After Munich, what? Paris perhaps
Last year the city of Munich famously snubbed Microsoft and plumped for open source software when upgrading its 14,000-PC system. Last week, the French government announced that it was moving many of its installations to Linux. And now it seems that the Paris city administration is thinking about doing the same.
What’s going on? It would be nice to think that public officials across the world are waking up to the perilous lock-in implicit in continuing to use Microsoft software. But it might just be that they’ve cynically twigged that the best way to squeeze whopping discounts from Redmond is to threaten a move to Linux. Thoughtful article about all this in IT.director.com. Excerpt:
“It is interesting to note in all of this that the Linux battle has become political in a major way. National and local governments across the world (the list is long and includes China, Japan, Brazil and much of Europe) have got the Linux bug, for three reasons. The first is that they think that they are paying too much for software, particularly desktop software. The second is that they believe that Open Source will do more to stimulate the local software industry than the purchase of proprietary software from a US provider. The third is that Windows poor security record has cost Microsoft a good deal of credibility. Microsoft can say what it likes about the fact that Linux suffers security breaches too, but the fact is that the expensive worms are the Windows worms.
Paris has yet to make a decision, but the simple fact that it is contemplating the Linux desktop indicates the inroads that Linux on the desktop is now making. The Linux momentum is growing and the Linux market share will inevitably grow with it. This is all a self-feeding phenomenon. The more success it has, the more that Novell, Red Hat and the rest will invest in improving usability and the greater the number of vendors that will see Linux as the platform of opportunity.”