Munich Linux migration slips to 2006

Munich Linux migration slips to 2006

Summary: A pioneering migration of 14,000 desktops from Windows has been put back a year

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The City of Munich will not start its migration to Linux on the desktop until 2006, a year later than planned and three years since it decided to migrate to Linux.

The migration of 14,000 desktops from Windows NT 4.0 to Linux and Microsoft Office 97 and 2000 to OpenOffice.org was originally planned to start in 2005, but the schedule has now slipped, Peter Hofmann, the project leader of the migration, said on Monday.

Hofmann said that the first department to migrate to Linux and OpenOffice.org will be that of the Lord Mayor. This migration is due to happen in the middle of 2006, although not all of the department's 250 computers will be migrated straight away.

One of the reasons for the delay in the migration start date is the need for an additional pilot phase, which will run in the first half of 2006. "It became clear later in the planning phase that a pilot was more important than we first thought and should last longer," said Hofmann.

The migration team plans to set up pilot PCs running Linux and OpenOffice.org in every department. Once the pilot is completed, departments will be migrated to open source software in either one or two steps, according to Hofmann.

"Some departments will start with OpenOffice on Windows, others will start with OpenOffice on Linux," said Hofmann. "It depends on their infrastructure, for example, if a department has a small number of simple [Office] macros and templates, but a large number of complex applications, it is easier to do OpenOffice on Windows first."

Employees at the city administration have had a mixed response to the news that Munich is migrating to Linux, according to Hofmann. "Some [employees] are anxious that nothing will work [once we migrate] and others are enthusiastic," he said.

Munich is not the only European city migrating to Linux on the desktops. In July, the Austrian city of Vienna kicked off its migration to open source software on the desktop and the Norwegian city of Bergen also plans to migrate.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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5 comments
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  • Slowly but surely. Just like an avalance. At first.

    Once enough mass is reached migrated (or migrating) companies will be looking around for experienced professionals to help here and there. Already plenty are working on the job and/or in spare time to be the ones invited to do and be just that.

    In short. A new market is upcoming.
    You want in? Or out?
    anonymous
  • "14,000!" came the breathless cry. Three years on, and "250!" they whisper. The "but not all 250" and "OpenOffice on Linux" and "we didn't think it through" fall on the deaf ears of the zealots.

    To the zealotry: grow up. It saddens me how many high-ranking corporate executies are wiping egg from their faces by yelling about their Linux migrations far too early then looking silly; at best it's immaturity, at worst it's just plain fiscal irresponsibility (particularly in the public sectory), and it does your cause more harm than good. Do you really want 'Linux' be be the next bubble?

    You have a duty to prevent Microsoft from stagnating. Can you be trusted to carry the torch?
    anonymous
  • Of course Microsoft are going to revel in this news. Look how hard it is for Munich to stop using our software they will claim, forgetting of course that that's actually the problem.

    As a long time, desktop Linux user I'm confident that moving to Linux isn't hard. I've encourages many people to do it and they now wonder why they spent so much time nursing their Windows desktops along.

    What is hard is moving away from the many proprietary lock-ins that Microsoft has raised as barriers to your departure from their platform. It's no wonder we're now seeing governments like Massachusetts decide that they need to be using open, published file formats, rather than limiting their choice of applications based on a proprietary file format.

    It's not going to be easy to get out from the yoke of Microsoft products. And while Microsoft's own TCO figures show that moving to another platform can be more expensive, what they don't show is that having moved away from Windows (a one time cost) you won't have anything like the ongoing TCO that Windows has.

    Put simply, choice gives you flexibility, and choice gives you cheaper prices. and Microsoft tries desperately to take choice away.
    anonymous
  • I'm sure the microsoft fanboys will all be crowing over the delay, but it doesn't change the basic facts. 14,000 desktops will be upgraded from ms windoze to linux, and they are taking time and care to do it right. Measure twice, cut once, as they say.
    anonymous
  • Let's forget about all the other benefits of using a distribution like Debian.

    1. No trojans and viruses to worry about (unless you make a deliberate effort to install a virus)
    2. No annual subscription to a variety of virus scanners.
    3. Most security vulnerabilities are local exploits rather than remote exploits. (and if your users whine about moving from W0rd to OpenOffice, they got no hope of taking advantage of those exploits)
    4. Security updates are tested before being released, but you can easily script a system to update and on the rare occasion that someone complains an app isn't working, you can revert painlessly. (Oh ho- you forgot to select the option to allow you to revert a Windos patch, did you? And the 'patch' killed your app? ) Aside from that, you can read the security notes which tell you what the problem is and decide whether or not it is critical. Unlike Windos and the generic: A security vulnerability has been found which may allow an attacker to take over your system.
    5. You want to run a server for protocols X, Y, and Z? No problem, just do it. No need to spend more $$$ unless it's a proprietary item like Oracle DB.

    I think the chief problem with software migration is that every bum who can click a mouse thinks they're a computer expert and when you put a different system in front of them they're scared. They don't realize how long it really took them to become a Windos mouse-click expert to begin with. Also, a lot of people are accustomed to using the wrong tools to do a job, which results in poor productivity and unnecessarily complex schemes, but few people have enough sense to stop whipping the dead horse and get down to business.

    Oooh - I just noticed the nice shiny Get the FUD ad on this page.
    anonymous