"The mayor of Munich, Germany, Christian Ude, recently found a
creative way to focus worldwide attention on the unavoidable
conflict between the current 'business as usual' patent system,
which favors large corporations, and the innovative business models
and greater customer choices made possible by Linux and its open
source licensing model. It may be surprising that a municipality,
even one as large as Munich, finds itself at the forefront of a
worldwide political and financial debate about open source
software, but Ude understands what's at stake, and succeeded in
translating the often confusing and ideologically charged conflict
into something even non-developers can understand: taxpayers'
"Two years ago, Munich launched a five-year, $40 million
initiative, 'Project LiMux,' to migrate its more than 11,000
city-employee desktops from proprietary applications running on
Microsoft Windows NT to a completely free and open source
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