There are many reasons to switch to a Linux desktop from Windows. Better security; not having to worry over possible built-in privacy leaks; and, last but never least, Linux is cheaper... a lot cheaper.
That's the big reason why the Gendarmerie, which with the Police Nationale, serves France as a national police force, has been slowly, but surely moving to a customized version of Ubuntu Linux, from Windows XP.
Today, the Gendarmerie has deployed 37,000 Ubuntu Linux desktops. By summer of 2014, all 72,000 PCs are expected to be switched to Ubuntu. According to Dumond, this may be Europe's and possibly the world's largest example of a government agency using open source software on desktops.
Besides the great TCO, the Genarmerie also appreciates the costs saving from being independent from commercial software vendors. "This is priceless," said Drumond. The desktop migration allowed the Gendarmerie to restructure the IT organization, saving time, human resources and money.
Using Linux on desktops allows the police force to control costs when deploying new technologies. "It is a risk, but a controlled risk, counterbalanced by the lower service costs," said Drumond.