THE HEAD OF IT at the City of Munich's IT services provider [email protected], Karl-Heinz Schneider, has claimed that there are no "compelling technical reasons" for the authority to order a migration back to Windows.
Last month, Munich 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.
Schneider, who heads up the company responsible for Munich's desktop Linux implementation, has spoken out about the move during an interview with German IT publication Heise.de.
He says that he was surprised by the decision, adding that any compatibility problems that the city had encountered had been fixed.
[email protected] had developed LiMux, a distribution of Linux for the local authority based on Ubuntu, and rolled it out to 20,000 workstations across the organisation.
The report suggests that running Linux was proving more costly than expected and that "the Linux client and the LibreOffice open-source office package, which was used in parallel, also caused compatibility problems, and many municipal computers, systems and workflows did not run smoothly".
Schneider continued: "We do not see any compelling technical reasons for a change to Windows and Microsoft Office.
"We solve compatibility and interoperability problems by providing MS Office, mostly virtualised, at workplaces that need to work together with external offices on office documents."
System failures at the District Administration Board in recent years, added Schneider, were nothing to do with the Linux implementation.
Accenture had claimed that running a mixed environment - to accommodate those users who could not do without Microsoft Office or other Microsoft-only applications - would be more costly than running an all-Microsoft environment.
However, Schneider claimed that the decision had been political, "not made on the basis of facts", with even Accenture recommending the continued use of LibreOffice.
Schneider isnt the only person upset by Munich's decision to return to Windows by 2020, as The Document Foundation, which manages the development LibreOffice, slammed the move as "a significant step backwards" for the city that will lead to significant expenditure of public money. µ
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