Munich's switch from Windows to Linux was a big accolade for the open-source OS. However, after a decade of usage, the city is making a move to reverse the decision. The administrative and personnel committee recommended the transition to Windows 10 ecosystem this week.
The move comes from the desire for compatibility with products from software vendors like SAP. If the committee wins approval for its proposal city workers will run Windows 10 exclusively.
However, there was some discussion about meeting worker's preferences. Council employees currently run LiMux, a bespoke Linux OS that became the first certified for industry use.
Server Structure and Productivity Tools
Regardless of the OS change, Munich isn't looking to ditch open source entirely. Councilor Anne Hübner told ZDNet:
“Much of the server structure will remain as it is today. LibreOffice can also continue to be used, but we'll allow our employees to use Microsoft products if they so wish.”
“I don't think this whole LiMux-Microsoft thing should be debated on high ideologically driven emotions. In the future, whatever product fits our interests best, will be used. It will take some time to determine what's best and what's best may also change over time, as the digital industry and user requirements are changing fast.”
However, some parties believe the arrival of new lord mayor Dieter Reiter in 2014 had an impact on the decision.
“The mayor was against free software from the beginning,” said Matthias Kirschner, president of Free Software Foundation Europe. “When he was elected, he took pride in getting Microsoft to move their office to Munich. He even gave this study to Accenture, which is a Microsoft partner.”
The aforementioned study was commissioned by Reiter last year to assess the current system. A later amendment suggested that much of the problem was due to lack of updates and poor organization.
In 2014, Reiter estimated the cost of a Windows migration at $3.34 million, though this including the purchase of new Windows 7 laptops. Whatever the case, such a switch would be a big win for Microsoft, and cement its foothold in the region.