back to article Munich signs off on Open Source project

The German city of Munich has declared that its famous move to open source software is over and a success. Munich famously decided to go open source back in 2003, citing a desire to be independent of big, bad, vendor-land and save a few Euros along the way. To that end the city decided to adopt Linux on the desktop and server …

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  1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    1... 2... 3... just waiting on the popcorn and the MS fanbois with their alternative "proof" of ROI. :)

    But seriously, it shows that it can be done and efforts to not being subject to vendor lock-in (at any arbitrary level) are a good thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And it only cost them ~ €30 million more than upgrading to a current version of Windows...and now they have to support a mixed environment with several thousand PCs still on Windows - and it only took a decade to get this far - what a bargain....

      1. John G Imrie

        I think you need a new record.

        This one's stuck in 2003

      2. LaeMing

        €30 million

        is a pretty small price to pay for an organisation that size, just to get unlocked from a good deal of vendor shinigans!

        (Yes, I know AC pulled that number out of his virus-riddled BackOrifice, but even if the number was true - tiny price to pay for the benefits brought).

        1. Chemist

          Re: €30 million

          "is a pretty small price to pay for an organisation that size, just to get unlocked from a good deal of vendor shinigans!"

          Especially as it was actually cheaper as everyone except MS/HP (and AC!) knows

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

            "Especially as it was actually cheaper as everyone except MS/HP (and AC!) knows"

            I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?

            1. Chemist

              Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

              "I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?"

              Suggest you read the Munich document. The (MS) 30 million euros figure has already been laughed off the internet

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                "Suggest you read the Munich document. The (MS) 30 million euros figure has already been laughed off the internet"

                Nice try at condescension, but since I can look things up myself without your advice it wasn't the point of the exercise. If you're going to slag people off, at least be ready to quote the figures you're using rather than resorting to the old "look it up yourself" routine. I was really only wondering which you'd choose and you lived down to my expectations again. Congratulations.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                  " I can look things up myself without your advice "

                  Maybe so, but apparently your patience is outweighed by your desire for an unfounded rant.

                  "be ready to quote the figures you're using "

                  Two more minutes. That's all you needed to wait for the direct quote to appear, just as you wished.

                  "you lived down to my expectations again. Congratulations."

                  Hmmm.

                  Two minutes.

                  You're not helping your cause. You're really not.

                2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                  Waitaminute. I need to get this straight here. Are you - the AC Microsoft shill - actually cracking? ARe you attacking someone because they didn't provide facts and figures? Despite months of you spooging made up, outdated or outright bullshit figures all over the comments section?

                  You live by the FUD, buddy and you die by the FUD.

                  Munich paid a one-time ding to buy their freedom. Would that we could all afford the cost.

            2. Chemist

              Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

              "I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?"

              I hunted for a value from Munich itself rather than a news report. From Nov 2012

              http://www.ris-muenchen.de/RII2/RII/DOK/SITZUNGSVORLAGE/2819522.pdf page 5

              ~12 million Euro saving compared with full Windows/Office

              ~7 million Euros compared with Windows/OO

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                Holmes

                Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                Who cares about savings. You could save by cutting down the german administrative fervour. Has any comparative study been done on what savings that would bring?

                But in this case, having more control, down to the actual source, over the system that you are working with daily instead of being beholden to a US-based guy throwing chairs and changing strategic direction on a whim who is also trying to shaft you to keep up with the stockmarket bubble? Worth every Pfennig.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                  "Who cares about savings."

                  Well I agree with you within reason, but a politician selling this would have a hard time in a democracy if the costs were unreasonably high. The bulk of the voters (if they looked at all) would just look at the bottom line.

                  Who knows how much Munich might earn acting as consultants to other organizations.

                  1. zb

                    Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                    If they looked at all? Of course they wouldn't, they would neither know nor care. This is way outside the standard political debate.

                2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

                  Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                  "You could save by cutting down the german administrative fervour. Has any comparative study been done on what savings that would bring?"

                  It worked well in Britain for the Romans.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                The problem with those savings is that (as far as I can tell) they compare to the previous environment, which was by all accounts one of the worst conceived, ill supported, fragmented Windows environments on the planet. They should be making those savings and I'd contend that they should be making more than those savings on any infrastructure refresh.

                I don't speak German,so it's unclear to me if the savings are annually or for the whole project.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                  "o it's unclear to me if the savings are annually or for the whole project."

                  I think it's the whole project, but they are supposed to be publishing up-to-date results soon.

                  The French police are claiming 2 million Euros/year in savings

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                "~12 million Euro saving compared with full Windows/Office

                ~7 million Euros compared with Windows/OO"

                This has already been widely ridiculed across the internet as it doesn't include the cost savings of migrating to updated Microsoft products, consolidated onto the right amount of infrastructure and with the correct management tools, or allow for the ~ €50 million Euros spent on the project by IBM to develop a version of Linux (Limux) thaty was actually usable on the desktop! Or allow for the increased costs they now have of managing 2 environments and the associated ongoing integration issues.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                  "t doesn't include the cost savings of migrating to updated Microsoft products,"

                  Ha,ha,ha

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                    "Ha,ha,ha"

                    That it costs say far less say to run Windows 7 than Windows NT on an enterprise desktop is a well established fact with widely accepted TCO figures to back it up...,.,

                    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                      Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                      "That it costs say far less say to run Windows 7 than Windows NT on an enterprise desktop is a well established fact with widely accepted TCO figures to back it up...,.,"

                      OH NO YOU FUCKING DON'T

                      You lay into someone for not providing figured in their post and then you outright lie in a comment and don't back it up? Fuck you with charging rhinoceros, covered in 2 inches of gelatinous capsaicin! And you had damned well better provide facts and figured that proove that the operating system alone provides in millions of dollars worth of productivity enhancements to all cognitive classes (as people are different in how they process information) over a deployment size of around 15000.

                      Live by the FUD, die by the FUD.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

              "I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?"

              It wasn't - it costs tens of millions. Much of it thrown at the project by IBM - but still it's a large net cost over what putting in a current Windows infrastructure and licensing and supporting it would have cost...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

                "it costs tens of millions"

                Reference ?

      3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        And it only cost them ~ €30 million more than upgrading to a current version of Windows

        Yup. Once. And it's worth every penny, sorry cent for them because what they will NOT pay for is:

        - the resources to keep it all working (aka the daily reboot)

        - the massive resources to stay patched and current (aka the Tuesday network stop)

        - the license surveillance costs (aka the FAST protection racket)

        - the costs of letting people work from home - as there are no real barriers to let people copy this

        - any further costs of expanding this idea across THE WHOLE OF GERMANY

        Oh, yes, I suspect the MS marketing machine must be gearing up for total warfare. This is going to cost them, big time. Once this story hits the FT, company bosses with a clue will want to know why they are blowing so much money on MS. Fortunately for MS, those bosses are still relatively rare.

