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Heise Online: Schily: "Software Diversity Instead Of Monopolized Customers"

Jun 24, 2003, 16:00 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Sietmann)

[ Thanks to Peter West for this translation and link. ]

One year after the signing of the cooperation agreement with IBM for the advancement of Open-Source Software in the administration, German Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily determined that the agreement was producing positive results. Schily and IBM's chairman of the supervisory board Erwin Staudt both praised the agreement as a "milestone" and "great success" on the road to a diverse and open software landscape in the public administration sector. Schily announced that during the last year the number and quality of software migrations to Open Source in the federal administration had increased dramatically, and named as examples of this the Federal Cartel Office, the Monopoly Commision, the Federal Commision for Data Protection and the Institute of Animal Experiment, which have partially or entirely converted their IT infastructure to Linux and other Open Source products.

A total of over 500 public agencies, national, state-wide and local, have applied to join the outline agreement. This would offer them special conditions for the supply of PCs and servers using the open-source operating system Linux, as well as project support and training from IBM. Using the foundation of the Cooperation Agreement Schwäbisch Hall became the first city in Europe to choose to depend entirely on Linux for its IT infrastructure. And the vote of the Munich's City Council, to change over 14,000 desktops to Linux, will "further elevate the success of this arrangement," expressed a pleased Erwin Staudt.

"We are well on our way, to making Germany a leading Linux nation," he claimed. "No government in Europe has taken measures as far-reaching as the German Federal Minister of the Interior," the IBM manager exclaimed, praising his fellow signatory. He does not, however, want to have the cooperation understood as an affront toward Microsoft. Just two months ago signed a Licensing Agreement was sign with the software shop. "We have had a positive cooperation with Microsoft", emphasised Schily, making clear that this was not about ousting Microsoft from public offices and agencies. But "we want to break open monopoly structures -- Microsoft will have to get used to that."

Schily promises an additional heavy push toward Open Source software through the comprehensive Migration Guidelines, which the Federal Ministry of the Interior will present at the Linuxtag in Karlsruhe. It should provide IT decision makers with criteria and assistance for the strategic decisions in advancing their systems.

Original Story (in German)

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