A Tale of Two Cities

by Matthew Langham

In a much-publicised decision, the city of Munich Germany decided yesterday to use Linux on 14.000 PCs instead of Windows. The value of the lost contract for Microsoft is around 30 million Euros. Peanuts to them. However the decision by the city not to go for Windows may also be a turning point for Linux here. Microsoft's German headquarters is in Munich and Steve Ballmer interrupted his Swiss vacation to personally try to convince the city to stick with Windows.

In related news this week, the city of Frankfurt decided to stick with Windows and not go for Linux.

While companies like IBM and SuSE are celebrating the victory in Munich, it seems interesting that there seems to be little talk (actually I haven't read anything on this) of just which applications all the city employees are actually going to use. Apart from the normal office-type programs there are also specific ones that will have to be ported or rewritten. Will these be open source too?