Munich's Linux switch back on

Munich's mayor has decided to push ahead with the LiMux project despite patent fears.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor
Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, has decided to push ahead with the LiMux project--which will see 14,000 desktops migrate from Windows to Linux--after it was suspended last week due to legal fears.

Ude had frozen the planned call for bids for the LiMux project after fears surfaced in the City council that a pending EU directive on software patents would wreak havoc with the rollout.

Now, the call for bids is back on and Munich's officials have decided to suspend their legal worries rather than the project.

Analyst house Gartner, however, has questioned Munich's party line, saying that TCO concerns were likely to be as much of an issue as software patents. "Gartner does not believe that the EU directive was Munich's primary motivation," the analyst firm said in a research note.

"Legal risks mostly come from US patents, and no vendor with relevant patents seems to have shown any interest in threatening or initiating a lawsuit. Instead, the patenting issue may have suggested to Munich that it underestimated costs and risks when calculating the TCO for LiMux."

Munich has asked the EU to explain exactly how patent wrangles could affect its Linux rollout but in the meantime is going ahead with the project, with the patents problems expected to hold back the rollout only for a short time.

Ude has also urged the EU to junk the patents directive.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

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