According to the German publication Heise Online, the City of
Munich maybe using Linux desktop systems after all, despite recent
offers of discounts from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.
The decision, which is apparently not quite official yet, seems
to indicate that Munich government officials in the SPD party are
indeed leaning towards migrating city administration desktops from
Windows NT to the Linux operating system. The party officiuals are
also advocating the use an open source office suite, though no word
was mentioned on the specific package.
Along with the decision, members of the Munich Green party have
also decided unanimously to shift the city's systems to Linux.
Boris Schwartz, deputy leader of the SPD parlimentary group
involved in today's decision to shift the city government to Linux,
made the statement that this move by the city would strike a blow
to the monopolstic position held by Microsoft. He also indicated
that this would not only benefit the economy of the city but also
make a contribution to "genuine competition in the software
Last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with Munich
officials and purportedly offered a 15 percent discount on
Microsoft licensing fees if the city opted to go with
The reasons the SPD party members cited for the decision to go
with Linux was not just a matter of cost. The flexibility of open
source software in the future of the Munich administration was also
The migration of the 14,000 PC systems and notebooks and over
16,000 users is to take place "gently," according to the Heise
article. Specialized applications' migration will take place over a
longer period of time.
The final decision will take place in the plenary assembly of
the town councillor on May 28. Currently the SPD party holds 35 of
80 seats , the CSU 30, the Greens 8, and the FDP 3. The remaining
four seats have no party affifiliation. With the 43 SPD and Green
seats held in the legislative body, it seems very likely that the
Linux initiative will pass.
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