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French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the justified-disdain dept.

Linux Business 368

Ynot_82 writes "The French national police force, the Gendarmerie Nationale, has spoken about their migration away from the Windows platform to Linux. Estimated to have already saved the force 50 Million Euros, the migration is due to be completed on all 90,000 workstations by 2015. Of the move, Lt. Col. Guimard had this comment: '"Moving from Microsoft XP to Vista would not have brought us many advantages and Microsoft said it would require training of users. Moving from XP to Ubuntu, however, proved very easy. The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority."'"

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Games are not our priority (5, Funny)

macxcool (1370409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171201)

... but solitaire and minesweeper are great training for stakeouts ;-)

Re:Games are not our priority (5, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171271)

How do they ever expect to catch Riddler? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Games are not our priority (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171307)

... but solitaire and minesweeper are great training for stakeouts ;-)

Doesn't the default version of Ubuntu have both? Mine does along with Chess, Othello, Tetris, Sudoku, Mahjongg, Blackjack, and a few others.

Re:Games are not our priority (5, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171439)

In fact, solitaire really is great training for using a mouse. Time and again I have seen novice computer users of all ages, who would otherwise struggle with the mouse, become quite proficient after only an hour or so playing solitaire.

Now if they could just be gotten to stop playing solitaire afterwards, they could move on to other lessons.

Re:Games are not our priority (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172249)

Now if they could just be gotten to stop playing solitaire afterwards, they could move on to other lessons.

I could say the same for fortune. Show a linux noob how to start a terminal and type fortune, then how to press up-arrow to use the history, and you can lean back for an hour or so. Not great console training, but it's a start. :D

Re:Games are not our priority (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172475)

    Fortune is good for teaching people how do web programming.

    Make it show Fortune.

    Make it format pretty.

    Keep clicking reload, and keep making it prettier. :)

    I actually put it back into my personal site. I got the BOFH excuses fortune file, so whenever someone needs an excuse, they can just click.

    "Power Company having EMP problems with their reactor" :)

Re:Games are not our priority (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172551)

it also works well as a tutor for learning to use the arrow keys and carriage return / enter... played that way quite a bit when my mouse didn't work

Re:Games are not our priority (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172623)

Just change the solitaire shortcut to a link to 2g1c. Problem solved!

tenth post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171213)

not first.

Run away or I shall taunt you a second time (5, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171219)

You don' frighten us, Microsoft pig-dogs!

Re:Run away or I shall taunt you a second time (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171619)

Microsoft: can we come to see you and have a chat?

Re:Run away or I shall taunt you a second time (5, Funny)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171707)

They said they were looking for the Vista Grail. I told them we already have one.

Re:Run away or I shall taunt you a second time (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172049)

Fetchez la vache!

Go France! (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171221)

Now if only state and federal agencies in the US would do some of the same. Sadly, so long as corporations are allowed to lobby, the pork train will probably continue.

Re:Go France! (4, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171265)

Sadly, so long as corporations are allowed to lobby, the pork train will probably continue.

Hey, it's not "pork", it's an "economic stimulus".

Re:Go France! (1, Insightful)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171361)

Honestly, not supporting a business that resides in your nation during the current state of the economy is a pretty bad thing for the government to do. I am not arguing that it should not happen, but right now may not be the time.
In Canada, the government run Lottery corporation just bought 20 Mercedes for prizes, when all the auto companies here are having massive lay-offs/closures. Needless to say they're taking a little flak.
The point is that the government should be helping to foster the development of it's own economy by investing into it.

Just my two cents

Re:Go France! (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171451)

Honestly, not supporting a business that resides in your nation during the current state of the economy is a pretty bad thing for the government to do.

But which companies to support? Red Hat is based in the USA as are many other Linux-based companies. The thing is, when you keep buying things from a certain company just because its made in the USA, you help monopolies and deny justice. Why would the justice department pass a ruling on MS if everything they use is MS based and in the short term it would cost more money to switch?

The point is that the government should be helping to foster the development of it's own economy by investing into it.

But why support a company convicted of running an abusive monopoly? Sure, if it was cheaper to do it the MS way it might make some sense, but compared to Linux, MS is very expensive for little to no quality benefit. By buying MS products governments are helping MS build an even larger monopoly along with effectively tying the hands of judges in monopoly cases.

Re:Go France! (-1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171565)

Since Microsoft wasn't "convicted" of anything, I don't see what has anything to do with supporting them.

Although expecting the government to support a large corporation is probably a bad idea anyway, be that Microsoft or anyone else. Any kind of bailout (direct or indirect) is harmful in the long run.