        1. Jim 59

          PCs

          Wonder where they got the PC without Windows.

          1. Chemist

            Re: PCs

            "Wonder where they got the PC without Windows."

            I think if you are buying 70000 it's not a problem. Indeed I know several companies in the UK that will sell you one, £70 extra if Windows is included.

          2. Richard Plinston

            Re: PCs

            > Wonder where they got the PC without Windows.

            Originally many of the PCs that ran NT were reused for Linux. That was part of the saving. They would have had to be replaced for XP, and again for Vista. The Microsoft/HP 'report' wrongly included the cost of new machines at frequent intervals (as is done for Windows) to arrive at their inflated figures.

          3. Lars Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: PCs

            "Wonder where they got the PC without Windows.". Perhaps they put Linux on their PCs like me from the very beginning, perhaps they used multibooting for some time.

            Quite a project and I think the technical part was easier than dealing with all the users. Not mentioned in these comments is that the project more or less came to a halt when their lawyers had to find out if there was any credibility to Microsoft's FUD about patents in the Linux kernel. And when mentioning the kernel, there seems to be some who "believe" you need kernel programmers to move to Linux. That is rubbish of course.

            Munich will save money each year, they will now have a deeper understanding of their IT surrounding and they will have greater independence when developing it further. I salute them.

            There are other similar successful projects like for instance Extremadura, a county in Spain. What I hope has happened is that users in Munich have gone for Linux at home too.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Yup. Once"

          So that's the current cost gap after ten years, and they now have the ongoing costs of supporting 2 environments - and of integrating them where they exchange data and documents. This will never be a money saving exercise - and now a large proportion of their desktops and apps are functionally limited compared to the versions used by most businesses....It's been a big old waste of money for no obvious gain. Hence why pretty much no one else is following on afterwards. I think the French Police is the ONLY other example I have heard of outside of companies with a mission against Microsoft like Google...

          1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            And of course there is nobody tunneling away for a tidy reward inside the wheels within wheels.

            Get real. London has always been the home of elitist badgers and corrupt politicians. For goodness sake, the London banks caused all that trouble with the US credit companies in the first place. If they had't been so easily corrupted there wouldn't have been a financial crisis.

            In Britain you can't see the moles for the rats.

        3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
          Flame

          Warehouse worker here.

          I have experienced Windows server hell using PDAs in Warehouses along the UK's trunk route of the M6. What makes warehouses buy into Windows they are impossibly awful. The problem comes with new users as the turnover rate at basic pay jobs is high and seasonal. And the machines are constantly running on drained batteries the reboots that takes is nobody's business.

          That can't be helped I imagine no matter what operating system is in use but I can't help thinking that a monopolist's one size fits all doesn't work for even quite large warehouses. Not even with the hardware designed for them by other monopolists or cadres.

      4. Chemist

        "now they have to support a mixed environment with several thousand PCs still on Windows "

        The Munich document states 14000 on Linux out of 15000 and all 15000 using Firefox/Thunderbird/OO

        Stand zum Mai 2013

        15.000 Arbeitsplätze nutzen freie Software wie Thunderbird und Firefox

        15.000 Arbeitsplätze nutzen OpenOffice.org und den WollMux

        14.000 Arbeitsplätze nutzen den LiMux Client

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The Munich document states 14000 on Linux out of 15000 and all 15000 using Firefox/Thunderbird/OO"

          Yes - but of course doesn't highlight the many more that have to use Windows desktops via Citrix when they want to use a version of Office that actually works, or use many of the other enterprise business apps that they still rely on....

          1. Chemist

            "but of course doesn't highlight the many more that have to use Windows desktops via Citrix"

            Oddly enough AC it did - 15% using virtual solutions and 10% Windows - Having Windows on a desktop machine needs to be justified.

            Anyway why does it matter to you - are you a Munich ratepayer ?. I judge the overwhelming view of the posters/voters goes against your arguments - must be all Linux supporters - oh wait they are only 1% of population - must be Microsoft haters then - yep that might be another 90%

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              And 5% not done yet, so fully 30% still require Windows after ten years....What a failure....A classic lesson into how to unnecessarily complicate your environment!

              1. Chemist

                "And 5% not done yet, so fully 30% still require Windows after ten years"

                No, 30% might require SOME access to Windows programs, 10% might require Windows on their desktop.

                70% are just using Linux/OO etc.

                Are you a Munich ratepayer ? or just a concerned citizen, or ???

                I'm a Linux user professionally, and personally, I care not about MS, but I do care when misinformation is spread around

              2. mikebartnz

                In reply to AC 16th December 2013 16:44 GMT

                Anonymous Coward.

                Why don't you just give up as you are coming across as a complete joke and MS shrill.

              3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Hey Microsoft marketing shill: why is a decade to slowly disentangle oneself from a vendor a bad thing? It sounds like it is being done carefully, methodically and permanently. It is taking most of my clients similar timeframes to leave the MS ecosystem, but once out, they're out! After that they never have to go back.

                Is it expensive up front? Yes. But it pays for itself after one refresh cycle.. Then the next refresh cycle comes along and holy shit savings.

                Microsoft is obviously paying you too much, it seems like you have so much money you've forgotten just how burdensome their licensing is on people and corporations that actually have to pay Microsoft's ransom out of their own pockets.

                Let me make this perfectly simple for you - and please, do take this up the chain to your masters in Redmond - Microsoft will not be well recieved by the technology community (or by Register readers) until it makes massive changes to it's licensing regime.

                We do not object to paying a fair amount for out software, despite what you and your masters think. In fact, we see value in paying for ongoing support and to have someone take various burdens of support and testing off of our hands. Microsoft's fees are absolutely in no way fair or reasonable.

                The body Microsoft and I cannot be friends until the fucking fix VDI licensing. That includes the SPLA potion of the exercise.

                I think a lot of people here are Microsoft Partners (I am, for one), and they are sick of 15% hike after 15% hike and the dramatic narrowing of their margins. a 50% hike in the cost of Datacenter earned Microsoft no friends, nor has the utter failure to listen to their customers, partners and end users when it comes to the design of their operating systems.

                If you want to peddle your shit then you have to start listening to the people who you are demanding buy said shit.

                That so many - first one, then two and now an ever accelerating amount - feel that the price of leaving the Microsoft ecosystem is one worth paying should be something that causes you and yours to sit up and take notice, not vitriol, FUD and marketing. The readers of The Register are a canny bunch; far too bright to be taken in by Microsoft's bullshit.

                You have the reactions of the masses to your marketing messages. Please, go take those to the next meeting and have and honest discussion about your messages will be met. Maybe you can convince your boss that the best way to meet the marketing challenge of Munich's success is to convince the Empire of Sadness to start making licensing less horrific.

                It's a hell of a lot easier to market a good product than to try to shovel shit and proclaim it gold.

