THE GERMAN CITY of Munich has voted to investigate the viability of creating a Windows 10 client, thus ending its multi-million euro, nine-year experiment in running the municipality on Linux.
The current mayor of Munich had already made his preference towards Microsoft products known, and Microsoft's decision to open a German office in the city will have done no harm to the tech giant either.
Nadine Englhart, chairperson of the Pirate Party in Munich said: "The change to LiMux saved about €10m. Spending that money to do another migration, which will not assert further improvements, instead of solving the real problems is quite a bad idea. After all we are talking about taxpayers money,"
Meanwhile, The Document Foundation, which manages the development of the LibreOffice suite which is the primary productivity suite in Munich, has hit back, describing the move as "a significant step backwards" for the City that will lead to significant expenditure of public money and has failed to consider the hidden costs of interoperability in the future.
A report commissioned by the City and conducted by Accenture, which is the subject of discussions over the future and direction of IT strategy in the City, concluded that the problems that were being experienced for operational reasons and not because of computer systems or applications, claims a statement.
They also point out that between 18 and 28 per cent of users had "severe issues" related to software, which was not much higher than the 15 per cent citing problems related to Microsoft Office.
The Document Foundation has acknowledged the need for a combined system where people have access to Microsoft Office should they need or want it but expresses concern at the expense of an about-face brought about by complaints from a minority within the government.
But with many inside the government already talking in terms of a return to Microsoft
Office, plus the huge ability of the company to reach out to councillors without ever leaving city limits, it seems likely that the open source utopian dream could be over.
The Foundation estimates that transition will cost German taxpayers €90m which it would be effectively contributing to the GDP of the Republic of Ireland where Microsoft European operations are based.
This includes an estimated €15m on replacing hardware that works well with Linux but doesn't meet minimum standards for the process-hungry Windows. µ
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