[ Thanks to Shama
for the link to the original article. ]
Translation from the original Spanish:
The City Council of Zaragoza has decided to abandon the Windows
operating system and move to open source systems that should save
the Aragon capital city nearly €1M per year.
The migration, which should be completed by the end of 2008,
according to the Council and Mayor Juan Alberto Belloch, arises
from the need to modernize applications and comply with national
and European recommendations regarding free software.
The free software the Council has opted to use requires no
annual license payments, and due to lower resources needed to run,
will lead to a greater life-span for existing equipment. All of
this has translated into considerable annual savings: between
€800,000 and €1M.
The migration will be done with the help of US-based Novell. It
will require an initial investment of nearly €700,000 for the
training of city workers on the newly installed free software.
"It's difficult to change to the habits of the city employees
who are used to their current operating system," indicated Ricardo
Cavero, councilman of Science and Technology.
The migration will happen two phases. First it will be changing
the office applications: word processor, spreadsheet, etc. The City
Council has chosen OpenOffice.org to handle this phase of the
Once this phase is completed, city systems will be migrated to
Novell's SUSE Linux. "In this project we will contribute the
experience to assure a smooth transition to Linux," said Jose
Manuel Villanueva, Novell's Director of Linux in Southern
"Citizens will benefit as much the civil employees will. The
security of our solution, the ease of use, the improvements
compared to the present system, and our trajectory in the free and
open source software arena will ensure the success the project,"
The update should not pose serious problems, since visually the
applications with which the City will eventually use are similar to
and compatible with the ones being used now.
One of the commitments by Belloch has been to promote free
software, as it is becoming more prominent around the world and it
corresponds to recommendations put forth by the European Union.
The Ministry of Public Administration, in its proposal to use
open source software, pointed out that the installation of Linux
directly affects the freedom of elections, protection of IT
investments, more secure software, and a guarantee of
The Press Office and the Office of Citizen Relations already are
using OpenOffice.org, and will be followed by the Municipal
Training courses will begin within the next two months to handle
migration issues for end-users.
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