Munich Says It’s Now Shifting Back From Microsoft to Open Source Software — Again

Newly-elected politicians in Munich “have decided its administration needs to use open-source software, instead of proprietary products like Microsoft Office,” reports ZDNet:

“Where it is technologically and financially possible, the city will put emphasis on open standards and free open-source licensed software,” a new coalition agreement negotiated between the recently elected Green party and the Social Democrats says. The agreement was finalized May 10 and the parties will be in power until 2026. “We will adhere to the principle of ‘public money, public code’. That means that as long as there is no confidential or personal data involved, the source code of the city’s software will also be made public,” the agreement states…

Munich began the move away from proprietary software at the end of 2006… By 2013, 80% of desktops in the city’s administration were meant to be running LiMux software. In reality, the council continued to run the two systems — Microsoft and LiMux — side by side for several years to deal with compatibility issues. As the result of a change in the city’s government, a controversial decision was made in 2017 to leave LiMux and move back to Microsoft by 2020. At the time, critics of the decision blamed the mayor and deputy mayor and cast a suspicious eye on the US software giant’s decision to move its headquarters to Munich. In interviews, a former Munich mayor, under whose administration the LiMux program began, has been candid about the efforts Microsoft went to to retain their contract with the city.

The migration back to Microsoft and to other proprietary software makers like Oracle and SAP, costing an estimated €86.1m ($93.1m), is still in progress today.

“We’re very happy that they’re taking on the points in the ‘Public Money, Public Code’ campaign we started two and a half years ago,” Alex Sander, EU public policy manager at the Berlin-based Free Software Foundation Europe, tells ZDNet. But it’s also important to note that this is just a statement in a coalition agreement outlining future plans, he says. “Nothing will change from one day to the next, and we wouldn’t expect it to,” Sander continued, noting that the city would also be waiting for ongoing software contracts to expire. “But the next time there is a new contract, we believe it should involve free software.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot