'German cities following Muni…

'German cities following Munich's open source example'

Published on: 06/01/2012

Municipal administrations in Germany are starting to follow the example of the city of Munich, and increase their use of free and open source software, reports the Financial Times Deutschland on 3 January. "The demand for open source is growing - and not only at public administrations", according the newspaper. It mentions the cities of Freiburg and Jena as examples of city administrations following Munich's lead.

Munich's IT department in late December posted an update on the city's migration to a complete open source-based desktop system. It wrote that on 12 December it had migrated 9,000 systems over to Linux, five hundred more than expected. Nearly all copies of a proprietary office suites are uninstalled, apart from a few exceptions. The move to OpenOffice 3.2.1 is taking a bit longer in some parts of the city administration, where specialised applications depend on this proprietary office suite.

The update by the IT department was covered by a great number of IT trade magazines across the EU and neighbouring countries. And this week, Financial Times Deutschland covered the advantages of the use of free and open source software.

The costs savings are often mentioned as the main argument for moving to this type of software. "The costs advantages are tricky", the FTD quotes IT manager Jutta Kreyss. The city for example employs seven developers, offset against the savings on proprietary licences.

The newspaper cites Oliver Altehage, head of Munich's Limux project, who explains the real advantage is in the openness of the applications. The city can decide for themselves what they need, which enhancements to make and what to develop themselves, whether for a standard application to manage requests for licences for hunting, or for the complex civil registration system.

Biggest added value

The biggest added value would be achieved if all municipal administrations moved to free and open source and worked together on the development, says Altehage. And that explains why Munich' mayor Christian Ude in December wrote a public letter to the EU Commission. Altehage: "We should give back to the community as much as possible."


More information:
Blog post by the IT department (in German)
Financial Times Deutschland news item (in German)
IT times news item (in German)
Win Future news item (in German)
Le Magit news item (in French)
H-Online news item
IDG news item (in Norwegian)
Tech Eye news item
Tweakers news item (in Dutch)


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