He Said, They Said. The Fight for Linux in Munich

He Said, They Said. The Fight for Linux in Munich

Yesterday, it was reported that government officials in Munich, Germany were considering halting a 10 year migration from Windows to Linux, and might possibly make the move back. Neowin first uncovered the news from a Germany-based web site Suddeutsche.de. Neowin's report suggested that the city of Munich would migrate back to Windows, however, the Suddeutsche.de article never confirmed such a move, only that the mayor thought it might be a possibility. The Suddeutsche.de article was recent, reporting that the newly elected deputy mayor of Munich, Josef Schmid, was in charge of the operation.

Interestingly enough, back in July of this year, the city council had already spoken to the matter of a potential reverse migration, concluding that too much money had been saved through the program to turn back, despite continuing user complaints. It's possible the new deputy mayor ran and won on grounds that he would fix the technology problems plaguing government workers, because that was one of the immediate issues brought to the table and reported in the news.

Schimd was reported yesterday to suggest that a discussion on the topic will be forthcoming. Who really knows yet if yesterday's report trumps the earlier one in July, but it appears that a change is coming. Whether or not that means a switch away from Linux or just a project to improve usability and quell user complaints, remains to be seen. But, it seems the new deputy mayor is attempting to fix things, while the city council continues to politicize Munich's Linux decision.

According to the timeline, from May 2003 to December 2013, the migration was not without problems. After a couple false starts that were met with issues, the migration didn't truly get going until 2006, and didn't finish until December 2013. The migration was a long one, for sure, but Munich finally announced in December 2013 that the switch to open source was completed successfully and it had migrated close to 18,000 computers. The city's Green Party chairperson, Florian Roth, stated that the city had saved over ten million euro just on proprietary software licenses alone.

So, while those actually using the open source systems and software are still plagued with problems and complaints, some government officials still label it a success and will fight to keep it.


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