                Come back after the meeting and let's try this again with the modified marketing message to hand. The existing one is....awful.

          2. GrahamsTenPenneth

            AC your a cock.

            "when they want to use a version of Office that actually works"

            I'm using LibreOffice in a Windows only environment at work.

            I'm the only person in this company of (100,000+ staff) who doesn't have problems opening and editing Visio files ...in LibreOffice Draw!!!

            I'm the only person in the same company who doesn't have problems opening and EDITING pdf files.

            Everyone else is locked into MS Visio in the virtual application centre or some BS, or having IT tell them to get lost when they request Acrobat.

            I'm the only person who doesn't have issues using MS Communicator or Lync or whatever, because I use Pidgin instead.

            I'm in a large company which is a closed Windows shop.

            I asked IT if I could install VirtualBox and they were fine with that.

            I now run Ubuntu on top of Windows and it runs applications faster and more reliably than the Windows 7 installed corporate equivalents ON THE SAME MACHINE.

            So MS can stick it as far as I'm concerned.

            Case closed!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That well may be, but it works, so 30 mill well spent.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        London calling

        London famously decided not to go open source back in 2003, citing a desire to be dependent of big, bad, vendor-land and waste a few Pounds along the way. To that end the city decided not to adopt Linux on the desktop and server, open-source productivity tools and free software everywhere.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We are faced with an upgrade of both XP and Office2003. When I looked at the figures - for just 90 licences of Office2013 the total comes to £27000. I decided to trial LibreOffice. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Most people are viewing and editing stuff that others have created so it doesn't make sense to spend £300 a pop for an office viewer.

        I worked out that we only need about 20 licences of Office2013 (some egos need to be pacified). Thus we will save around £21000. If I had another technical resource, I would aim for having Linux on some of those desktops - thus saving £4900 to another £26000. That is staggering for a small business like ours so I can imagine what a huge sum it would be for other Fortune 1000 type companies or councils.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      12 hours later, the miracle is that only one fanboi has shown up (all those AC posts have the same style)...

    3. Pseudonymous Coward

      Freedom's priceless.

      No one but Munich can really tell us what it has actually cost. And no one can provide anything but guesstimates as to what it would have cost had they stayed with Windows. Munich obviously have an incentive to mark this a success while MS and their shills (hi, there, btw) have an incentive to call it a failure, I wouldn't trust either much.

      Having said that I'd be surprised if the difference ultimately wasn't in favour of open source, and I'm delighted that Munich has done it. Freedom's priceless.

      Also: I'm currently working at a large organisation that is still migrating loads of desktops from XP to Win 7. It's a minor shambles and every developer in my team had significant struggles with various parts of the upgrade, costing us quite a bit of time to get resolved. You'd expect XP -> 7 to be a pretty straightforward upgrade but the devil is in the detail.

  2. Turtle

    Wow.

    Bearing in mind that some of those migrations merely involve the installation of Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office, if we nonetheless assume 250 working days per year, over 10 years, to migrate 15,000 desktops, we have an average migration rate of 6 desktops per day.

    Wow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow.

      Wow indeed, but more so that you think they spent the time installing Linux, Firefox & Thunderbird and not compatibility testing, data migration and development to make sure that everything that needs to works and then did a staggered roll out by department using likely only a few disk images and 10-15 minutes per desktop to image them.

      That's before you consider migrating servers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow.

        Once you've got down exactly how you're going to configure a desktop, what packages it'll have, etc… mass deployment is actually rather trivial.

        There's a few options, including cobbler, kickstart, even the humble Debian installer can take a preseed file.

        I've been able to mostly-configure a cluster of 7 nodes from scratch with OpenStack + Ceph using little more than the Ubuntu preseed to load the OS and applications, then hitting it with a set of Ansible scripts which then connect via SSH and set everything up. I've been able to do this within an hour.

        About the only bit I haven't done yet is Neutron. If you've ever tried deploying OpenStack you'll understand just how fiddly and tedious it is.

        In their case: not difficult to point the machines at a customised APT repository with specialised packages that set up various aspects of a workstation, enroll the machine in some Puppet/Chef/whatever orchestration, and have the machine basically ready to boot utilising PXEboot and letting the magic happen.

        The point being, such magic requires forward planning. Lots of forward planning.

        1. Turtle

          @ Stuart Longland: Re: Wow.

          "The point being, such magic requires forward planning. Lots of forward planning."

          A decade's worth?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A decade's worth?

            Well, all those companies and individuals still dithering over whether they trust MS enough to upgrade from XP yet seem to think so!

          2. vagabondo

            Re: A decade's worth?

            That wasn;t a decade of technical effort. It was a lot of wasted time and taxpayers money wasted responding to the specious political manoeuvres instigated by Microsoft, HP, and their partners.

          3. Red Bren

            Re: @Turtle @@ Stuart Longland: Wow.

            A decade's worth?

            It took a previous employer 5+ years to migrate from one version of windows (NT) to another (XP) on the desktop.

          4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            @Turtle

            It takes me an average of 6 years to move a company 85% of Microsoft and 10 years to hit 100%. A decade seems reasonable. It takes time to recode applications to standard or find/wait for applications that third parties are making to to replace ones that have no open source alternative.

            But the transitions get made, and the savings are considerable. Enough to hire full time developers (even in SMBs!) to contribute back to the community by taking the applications coded internally and open sourcing them.

            Every transition away from Microsoft that I've done helps to serve as an enabler for others. Maybe one day so many of these will have been done that a critical mass is reached and the bulk of businesses start walkung away from the chains.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ Stuart Longland: Wow.

            A decade's worth?

            10 years ago, OpenOffice struggled with many Microsoft Office documents. Microsoft's Office Open XML standard didn't exist, OpenDocument was not ratified as a standard, Ubuntu didn't exist, and hardware was at times, a hit and miss affair.

            A lot has changed. That decade would have consisted of many pilot programs with various Linux distributions, numerous software package trials and probably many failures too. The key point is that they now believe they have succeeded, and I wish them well. I think we'll all be better off for it.

      2. hplasm
        Thumb Up

        Re: Wow.

        Compatibility testing is anathema to MS and their adherents these days.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: Wow.

          Based on the latest Office... so is usability testing.

          No, I don't need my excel cursor slowed to treacle, thanks.

    2. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

      Re: Wow.

      That's faster than our current XP to Win7 upgrade in our office (NHS). One PC every 3 weeks or so (out of 8). Oh and don't pull the 'its the specialised apps' excuse, THOSE are specifically exluded.!!

    3. HollyHopDrive

      Re: Wow.

      If you look at the state of Linux in 2003 vs it today it's a different beast. Hardware support is now excellent on the whole and Intel has now committed to not blindly following Microsoft for support. I.e. even better Linux support.

      Also the figure of 6 desktops per day is ridiculous. Id imagine the early part of the project was about looking at the estate as it stood. Finding the alternatives that work over a number of pilot projects.

