The south city district of Ostrava, the Czech Republic's third largest city, in January is replacing all 230 GNU/Linux desktops once more by Microsoft. Reversing its migration to open source costs the city district 3.7 million CZK (about 150 thousand euro). A source close to the city district says the open source desktop is plagued by compatibility issues. "Almost everybody else uses Microsoft."
The south city district of Ostrava is the country's best known example of public administrations using this type of software. The migration is a regular topic on open source conferences in the Czech Republic.
According to comments posted on the Czech open source site Abc Linuxu ('the ABC of Linux'), the district council in October decided to reverse its migration to GNU/Linux.
Head of Ostrava's IT department, Jaromír Tomala on Thursday confirmed the city district is replacing its GNU/Linux desktops by Microsoft Windows. While not involved in the decision making process of the district, Tomala says compatibility issues and problems with applications running on that proprietary platform are the cause for the return to Windows. "You know how it is, almost everybody uses Microsoft."
Tomala says the south city district will continue to use GNU/Linux in the back-end.
According to a blog post by Filip Molčan, who heads the Czech Open Source Software Alliance, the city district earlier this year cancelled a tender procedure for renewal of the desktops, after a GNU/Linux service provider offered the cheapest solution. "While across the globe, public administrations are migrating from Windows to open source, we do the opposite."
IT administrators in the south city district did not want to comment on the district's reversal. The spokesperson at Ostrava's city hall was not immediately able to comment on questions regarding the reversal.