THE CITY OF MUNICH has taken further steps away from plans to switch back to Windows from its failed experiment in open source.
The City Council made a much-publicised switch to LiMux, a customised version of Linux, in stages starting as far back as 2004, despite a Microsoft delegation including then-boss Steve 'Cue' Ballmer going to beg in person.
But beset by problems, the rollout took longer than anyone had anticipated and in 2015, rumours began to emerge of a switch back to Windows. By February of this year, the switch-back initiatives had begun and both Linux and LibreOffice had expressed their dismay.
The City Council was forced in an article entitled ‘Penguin, Adieu!' to admit to the German Federation of Taxpayers that things weren't going to work out.
"Today, with a Linux client-centric environment, we are often confronted with major difficulties and additional costs when it comes to acquiring and operating professional application software.
"In the long term, this situation means that the operation of the non-uniform client landscape can no longer be made cost-efficient," reports Swarzbuch (German Link).
It is estimated that the failure will cost a total of €19m, which is a heck of a lot for something that has gone so spectacularly wrong. However, this figure discounts and estimated €10m saving from not licensing Windows or its packages during this period.
Last year a survey by Accenture found that the problem wasn't with the OS, but the way it was being deployed an managed by the city's IT departments (ouch, burn!). The report also suggested running the two systems side-by-side rather than waste the spectacular spondoolicks involved in switching back.
It is estimated that although the Linux project was complete, there were still 4,163 Windows based-PCs in the City network, compared to 20,000 Linux machines, as full compatibility with some vital services was never achieved.
A final decision is yet to be reached, but it is expected that the vast majority of councilors will vote in favour of the switch, having never really got their hands on the switch from pocket calculators in the first place.
Tech Republic reports rumours that the city is already in the process of switching back to an Exchange server for email and calendar, though this isn't, at this stage confirmed. µ
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