      Anyway, it proves it can be done and I'd imagine the long term savings of this will be seen over the next 10 years.

      Our government would do well to look at this study and work out if it would pay to get out of bed with Microsoft and stop signing these stupid deals.

      And if all its going to set us back is 30 million then that's an investment for the future that will pay far bigger dividends than a new NHS or W&P system. (And far cheaper)

    4. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: Wow.

      Well OK but if you had a clue of any sort you'd know that even in a tiny organisation of say 500 desktops, every single user uses their kit in slightly different ways, some will pull some obscure function in an Excel spreadsheet, some will have about a thousand Word macros, how many intranet servers with thousands of pages that all need checking and testing? Sorry but you cannot dictate that user's will do XYZ and lump it, this is the real world and when top notch manager pulls in 25% of the company business says "He hates XYZ new fangled desktop!", the IT troops scramble to find out why, get it sorted and all while still trying to keep it all safe, secure and manageable.

      Seems obvious you've never done a desktop rollout in your life! Took my shop months to move up from XP to Win7 on only several hundred desktops 'cos we had so many different apps that all had to work perfectly else you get very high profile manager ( and their staff ) beating down the IT head's door and demanding a rollback.

      I don't want to even contemplate switching operating systems on 15,000 desktops, that's a project manager's dream or nightmare, depending upon how it goes..

  3. vagabondo
    Linux

    Not that exeptional

    as only one of thousands/millions of small and large sites that are based on opensource/Free software. What is exceptional is that it is a high profile migration that has plodded on despite the large amounts of money spent by Microsoft marketing in a determined derailment effort.

  4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Congratulations

    When they started it was brave to the point of recklessness (for a large business environment with a number of windows-only legacy apps).

    In this day and age it is not particularly difficult. In fact, there are lots of places where linux has displaced windows. For example are quite as likely to find xfce4 on a trading desk as windows nowdays - it is stable, requires little or no support, it is easier to comply with the farious mandates on it being patched up-to-date. Key apps are bespoke anyway and written in house so no difference in terms of app investment either.

    Trading aside (as it has always been a special case), bespoke apps for anything above an SME are either written in java or in-browser as web apps and operate versus a specific backend environment like SAP. So they can run on Linux with no problem. In fact, they probably run better on Linux. This leaves only documents. While import/export from libreoffice leaves a lot to be desired (it has gone worse lately), if you stick to its native formats it is fit for most purposes. It is probably easier to use compared to MS Office as well (give the idiotic ribbon UI to someone who has been using legacy for 10+ years and watch the fireworks).

    Someone starting such a project today will have a much easier time - it should be doable in a few months, not years.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Congratulations

      I largely agree, but don't overdo it, in a large organization you do absolutely nothing in a few months. It's harder than that but doable, yes. Having worked for more than ten years in a +10.000 company I was annoyed by how that company probably kept on paying all kinds of royalties, year after year, on software that was probably scrapped years ago. It would not surprise me if Munich has saved some money getting rid of unnecessary royalties during this project as they have been forced to look at it in detail.

  5. RonWheeler

    And then

    An excel spreadsheet full of macros comes in by email to the senior auditor.

    1. Chemist

      Re: And then

      "And then

      An excel spreadsheet full of macros comes in by email to the senior auditor."

      They've already covered that in their documentation :

      http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/dms/Home/Stadtverwaltung/Direktorium/Strategische-IT-Projekte/LiMux/Dokumente/Praesentation_LiMux_engl_web.pdf page 13-15

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And then

        Yes ... it says "Avoid Macros" and "Talk to communication Partner".

        How does that solve the problem?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And then

          > How does that solve the problem?

          Munich is a customer of the auditors. Outside of the MS/Oracle/Apple bubble, customers actually get to tell suppliers what they should do if they want to keep on being their suppliers.

          i.e. If you want our business, you must communicate using the file formats that we specify.

          An organisation that has chosen a MS platform has just as much right to specify that suppliers use MS formats. Why should Munich be any different?

        2. Chemist

          Re: And then

          "How does that solve the problem?"

          It also says (page 15) 15% virtual , 10% Windows, 5% not yet done. They're having to use Windows to compensate for others lock-in.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And then

            "It also says (page 15) 15% virtual , 10% Windows, 5% not yet done"

            So to correct the very misleading headline figures above, in reality, after ten years, a full 30% of their user base still needs to use Windows.....either physically or via Citrix...

            1. Richard Plinston

              Re: And then

              > So to correct the very misleading headline figures above, in reality, after ten years, a full 30% of their user base still needs to use Windows.....either physically or via Citrix...

              Windows is irrelevant. Some of the user base needs to _sometimes_ access specific _applications_, which are probably third party. It happens that those applications still only run on Windows.

              You seem to think that they have done this because they hate Microsoft. Actually they have done the conversion first to save money (which they have) and also to have control over their own systems rather than having other companies control them.

              You may hate 'the opposition', this is obvious from your posts, but others aren't driven by hatred. You may generate FUD (nothing you say is actually true) but, while many have a MS policy due to fear, others aren't intimidated by your rants.

              But the real question is: why do you care with so much passion and hatred ? Does every Linux installation diminish you personally, do you lose yet another brain cell every time someone does not buy a copy of Windows ?

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: And then

                "Does every Linux installation diminish you personally,"

                "Every time someone installs Linux, a Microsoft employee dies"

                Peter Pan

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And then

                "Windows is irrelevant. Some of the user base needs to _sometimes_ access specific _applications_, "

                So they need to run, maintain, support and license Windows for 30% of their user base. That's not irrelevant. That shows why Linux is still irrelevant on the desktop.

                " Actually they have done the conversion first to save money (which they have)"

                No - it has cost them over €30 million MORE than to upgrade their existing systems. The claimed 'savings' have been widely debunked.

                To suggest that they can build a new OS, run a migration project for TEN YEARS! - and support 2 environments instead of one across 30% of their users and then save money is clearly not credible.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: And then

                  "and then save money is clearly not credible."

                  The only thing lacking credibility is YOU !

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: And then

                    "The only thing lacking credibility is YOU !"

                    Nope - random insults are far more lacking in credibility. Throwing muck is easier than arguing with the facts?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: And then

                      Shouldn't you be running a major IT dept. at this time of day ?

                2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

                  Re: And then

                  Oh FFS...

                  So they need to run, maintain, support and license Windows for 30% of their user base. That's not irrelevant. That shows why Linux is still irrelevant on the desktop.

                  No, that shows exactly why suffering with vendor lock in is a bad thing - they have left over (3rd party) proprietary software that only works on Windows. In an organisation of this size there will always be some cruddy software usually supporting specific closed hardware that only runs on Windows. Often this is because the supplier has no clue about anything other than Windows development or has no interest in re-developing for other environments for low volume customers as it just doesn't make financial sense for them (the supplier of these proprietary systems) and from experience it usually doesn't seem to make financial sense for the supplier to ever update their software or to make it usable either... The more that open communication standards and similar are used the less this is a problem as there are more alternatives.

