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The Guardian: Late Scores: Germany 1 Microsoft 0

Jun 23, 2003, 22:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Naughton)

[ Thanks to Mike Richardson for this link. ]

"Something really interesting is going on in Germany. Some time ago, the city of Munich decided to review what should be done about upgrading the municipality's computing infrastructure--and specifically the software running on its 14,000 PCs. A thorough examination by consultants UnilogIntegrata AG recommended that the city could save money and increase security by switching from Microsoft to open source software--ie systems based on the Linux operating system and OpenOffice applications.

"Outside Berlin, Munich is Germany's most prominent local authority, and the boys at Redmond were not amused at the prospect of such a major customer defecting to communism--which is how they regard free software. In fact they were so unamused that shortly before the decision was finalised, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was dispatched to Munich to dissuade the Mayor, Christian Ude, from taking the free software plunge. The conversation between Ude and Ballmer was confidential, but anyone who knows the Microsoft CEO can guess how it went. Let us say negotiation is not his forte. Ballmer is no more designed for the art of persuasion than the Abrams tank is for delivering meals on wheels..."

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