First bad news for Linux: One of its early supporters, Munich now dumps Linux for Windows 10

Ever since Linux was launched and various distros were made available to public and corporations we have been hearing news about some institution dumping Windows for Linux. But now for the first time comes a real bad news for Linux fanboys. One of the early supporters of open source and Linux, Munich city in Germany has decided to dump Linux for Windows 10.

If all things go according to Munich’s city authority’s plan, the city computers will have erased Linux operating system and installed Windows 10 by the year 2020. Readers should recall that Munich was one of the first city councils to dump Windows for open source and Linux way back before other cities. This new decision to dump Linux will no doubt have repercussions as thousands of council computers will move from Linux to Windows, in a reversal of one of open-source software’s marquee successes.

Munich City authority’s administrative and personnel committee made a decision to reorganize Munich’s IT setup, calling for an immediate start to the creation of a uniform, Windows-based client architecture that can be deployed across the council by the end of 2020 at the latest.

The committee said the use of “standard products” was necessary for compatibility with products from software vendors such as SAP.

Munich had exactly 10 years ago ditched Windows for an Ubuntu derivative called LiMux, a portmanteau of Linux and München. Some 15,000 PCs were switched over from Windows to LiMux at a reported cost of over €$32 million. At that time, Linux foundation showcased this event as Linux overtaking Windows.

What went wrong for Linux in Munich?

All Munich city computers were running on Linux. However, the 2014 arrival of a new lord mayor, Dieter Reiter of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), spelled trouble for the flagship scheme. Reiter wanted the city to move back to Windows and commissioned a report from consultants, including Microsoft partner Accenture, which said staff should be given the option of using Windows 10 and Microsoft Office.

Now the administration’s Windows move will be put to vote and if approved, Munich’s desktops will be running on Windows 10 all the way. In the interim, the committee suggested, city workers should still be able to run Windows or LiMux as they choose.

“The mayor was against free software from the beginning,” said Matthias Kirschner, the president of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). “When he was elected, he took pride in getting Microsoft to move their office to Munich [a move that took place last September]. He even gave this study to Accenture, which is a Microsoft partner.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. All this time, starting with Ballmer, Microsoft has been courting, wooing, and making special offers to get Munich back into the fold. They finally succeeded. No real surprise there. Good luck to them. Windows 10 sure dials home a lot.

  2. This doesn’t really hurt Linux, Linux has already taken over the server space and remains pretty insignificant in the desktop space. And this isn’t really any surprise since the Linux community knows they would need to coalesce in order to gain the Desktop market but instead they grow more and more segmented every day.

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