                  No - it has cost them over €30 million MORE than to upgrade their existing systems. The claimed 'savings' have been widely debunked.

                  Wrong. It's your pay-master's lies that have been widely debunked. By Munich themselves , not by third party interested parties or spreaders of FUD. While it can be argued that Munich will put whatever spin they want to on these things, the reality is that as a public organisation they operate with a level of accountability and if they did lie or misrepresent the truth it would come out very quickly and they'd be held accountable for it.

                  To suggest that they can build a new OS, run a migration project for TEN YEARS! - and support 2 environments instead of one across 30% of their users and then save money is clearly not credible.

                  Wrong. Again. When you are forced to support Windows you usually have about seven different versions of Windows and Office to support, all incompatible with each other in all so many delightful ways requiring specific customisations and management of each independently. In the end you typically wind up with seven different configurations and when you make a change to one you then have to reflect it manually in each of the others as appropriate... and that's just the joys of centralised management aka group policy. This is before you start to take into account the various incompatible and always fundamentally broken or deficient security structures that are in place that need to be realised between sharepoint, exchange/outlook, file shares (different versions of course), device (e.g. printer) access let alone network access.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: And then

      > An excel spreadsheet full of macros comes in by email to the senior auditor.

      The company sending it didn't read the specification.

      Buh-bye, end of contract.

      "The customer is always right."

      "The customer wants non-Microsoft-locked-in stuff."

      "DEAL WITH IT!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And then

        "Buh-bye, end of contract."

        Good luck finding a replacement auditor that doesn't rely on Excel.....You will be hunting for a long time!

        1. LaeMing

          Re: Good luck finding a replacement auditor that doesn't rely on Excel

          It will take exactly as long as it takes one of the potential contractors to realise they can win a big contract by not relying on Excel. Then the dominoes just keep falling.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: And then

          When you have a budget the size of the city of Munich and you ask Accenture/KPMG/Whoever to jump the answer is immediately "How High".

          They all have their own IT shops so they will solve that problem if needed to keep the contract. They will probably re-sell the know-how against IBM in other tenders after that too.

        3. Gav

          Re: And then

          "Good luck finding a replacement auditor that doesn't rely on Excel"

          They are the eighth largest metropolitan economy in Europe. They don't have to go looking, auditors will come running.

          Besides them being, you know, the customer who the auditor should be trying to accommodate. You think that Open Office Calc has no way of getting data from Excel?

        4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Re: And then

          "Good luck finding a replacement auditor that doesn't rely on Excel.....You will be hunting for a long time!"

          In Munich?

          Really?

          And you couldn't get the document to opne as or save as in Office Libre or OOo?

          Or get the sender to convert it to ...?

          You would definitely be using the wrong sender. Pity it is likely to be a home computer user but luckily the only people sending you macros from those sources are going to be script kiddies.

  6. Himalayaman

    Just when the rest of the planet is moving to the Cloud for a better ROI.

    1. Gnomalarta
      Linux

      They'll be back (sans data)

      :-)

    2. codeusirae
      Holmes

      Moving to the Cloud?

      "Just when the rest of the planet is moving to the Cloud for a better ROI". Himalayaman

      Given that the clients are moving off the traditional PC, the software company can't keep selling them the same desktop client over and over again. Moving them to the Cloud and they can charge them software rent into perpetuity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Moving to the Cloud?

        "Moving them to the Cloud and they can charge them software rent into perpetuity."

        Shhhhhh. That's not the message the cloud-boosters want people to hear (though Trevor and others do seem to have spotted it).

        On the other hand. cloud-style internal shared systems, properly designed and operated, with lots of zero-Microsoft desktops ... yeah man, that could be good for lots of organisations. Except the certified Microsoft dependent ones.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Moving to the Cloud?

        "Given that the clients are moving off the traditional PC"

        No signs of that in the enterprise as yet. Even well established solutions like thin clients and VDI are not particularly popular.

    3. c:\boot.ini

      Only Window cleaners tired of rebooting their servers 3 times after installing a printer driver or a Windohs update migrate their data to the cloud, real men keep their data secure in-house.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While undoubtedly an achievement to move such a large environment - especially one which by all accounts was historically dreadfully maintained - over to Linux, I can't help thinking that this shouldn't be the poster boy for Linux/FOSS rollouts. If I were to convince a CIO of a company to move over to Linux/FOSS from proprietary software I would not hold up a decade long project as an example of how things can go well. Especially when it's seriously questionable if it saved them any money at all. I've been following this for ten years and initially there were lots of comments about how much money was going to be saved, these have all gone now and been replaced with comments about freedom and flexibility. They don't even have support for their OS, it's all provided internally, which would be something totally unacceptable for the vast majority of companies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "They don't even have support for their OS, it's all provided internally, which would be something totally unacceptable for the vast majority of companies."

      Internally provided high level support is unlikely to be acceptable when the OS and apps are closed source with a commercial ecosystem with decades of experience of providing for-profit "support" (ie do it the MS way or take the high road).

      Internally provided support is a different matter when the source is available. Small and many medium organisations may still want to farm out their support, but some (especially larger ones) will also have the option of bringing IT support in-house.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        sorry, but I think you misunderstand my point: The majority of companies won't accept no support, proprietary or FOSS, and they won't want to employ kernel programmers to provide in house support because it's way outside of most companies core business. I would not be able to take a proposal to board level which went along the lines of "we'll move over to X system, first off we'll need to employ a load of programmers in order that we can support and maintain internally." because the reply would be "but we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company. We don't do OS programming."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company"

          "I think you misunderstand my point: The majority of companies won't accept no support, proprietary or FOSS, and they won't want to employ kernel programmers to provide in house support because it's way outside of most companies core business."

          "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company. We don't do [critical but non-core stuff]"

          Should these companies employ their own electricians, plumbers, etc, or should they outsource it as required to a trustworthy supplier?

          Answer: they shouldn't care, as long as the job is done properly. Why is IT support any different? And with open source you can choose who supplies which pieces, and when you upgrade it's on your schedule rather than being dictated by your suppliers. Just like you get with the electricians and plumbers - be they in-house or external.

          ps

          lots of banks employ lots of IT people already. If they need DIY OS people to help run the business, why not?

          1. Skizz

            Re: "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company"

            "lots of banks employ lots of IT people already."

            Apart from RBS of course.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company"

            Employing an external company to carry out your non-core OS maintenance IS support. That's my point.

            And, yes, banks have lots of programmers, but those programmers are banking IT programmers, not FOSS OS programmers. They also already have a job, you'd still need to employ more non-core skills on the off-chance that they were needed.

