The change will officially take place on July 1, and 14,000 desktops will permanently migrate to the open-source platform. The pilot was run using Novell's SuSE Linux and IBM products. But the eventual contract--which could be worth tens of millions of euros--will be put out to tender.
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The decision will doubtless come as a blow to Microsoft, which pulled out all the stops to get the German city to stay with proprietary software.
According to a document seen by USA Today, the concessions the software behemoth was prepared to punt Munich's way included undercutting a Linux bid by $12 million, letting Munich license stripped-down versions of Windows, and offering training and support for nothing.
The migration is expected to be complete by 2008 or 2009.
Earlier this week, Norway's second-largest city, Bergen, announced it would be following in Munich's footsteps and opting to run Linux.
Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.