Re:Go France! (2, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171631)

They were found guilty of anti-trust violations with penalties enforced for their transgressions. The sad thing is that the whole thing is a joke. Bundling IE isn't really a crime. Bundling WMP isn't a crime. However, the Halloween Documents [catb.org] suggest there were serious illegal, anti-competitive practices at play that no one ever really hit them for.

Re:Go France! (0)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171909)

They were found guilty of anti-trust violations with penalties enforced for their transgressions

Which isn't remotely close to a criminal conviction.

Re:Go France! (0, Troll)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172577)

Yes it is. They were found guilty of breaking the law. It was in a criminal court, and they were convicted. What part of that do you not understand?

Re:Go France! (2, Insightful)

Caue (909322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171561)

Yeah. Slashdotters forget basic economy like the rest of North Americans. Hurray closed markets... oh wait, I guess not.

If someone needs to explain to you why this is such a dumbass idea, try the cotton or the corn lobby. They will explain how that kind of thinking made americans choose the least efficient bio-fuel. Go sugarcane, go (that was a no-brainer by the way.. sugarcane = sugar = energy for your children AND you car)!

Re:Go France! (3, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171975)

And the corn syrup produced in such copious amounts can now be found around Americans waists...

Re:Go France! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172383)

Not sure why you were modded down... you can practically go into any market with a blindfold and pick up a random food item. Take off the blindfold and read the ingredients list. You'll likely find HFCS as one of the major items on the list.

Re:Go France! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171569)

If your choice is between equivalent options, one foreign and one domestic, then perhaps that is true. However, if the options are not equivalent, that doesn't necessarily hold.

In this case, for instance, the contention is that a government agency can save millions of dollars by using Linux. Millions of dollars saved is millions you don't have to collect in taxes, or millions that you can do other things with(depending on whether you think the organization in question should focus on present level of service, controlling costs, or present level of cost, improving service).

If a government can actually save money by using linux, then their using Windows amounts to overtaxing their citizens for the benefit of a private corporation. That is bad.

Re:Go France! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172403)

If a government can actually save money by using linux, then their using Windows amounts to overtaxing their citizens for the benefit of a private corporation. That is bad.

Sounds about par for the course these days though...

Re:Go France! (2, Informative)

j79zlr (930600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172619)

That is not really how it works though. I have done some engineering work on DOD projects a long while ago and they require everything to be US made. Everything. I just remember that the conduit runs cost approximately 4x's average construction cost since all of the steel used in the piping and the fittings had to be made in the USA.

Re:Go France! (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172635)

Except they won't be saving the money, it's going to go to some other crazy project. Budget never go down in Government unless something major is done like cutting from the top.

Re:Go France! (2, Insightful)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171623)

In some cases, I would agree. However this is an issue of a police force saving money, not just spending money differently. They could easily use local support agencies for their Linux and it would still help drive the economy.

I'd rather they save money and redistribute it as needed rather than going for the more expensive option for the sake of it.

The other problem with the car thing, is what cars are actually made in Canada? Each of the big 3 only make about 6 different vehicles in Canada, and none of them compare in luxury to an MB. Not only that, but the MB is apparently made from Canadian steel anyway, so...

Re:Go France! (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171663)

It's not "Canada", it's only Ontario's lottery commission that is getting flak for buying German cars. Hell, they're so clueless at times I'm sure they thought Chrysler & Daimler were still merged.

Who was doing the most bitching? President of the CAW, of course.

Re:Go France! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172417)

There aren't many Canadian car makers around that I know of. A T-Rex would be cool though. Mercedes Benz probably sells a lot more tickets than say, a Ford.

Re:Go France! (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172663)

Agreed!, the protectionist bullshit needs to go. Heck look at which company invested the most in new car factories in Canada in the last 10 years. Guess what, it's not GM.

Re:Go France! (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172427)

Honestly, not supporting a business that resides in your nation during the current state of the economy is a pretty bad thing for the government to do.

Why is MS at risk of going under? I'd much rather government stimulus come in the form of hiring unemployed IT people to help them transition and unemployed coders to add features they need/want and hiring smaller companies to provide support. Giving large amounts of money to MS is (amusingly) approaching the broken window fallacy.

The point is that the government should be helping to foster the development of it's own economy by investing into it.

Yes it should, but I'd much rather they hand all that cash to truly innovative companies that will provide longterm benefits to the economy and the government. Fostering innovation has been a key to several economic recoveries. Monopolies and especially monopoly abusers are death to innovation.

Re:Go France! (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172691)

Small Business has been the economic driver for a long time. Cut all the taxes to company with 20 or less employees and see the job market turn over.

