Across Europe, IT press, free software advocates and public administrations are following the council debate in the German city of Munich.
On 15 February, the city council discussed a proposed return to the proprietary desktop. The plan, to switch withing three years, tabled by the majority political parties, was amended following objections from the opposition. The city administration is planning to study the switch, detailing the costs involved and the possible consequences for the current, Linux-based desktop solutions.
IT press from 21 European Union Member States have reported on Munich’s pending return to the proprietary desktop, and civil servants from across Europe have reached out to the Open Source Observatory. A few took to social media to express their concerns.
In the days leading up to the vote, the city received a record-breaking number of comments, one city councillor noted. A handful of activists attended the city hall meeting, and an alliance of German and international free and open source organisations questioned the city's plans in an open letter.
In a statement, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) says that the door is still open, “although the mandate is highly suggestive, in that it suggests that the existing vendor-neutral approach is to be replaced with a proprietary solution.” The advocacy group says it will continue to campaign: “The vendor-neutral strategy must prevail.”
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