntu, LibreOffice and other open-source software. Microsoft’s attempts to persuade Germany’s third-largest city from making the switch saw the then-CEO Steve Ballmer fly to Munich in 2003 for talks with the mayor.
The city said the shift had saved it more than u20ac10m ($11m). More recently the authority has commissioned Accenture to undertake a review of the future of IT at the council, although, contrary to some reporting, no decision has been taken to move back to Windows.
Italian armed forces
The Italian Ministry of Defence hopes to save u20ac28m over four years by moving about 120,000 PCs from Microsoft Office to the open-source LibreOffice.
As well as the ministry, the open-source office suite will be installed on machines used by the army, navy and airforce. More than 8,000 PCs have already moved to LibreOffice and the transition is expected to be completed in 2020.
The switch to a custom version of Ubuntu and the OpenOffice suite was completed in 2014, to coincide with the end of support for Windows XP.
Speaking to ZDNet, one of the leader’s of the project at the time described the move as a “huge risk” but one that would pay off with a 40 percent reduction in the TCO of the desktops.
One of the first in a number of Italian cities to turn to open-source software, Turin hopes to save u20ac6m by switching to a Linux-based OS.
More than 8,000 PCs have been switched to Ubuntu and and it is in the process of switching to LibreOffice, saving the authority roughly u20ac300 per machine over five years.
Known for its centuries-old monasteries and for being the birthplace of St Francis of Assisi, the Italian region of Umbria is also making a name for itself as the home of free software.
The largest government bodies in the region are moving from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice. By the time the shift is finished, 7,000 PCs are expected to have been migrated, realising a saving of about u20ac228,000.
Lithuanian police force
In Lithuania, the national police force says it will save u20ac1m by swapping Microsoft Office for LibreOffice.
The force has migrated more than 8,000 workstations, with no disruption to policing according to one of the force’s leaders, and plans to also test run Ubuntu on about 50 machines.
The Swiss capital is launching a pilot program to test out open-source operating systems it could use in place of Windows.
The u20ac750,000 project will study how the city’s specialised line of business software could run on an open-source OS, with a view to reducing the authority’s reliance on proprietary software.
The ruling authority for the Spanish region of Valencia moved more than 120,000 PCs in municipal buildings, schools and courts to LibreOffice.
The rollout of the Linux distribution LliureX to 110,000 PCs in schools across the region also reportedly cut costs by u20ac36m over nine years.
The French city of Nantes recently completed work on migrating all 5,000 of the PCs used by its ruling authority from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice.
France’s sixth largest city says it has saved u20ac1.7m and that training users on LibreOffice only cost u20ac200,000 more than it would have done for proprietary alternatives.
Breaking up with Microsoft doesn’t have to be forever, as evidenced by the town of Pesaro in Italy.
The municipality had trained its 500 employees to use the open-source office suite OpenOffice but in 2014 decided to return to Microsoft, choosing its cloud-based offering Office 365.
A consultant’s report claimed the move to Office 365 would work out 80 percent cheaper than sticking with OpenOffice. However, while acknowledging there can be up front costs with making the move to open source, critics have questioned the methodology used by the Italian consultancy that produced the report and pointed out the study was commissioned by Microsoft.