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Munich administration goes Linux?
SPD and Greens want free operating system

Munich (pte032/27.05.2003/14:20) - If the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Greens have their way, the city administration of Munich will soon be running on Linux software and an office package from the Open Source scene.

A decision on the question of using a free operating system will be made tomorrow, Wednesday, at a city council meeting. If the SPD's proposal is accepted, over 14,000 PCs and notebooks with over 16,000 users will begin the "soft migration" to Linux. As the Greens also support the idea, it is highly likely that the proposal will be accepted.

In reviewing offers by Microsoft for Windows and IBM for Linux, the SPD came to the conclusion that the offers were very similar, but that Linux would be better in the long term. Greater independence from individual manufacturers would provide flexibility in shaping the future IT landscape of the city .

SPD speaker and city counsellor Christine Strobl said her administration was aware that other cities might follow Munich's example. "We are completely aware that our decision will have a signalling effect. That's why we have intensively studied the situation," said Strobl.

In addition to supporting the move for strategic reasons, the Greens hope to end Microsoft's dominance on the market. "The Munich administration's decision to switch to Linux will create a gap in Microsoft's monopoly-like position. Munich is the first large German community to opt for Open Source software," said deputy chairman Boris Schwartz .

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