            Running a system FOSS or COTS without support for most companies is just a no go area, Munich don't operate with support, they use their build team to carry out the work required, this would not be considered acceptable to any company I've ever worked for.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company"

              "you'd still need to employ more non-core skills on the off-chance that they were needed."

              Now who's misunderstanding.

              You could do (some of) the work in-house, or you could farm (some of) it out to a "shared services" company. Much the same as many businesses already do with plumbers, electricians, and similar "facilities" work. This is stuff that's critical to the business, often highly skilled work, but not always "core business activity".

              Please explain to readers why IT is *that* different,

              Obviously IT is different if only MS have the OS source and therefore only MS or MS-authorized organisations are able to do sensible fault-fix or upgrade work, and if all kinds of impenetrable commercial agreements dictate who's allowed to sell what to who, and when (just ask Trevor about MS licensing). Then IT is trickier than plumbing.

              FOSS can change that, either with in-company support or with shared-resource support.

              Choice is good, right? It's what fair markets are about, right?

              But choice is only meaningful if it's informed based on relatively complete relatively unbiased information.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company"

              "not FOSS OS programmers."

              What makes you think any user organisation needs OS or kernel programmers? Do you think MS jump every time a customer thinks there's something wrong with the Windows kernel? No? Thought not.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "we're a bank/florist/heavy engineering company"

            "lots of banks employ lots of IT people already. If they need DIY OS people to help run the business, why not?"

            Because it makes far more sense 99% of the time to buy something off the shelf so that those maintenance and R&D costs are shared across many other customers...

    2. Chemist

      "up a decade long project"

      Although a decade is often mentioned it looks as though although the decision was made ~2003 actual implementation as opposed to pilots didn't begin until ~~2007, ran as a rolling process whilst maintaining the full council services and indeed had been intended to take quite a time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I would have thought that any project to roll out a new desktop environment would have pilots. So, yes, the project took 10 years. Also, if the pilots took 4-5 years, if what you claim is correct, that is frankly utterly staggering.

        1. Chemist

          "f what you claim is correct, that is frankly utterly staggering."

          Why ?

          I've seen the time-line on a Munich doc but can't find it at the moment but from memory the bulk of the desktop moves took place rather recently (~3 years ?)

          Yes it's on the document :

          http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/dms/Home/Stadtverwaltung/Direktorium/Strategische-IT-Projekte/LiMux/Dokumente/Praesentation_LiMux_engl_web.pdf page 6

          Looks like they spent 2 years getting people onto OO, then 2 years pilots of the linux system (1), then roll-out from 2011.

          (1)Until the end of 2008, each of the city's departments will have a "LiMux germ cell". These are groups of 30-50 workstations that will be migrated to the LiMux client. Even in departments that are sceptical towards the migration, this helps the IT staff to become familiar with the software. This approach also allows the LiMux project team to learn about the specific technical requirements of each department, and address them before the full-scale roll-out of the software.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Why ?"

            Because it is a horrifically long time - to end up with what is effectively a crippled desktop compared to a current Windows based solution - and they still can't support 30% of their apps on it!..

            I ran a programme that migrated 70,000 end user devices to a new OS in less than 2 years on over 100 sites globally including rationalising and repackaging ~ 8,000 client applications. The people running the Munich project must be laughing all the way to the bank to stretch it out for a decade and still not be finished!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              As one AC to another

              > I ran a programme that migrated 70,000 end user devices to a new OS in less than 2 years on over 100 sites globally including rationalising and repackaging ~ 8,000 client applications.

              We have no way of validating that claim. Though it does seem rather dubious that such a big cheese would be wasting their Monday afternoon posting as an AC on the El Reg forums.

            2. Chemist

              "o end up with what is effectively a crippled desktop compared to a current Windows based solution - and they still can't support 30% of their apps on it!.."

              Crippled desktop in your less-than-humble opinion.

              It's NOT 30% of the apps, it's that 30% of the desktops need SOME Windows apps - may only be one. Anyway I'm not going on responding to an AC ( yes just the one) because it's like punching fog and I'm sure is boring to the rest of the readers.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "boring to the rest of the readers."

                A different AC here.

                I entirely understand your frustration but please don't think that stuff like your contributions are boring. Not to open minded people anyway (and I mean open in the sense of wanting full unbiased facts before reaching a conclusion).

                The Windows world has a whole ecosystem of Microsoft dependent people who in the case of the Munich/HP report weren't even willing to publish the alleged source data.

                Now we have some data from the customer, and obviously the MS world are not happy about it. Quelle surprise (or German equivalent?).

                Have a lot of fun.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: "boring to the rest of the readers."

                  "A different AC here."

                  Thanks for that. We must wait for the final report from Munich although no doubt there will be just as many arguments about that.

                  I liked Destroy all Monster's post

                  http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2057972

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "boring to the rest of the readers."

                  "The Windows world has a whole ecosystem of Microsoft dependent people who in the case of the Munich/HP report weren't even willing to publish the alleged source data."

                  They didn't need to publish the data. No CIOs want to go down a similar ten year path to failure. Hence why Linux market share has never gone over 1% on the desktop.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "It's NOT 30% of the apps, it's that 30% of the desktops need SOME Windows apps"

                I stand corrected. It doesn't make any difference to the point though - 30% of their user base still needs to use Windows.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "30% of their user base still needs to use Windows."

                  So if I use a website occasionally (from my Linux box) that happens to run on IIS does that make me a Windows user ?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    So if I use a website occasionally (from my Linux box) that happens to run on IIS does that make me a Windows user ?

                    I guess it does indirectly… it also frequently makes them Linux users by sheer virtue that it's one of the most popular web host OSes.

                    Possibly makes them very common FreeBSD and Solaris users too.

            3. Lars Silver badge

              "new OS" ?????

        2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          "I would have thought that any project to roll out a new desktop environment would have pilots."

          Maybe in Germany. In Britain we do things differently.

          We get Paris Hilton to help.

          Or Boris Johnson.

          Some johnson or other anywaiiiittt...

          Oh F*, the horse just fell off the perch again. Can't that fish peddle faster?

  8. phil dude
    Thumb Up

    that's the point...

    First FOSS on M$, get comfortable with the tools.

    Then FOSS without M$. This is why the Micro$oft advocates are throwing mud at this...

    The best thing about this project is that the 1000's of councils across Europe that are <= in size to Munich have a plan they can look at.

    I will be most interested when the Munich funded IT group start putting patches back in the projects that fine tunes the applications....;-)

    P.

    1. Chemist

      Re: that's the point...

      "1000's of councils across Europe"

      Not just councils, of course, The French police are moving to a Linux distro of their own. They've currently installed on ~40000 desktops and are intending to reach ~70000 by next year.

      I thought this quote from the project leader in Munich was also telling :

      ""Windows has developed from a pure PC-centred operating system, like Windows 3.11 was, to a whole infrastructure. If you're staying with Microsoft you're getting more and more overwhelmed to update and change your whole IT infrastructure [to fit with Microsoft]," according to Hofmann, whether that be introducing a Microsoft Active Directory system or running a key management server.

