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City of Munich wants to end open source desktop

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FSFE to call on council members to vote against proposal

Within three years, the city of Munich could abandon its open source workstation strategy. A proposal to end the Limux project and revert to a proprietary system, submitted by the city’s two governing parties, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), will be voted on next week Wednesday. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is to call on all council members to vote against the proposal.

Dark days ahead for Mux (the Munich cousin of Tux, bearing the “Münchner Kindl”, the city's coat of arms).

Submitted this Tuesday, the SPD/CSU proposal calls for a plan to create a Windows-based desktop. The two also want ‘conventional’ desktop applications, including office productivity, PDF reader, email application and web browser. This alternative should be introduced by the end of 2020. The two parties demand software that is “compatible with other software products, such as SAP”.

Over the next few days, FSFE will contact all council members to ask them to vote against the proposal, says FSFE president Matthias Kirschner. “Without knowing the consequences, the damage done and the costs involved, no responsible council member can agree with this plan”, he says. Kirschner stressed that free software had become a significant force in the world. “Munich was once a pioneer, but many others have followed”, Kirschner says, “we hope Munich can overcome the problems in its organisation, which otherwise will continue to hinder its IT strategy.”

No friends in high places

The city administration’s plan to end the world’s best known Linux desktop project has been reported in national and international newspapers and IT trade publications. The first to report on it was the German IT news site Golem, which concludes that ongoing reorganisation at the city’s IT departments is being used by politicians to end the use of open source for workstations. IT news site Heise added that the open source desktop has lost political support following the change in power after the city council elections in 2014.

More information:

Golem news item (in German)
Heise news item (in German)
Der Standard news item (in German)
Abendzeiting München news item (in German)
Pro-Linux news item (in German)
CRN news item (in German)
Linux Magazin news item (in German)
Computerbase news item (in German)

The Register news item
Tech Republic news item

NewZilla news item (in French)