In 2003, when the city decided to switch to a Linux-based desktop called LiMux and other open source software, it showed that free software could be used on a large scale. However, things didn’t turn out the way they were planned.
Coming back to the recent development, the politicians who supported the switch said that Windows 10 will make it easier to source compatible application and drivers, according to TechRepublic.
It’s also worth noting that Munich had always kept a minority of Windows computers to run applications that aren’t Linux-compatible. This number of Windows PCs could range from 20%-40%.
As this move will cost more than €50 million, which is a part of a broader €50 million IT restructuring, the opponents have questioned the intentions. Green Party at Munich has argued that dependence on Microsoft could also attract potential security threats.
Linux enthusiasts should also note that the city’s IT Chief has previously said that any concrete technical reason doesn’t back the move; it’s all politics.
Apart from the move to Windows 10, the council has also backed a 6000-seat trial of MS Office 2016, whose results will be discussed at the end of 2018. Then, Munich is expected to vote and decide the future of open source LibreOffice in the city.
Whatever might be the real reason and outcome, this development is disheartening for open source enthusiasts. Don’t forget to share your views and become a part of the ongoing discussion.