      1. Bernardo Sviso

        Re: that's the point...

        What's the German equivalent to the expression about "'the tail wagging the dog"?

      2. El Gokri'x

        Re: that's the point...

        "French police are moving to a Linux distro of their own"

        WTF? GendarmeLinux?

        1. Chemist

          Re: that's the point...

          "French police are moving to a Linux distro of their own"

          I liked the quote in the article below :

          "Moving from Microsoft XP to Vista would not have brought us many advantages and Microsoft said it would require training of users," said Lt. Col. Guimard. "Moving from XP to Ubuntu, however, proved very easy. The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority."

          arstechnica.com/information-techhttp://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu/nology/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu/

          1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            I liked the link in the article above.

            http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu/nology/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu/

            FTFY. HTH. Are you a windows user?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

    ... a figure which no one believes anyway, unless Microsoft was willing to give away the Windows and Office licenses. Some quick and dirty calculations to see how much they will save over the next 10 years, and only on the desktop components:

    - HW upgrades. Assuming 5 years lifetime, using Windows requires faster HW. Let's say 100eur faster per unit on average, which makes 15000 desktops cost 3MM eur more over 10 years if you stay with Windows.

    - Windows desktop licenses: let's say at 100eur per license, that's 15000x100x2=3MM eur over the next 10 years

    - Office licenses. That's tricky, let's assume that MS leaves that at 300eur per copy. That's 15000x300=4.5MMeur per update, or 9MM over the next 10 years.

    Not difficult to shave off 15MM on desktop hardware and software alone. Not counting antivirus, Active Directory CALS and nodes, SCOM boxes, etc....

    Does not seem very difficult to hit another 15MM in the server component, just looking at the SQL Server, Exchange, etc... prices.

    Not to mention they gain the ability to dictate when and how they change, rather than being tied up to a single vendor product roadmap.

    Of course not all of that will be savings, they'll have to spend also something in supporting and upgrading non Microsoft software. Anyone willing to estimate how much will that cost?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

      Probably very close, or even exceeding the balance left over… but the freedom to choose one's own destiny is priceless.

      Yeah, if I want a bed, 3 meals a day and a few luxuries, I could steal a gun and go on a shooting rampage, get arrested, tried, then thrown in gaol. There's no death penalty here. I'd get somewhere to stay and fed on a regular basis. For free.

      The cost? I'd have no freedom whatsoever. I'd have to do what the prison guards told me.

      I see exactly this analogy with the commercial platforms. I have to do what they say in their world. Most people accept this because it's all they know.

      It's like one interview I heard of a teenager that grew up in a prison camp in North Korea. He thought being in prison was normal … that everyone in the world lived in a prison of some kind.

      No thanks, sure, using a different platform means some effort on my part, but it sure beats being stuck in a cell all day.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

      @AC - You've just made up a load of numbers, anyone can do that. They don't even begin to resemble the kind of discounts a large organisation can obtain from commercial software suppliers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

        Quick check on consumer price (Google it, it's not that difficult): Windows 8.1 is 130eur, so the estimation assumes a "mere" 25% discount Office Professional is 465eur, so the estimation assumes a 35% discount. So you think a 15.000 seat organization can get better discounts? Maybe yes, maybe not. Depends on how much they are locked in the Windows platform.

        People increase their degree of MS lock in because they are sold on the advantages of integrating everything, because it is simpler and cheaper. Paradoxically, the more you are locked in, the least discount Microsoft will give you, simply because they know that the cost of change is so high that you're not going to even considering it.

        When under the threat of of moving to Linux, Microsoft would rather give everything away than allow the move, so yes, these estimations are not realistic because Munich could have got everything essentially for free. If Munich asks for a quote from Microsoft tomorrow, the net license cost will be essentially zero.

        This is why Microsoft has historically not been very strict with piracy. When they have to choose they prefer people using pirated software, because there is still a chance of converting some of these into paid customers. Much less if they start using Macs or Linux. They know it and they fear it.

    3. Bernardo Sviso

      Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

      To be fair, Microsoft seems to have finally gotten the idea that it's not necessary to balloon the OS requirements with every iteration. Other than that -- yeah, pretty much.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

      "- HW upgrades. Assuming 5 years lifetime, using Windows requires faster HW"

      Just to point out that's not true - for instance recent benchmarks show that the latest Windows is faster at graphics and large file copies than the latest Linux Mint, and IE has been the fastest browser on the market at time of release for the last 4 major versions...

      For the software, they already had 15,000 licenses and presumably CALs so would only be paying the maintenance...And were apparently offered significant discounts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

        "And were apparently offered significant discounts."

        And still they changed - that's telling

        BTW - they had NT licenses so comparing current Windows with current Mint is irrelevant (even if what you say is true - and your usual 'truths' are dubious at best), they would have needed new hardware and new OS versions.

      2. Pseudonymous Coward

        Re: Even if it was 30MM more than staying with Windows

        > Just to point out that's not true - for instance recent benchmarks show that the latest Windows is faster at graphics and large file copies than the latest Linux Mint

        Show me your evidence. Besides, what about everyday usage, they are all fast enough for business graphics and large file copies are not exactly a common occurrence.

        And good luck installing a new Windows version on old hardware that doesn't necessarily had its drivers ported to the newest version. Old hardware is an area where Linux clearly shines while it often struggles on brand-new hardware since it takes longer for drivers to come through.

        > IE has been the fastest browser on the market at time of release for the last 4 major versions...

        Man, that is nearly as ridiculous as your (assuming it's both you) EUR 30 million claim. Note that none of this really matters, all current browsers are reasonably fast and compatible.

        You need to stray from microsoft.com when educating yourself about benchmark results.

        tomshardware e.g. concluded in June this year in their article "Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10, And Opera Next, Benchmarked":

        - JavaScript and DOM Performance: "Chrome is the obvious winner [...] and IE10 clearly last."

        - Start-up: "Firefox commands an impressive lead at just under three seconds."

        - Page-load: "category winner: Opera!"

        - HTML5 and CSS3: "IE10 close behind in third."

        - Native HTML5 Hardware Acceleration: "Chrome 27 shows a small lead over Firefox 22 [...] Due to sitting out the WebGL testing, IE10 and Opera 12 barely rate."

        - Memory Efficiency: "IE10 places fourth"

        - Reliability: "IE10 places third"

        - Security: "IE10 is in third place"

        - Standards Compliance: "Chrome is yet again the leader [...] IE10 scores just 70%, earning a borderline C-."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    30 million OVER budget. A lot seems to be reading the 30m figure AS the budget.

    10years and 30million OVER budget isn't exactly a roaring sucess.

    A decade FFS.

