Of course a Microsoft partner would consider Windows 10 a better choice for Munich

Opinion: This also just in... sun rises in the east.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

There have been stories recently that Munich, which has been using Linux for years, is considering switching to Windows 10. Who started these stories? Accenture, a Microsoft partner.


Munich is the center of a PR struggle between the Linux and Windows desktops.

Accenture, a professional services company, isn't just any old Microsoft partner. It's Microsoft's Alliance Partner of the Year in 2016. That makes the ninth year in a row and twelfth time overall that Microsoft global sales has recognized Accenture as Microsoft's top selling partner.

I am shocked -- shocked -- that Accenture thinks Windows 10 would be the better choice.

Munich, Germany's third largest city, started switching to Linux and OpenOffice in 2003. The move of about 15,000 PCs was completed in 2013. Ever since day one of the shift, Microsoft has tried to bring Munch back into the Windows and Microsoft Office fold.

As soon as the project was completed, Microsoft claimed the Linux/open-source project cost more than 60 million Euros. Windows XP and Office, Microsoft claimed, would have cost only 17 million Euros.

This latest "news" is just Microsoft and buddies' latest public relations move. It's not that 15,000 PCs are that important to Accenture's or Microsoft's bottom line. They aren't. What is important is to discourage corporate and government buyers from seeing a Linux desktop success story.

True, there may never be a year of the Linux desktop. LiMux, Munich's customized Ubuntu and OpenOffice desktop, is never going to be the most popular Linux in Germany, never mind the world. But Android is now the most popular end-user operating system of all. Worse still, if your business depends on selling Windows licenses, Google is merging Android and Chrome OS into one operating system.

You may not see Android and Chrome OS as Linux success stories, but they are. More to the business point, Microsoft knows these are rivals to its Windows product line. Microsoft has already admitted that it won't make its self-imposed deadline of having Windows 10 installed on a billion devices by mid-2018.

Will Accenture and Microsoft chase out Tux the plucky Linux penguin? It's hard to say. It's become a city-government political fight. Governments being what they are, a decision won't be made at the earliest until the summer of 2017.

Roughly 15,000 PCs won't help Microsoft meet its new 2018 deadline for a billion Windows 10 PCs. But any prominent Linux desktop success story won't help them either. Microsoft has finally understood it must adopt Linux and open-source software on the cloud, but on the desktop, it's still Windows all the time.

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