THE GERMAN city of Munich, which became an open source bastion when it abandoned Microsoft Windows in favour of a version of Linux, looks set to reverse the decision returning it systems to Microsoft by 2020.
The city authority only made the change in 2013 migrating 1,500 municipal staff to a custom version of Ubuntu called Limux.
Cross-party officials have stated that they wish to see a Windows 10 client reinstated by 2021 at the latest. The proposal also implies that open source software such as Thunderbird and LibreOffice would be replaced by what it refers to as "industry standard", suggesting Microsoft Office.
"In the transitional period, departments and business units can use this newly developed Windows-based client with standard products or can continue using a mixed client architecture of Windows and Linux depending on their individual circumstances," says the proposal.
The news comes a mere eight months after a Munich councillor told the INQUIRER that there were no plans to move back to Windows.
Councillor Sabine Pfeiler told INQ: "Our letter 'Notebooks und Tablets für den alltäglichen Gebrauch tauglich machen!' was not aimed to criticise the use of Linux in Munich.
"There are several points of criticism concerning the notebooks of the councillors with very different reasons (not Linux in general). There are 80 councillors in the city. Their work and needs can't be compared with the whole administration."
She added: "We didn't propose that Munich should switch back to Windows and there are no indications that the city is likely to do so. I would say that the IT of Munich is working very well in general."
The city's relationship with Microsoft is a long and complicated one, stretching back as far as 2003 when Steve Ballmer reportedly went, in person to offer city officials a 90 per cent discount to stay with Microsoft services as the initial rollout of the scheme hit problems.
The move appears to be centred around the balance of power shift in the city council's coalition government which is currently in the hands of the CSU party which never really warmed to the switch in the first place.
If we were the sort to make wild speculations, it's a very convenient coincidence that Microsoft has relocated its German HQ to Munich those to suggest the two are related would be mere conjecture. µ
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