Munich delays switch to Linux

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005 The German city of Munich has delayed the start of its planed migration to Linux till 2006. The migration was originally due to start this year, three years after the decision to migrate to Linux was made. Peter Hofmann, the project leader of the migration said the delay was because the "pilot was more important than we first thought and should last longer." Once the pilot is completed all the departments will eventually be migrated to Linux and OpenOffice.org.

On May 28, 2003 Germany's third-largest city, voted to move to open source software. Munich made the decision to switch after Microsoft discontinued support for their current OS, Windows NT 4. While Suse was very involved in the early phases, Debian was ultimately selected to replace Windows on 14,000 desktops. The migration is estimated to cost between 30 and 34 million euros, once complete would affect approximately 16,000 users.

The first department to migrate to Linux and OpenOffice.org will be the office of the Lord Mayor planed for the middle of 2006, though not all of the department's computers will be immediately migrated. Peter Hofmann said "Some departments will start with OpenOffice on Windows, others will start with OpenOffice on Linux," he said. "It depends on their infrastructure, for example, if a department has a small number of simple [Office] macros and templates but a large number of complex applications, it is easier to do OpenOffice on Windows first."

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