    1. phil dude
      Pint

      oh come on now...

      it was a local council. A decade is not a long time if you are not paid for results by quarter....

      Seriously though, the entrenchment of any $LARGE_ORGANISATION IT culture is hardly a secret...

      P.

    2. Chemist

      "30 million OVER budget"

      They didn't - it's only MS and one rather biased AC that is suggesting they did.

      see http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2057907

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Actually he was being generous - it cost them over €40 million MORE to move to Linux!

        http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.focus.de%2Ffinanzen%2Fnews%2Fsoftware-streit-bei-der-stadt-muenchen-haben-udes-it-experten-falsch-gerechnet_aid_901250.html

        1. Richard Plinston

          > HP expert Eden, who conducted the study on behalf of Microsoft, comes to the conclusion: ". Quoted 11 million euros in savings from Linux to a Microsoft solution can be as simple not vote and are not even plausible"

          The Microsoft funded 'report' has been discredited. It makes assumptions about costs that were never incurred. For example it includes the cost of new replacement machines when existing NT machines were reused. It does not include many licence costs which would have been incurred if Windows was retained. It does not include the re-training costs of moving from NT -> XP -> Vista -> Win7 -> Win8 not costs of Office 1997 -> 2000 -> 2007 -> 2010 -> ...

          In this way it has inflated the 'estimated' costs of moving to Linux/OO.org well beyond what Munich actually spent while 'estimating' a much lower figure than is possible for what would have been spent to keep with Windows/Office. It also made up an entirely fictitious amount alleged to have been spent by IBM.

        2. Pookietoo

          An old study conducted by HP on behalf of Microsoft, which used numbers pulled out of thin air, and was rebutted at the time by the people who knew how much they were spending. Is that the best you can do?

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Gimp

    and when Munich saw Windows 8

    Their first reaction was 'Phew'.

    Then they broke out into the biggest grin they could and then ordered Lowenbrau all round.

    Some windows Fanbois can't just hack the fact that someone has given MS the finger (and won)---->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and when Munich saw Windows 8

      "Some windows Fanbois can't just hack the fact that someone has given MS the finger (and won)---->"

      imo, they lost. Ten years later!!! and they are still presumably having to license and manage Windows for 30% of their users! That's a clear failure of this project and demonstrable proof that Linux isn't a one size fits nearly all solution like Windows....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and when Munich saw Windows 8

        > imo, they lost.

        Steve, I know you are retiring soon, but do try to concentrate because Windows RT is running slap-bang into the same third-party software compatibility problems that have held back Linux adoption.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: and when Munich saw Windows 8

          "Windows RT is running slap-bang into third-party software compatibility problems"

          Yes, it does look like that.

          "Windows RT is running slap-bang into the same third-party software compatibility problems that have held back Linux adoption."

          No, it doesn't look like that.

          Windows RT's role (and future) is unclear. If an app of interest doesn't run on RT, tough, it's probably not going to happen. NT used to run on kit other than x86. Now it doesn't. Even if it does happen, how long will it last (who remembers HandheldPC and PocketPC OSes?)

          Linux runs, off the shelf, OS and apps, on all kinds of kit, from router to Raspberry Pi to datacentre server (not just x86 either) and on legacy x86 desktops/mobiles. If a particular hw/sw combo of interest isn't readily available off the shelf, then typically it's not rocket science to make it happen, and if necessary get someone to support it.

          Don't try to win the argument that Windows is generally best technical fit. If you stick to Windows winning on strength of ecosystem, you'd have had a point for the last couple of decades. Windows RT shows how easy it is to lose the "ecosystem" argument too once Windows moves off mainstream software (Windows ME? Vista? Windows 8?) and off legacy x86 hardware.

          Have a lot of fun.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and when Munich saw Windows 8

        That's a clear failure of this project and demonstrable proof that Linux isn't a one size fits nearly all solution like Windows....

        No, but it also demonstrates that Windows isn't one-size-fits-all… more like one-size-fits-30%.

        You think there is such a thing as a one-size-fits-all desktop? You're deluding yourself.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Some windows Fanbois can't just hack.

      Actually if you have only ever tried to open Open Office or Office Librte with Microsoftware you are not likely to appreciate that Open Office and Office Libre and the rest of them (I presume) have no such difficulties.

      It is possible that AC and Chemist are just ignorant and stupid. Both unhappy circumstances but not as bad as being clever and knowledgeable and unreasonable.

  12. Hit Snooze

    Good for them

    It is good that they picked, and went for, whatever OS/software they thought is best for them. Who cares how much money they saved or spent, this is a local counsel - they would have pissed the money away anyways.

    This will be good to see how they manage updates, new OS's, new software, etc that all businesses have to go through for the next 5 to 10 years. Also it will be good to see what they would have had to pay with Office and Windows + tech support vs open source + tech support.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Actually you're all wrong

    It was 50 squillion over budget and the sacrifice of 100 firstborns. I know this to be the absolute truth because Steve Balmer told me personally from behind the destitute bankers charity stand.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually you're all wrong

      you've been listening to the M$ shills as well then? :)

  14. Vic

    But .. but .. but ...

    Munich abandoned this project years ago, having lost their shirt on it.

    I know this because RICHTO told me so...

    Vic.

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      Re: But .. but .. but ...

      Yeps, I'm sure I read somewhere a few years back that Munich - or some German city had abandoned the project. Very pleasantly surprised to read the article.

      1. Bernardo Sviso

        Re: But .. but .. but ...

        Every country where there's a serious "civic" or "government" Linux/FOSS migration project, MS somehow manages to find some city, town or municipal council or equivalent to "prove" that Linux doesn't work out in real life.

        I forget which towns it was in Germany and in Austria, but it was Solothurn in Switzerland, and Newcomb in England. The pattern seems to be to find and support political figureheads to "warn" the general public about irresponsible idealists attempting to use an impractical hobbyist tinkerer OS in lieu of a "real" commercial OS (supported by a famous mega-corp created and run by famous celebrity "innovator" computer/business giants) abetted by a complicit, strongly pro-MS/anti-Linux IT department (or at least department heads).

  15. KNSW54
    Pint

    Microsofts Fail

    This is Microsofts own fault, they change things so they can charge for another licence, then stop supporting the old versions so forcing anyone who wants to be supported to upgrade.

    You cant criticise a publicly funded organisation who has to justify spending taxpayers money looking for ways to get out of the upgrade cycle.

    Windows and Office are a tool for a job, the job in most offices doesnt change much, especially in government so why would you need to keep upgrading?

    I use Microsoft all the time, and some of the upgrades for me, I like, such as Windows 7 and office 2003,

    But Windows 8 and any Office version past 2003 force you down a path a lot of users dont want to go.

    Good luck to Munich and any other organisation that doesnt want to be dictated to by Microsoft.

  16. EPurpl3

    Congrats, amazing news, don't forget to support the developers, a Munich.

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