Re:Go France! (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172517)

In Canada, the government run Lottery corporation just bought 20 Mercedes for prizes

That's nothing, in the UK the National Lottery just bought a fleet of Cadillac STSes. If you win, they don't make you take one.

Re:Go France! (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171715)

I can only hope that we're just seeing the beginning of this.

With the financial crisis, not only do the big players have a lot less credibility in strong-arming governments into using locked-in solutions, budgets are also tightening everywhere and open-source is a perfect way to save money. FUD tactics focusing on obscure risks from moving to OSS are far less effective on a government that has a population watching its expenditures like a hawk. Voters will be tolerant of blips in government services if they believe they are part of an undertaking to help avoid tax increases.

In such an environment, adoption of OSS to save money and invest in the local economy is truly a no-brainer.

Re:Go France! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172035)

Check out the footer of the French consulate's web page: http://consulfrance-montreal.org/

They already use open source software. I think I noticed that footer more than a couple of years ago or so.

Duh (5, Funny)

spykemail (983593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171243)

Free is cheaper. Who knew?

Re:Duh (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171699)

Except for most of the suits I've dealt with at my last two companies. We keep talking about the need to save money and cut costs, so we lay people off. When I show them articles how IBM saved over 100 million dollars last year migrating more Windows systems to Linux, they balk at the notion. We literally use everything from Office 97 to 2007 here, and we can't share documents internally. We had a big crisis when departments couldn't work together on a budget, because no one could open each other's files.

I suggested OpenOffice to several execs, and not a single one would consider moving away from Office. It is just unthinkable. They keep insisting they want everyone on the same version of Office (and we have Mac users with Mac Office) but they won't buy new Office 2007 licenses for everyone. They want a solution that is free, but they are terrified of free software.

Instead, they'll cave and buy more Office 2007 licenses, and fire more people to make up the difference.

Re:Duh (5, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172229)

Your anecdote further strengthens my view that American companies are all run by idiots. I swear, American companies sit down and figure out the most efficient way to run the company and then say "Ok, great -- lets do the exact opposite".

Re:Duh (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172465)

They aren't run by idiots. They're run by selfish bastards. There's a big difference.

An idiot will make you fill out form 22/B in order to get a new stapler because he doesn't know of any other solution. A selfish bastard will make you fill out form 22/B in order to get a new stapler because he wants to save money on staplers and knows that most people won't take the time unless they really really need one.

This may seem like the effects are similar, but they aren't: the idiot, when he hears of a more efficient way, will at least consider changing it or at worst be very confused. The selfish bastard, when he hears of a more efficient way, will fire the guy who made the suggestion for undermining his authority. It's a difference between Dogbert and the PHB.

Re:Duh (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172467)

It's not necessarily idiots (but I'm sure it applies somewhat.) Boards are made up of people from other companies. In fact, the company I work for took on a board member from Symantec a few years back. The same year, everyone got "upgraded" to Symantec Anti-Virus. It's a buddy-buddy world in Corporate America.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172331)

Software AND hardware cost over 3 years dwarfs in comparison to payroll. If you want to save big money you find ways to employ fewer people. In most companies the IT payroll is usually 75% of the annyal budget. Everything else fits in the remaining. YOu could reduce overall budget by about 5 - 10% depending on how agressive you were with the OSS thing. YOu could save about 40 - 50% by using the systems better and requiring less admin etc. I would do both. Hire some, Fire alot, and switch as much as I could to OSS.

Re:Duh (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172439)

You must have never worked in a big enough enterprise. Sure, buying a few HP or Dell boxes with 2 sockets will run you a few grand, but when the support costs on 1 superdome can pay for 2 IT workers per year, not even mentioning the costs of additional disk or the initial purchase, you would be hard pressed to think that a few IT workers will clog the costs up too much. In all, about 8 UNIX guys can administer 500 machines pretty effectively. Cut that to 5 and you end up with loose ends and lots of problems. You saved a lot of nothing doing that.

Read the original report - you'll feel much better (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172629)

According to Guimard the move to open source has also helped to reduce maintenance costs.
Keeping GNU/Linux desktops up to date is much easier, he says.
"Previously, one of us would be travelling all year just to install a new version of some anti virus application on the desktops in the Gendarmerie's outposts on the islands in French Polynesia.
A similar operation now is finished within two weeks and does not require travelling.

Aaah... government work.
Not only do they find an exceptionally complicated way to solve a simple problem - they don't know when to keep their mouth shut when it goes in their favor.
Traveling around French Polynesian islands [wikipedia.org] updating anti-virus software for living?

Why yes. It is MUCH better to sit in some windowless room instead.

did i read that wrong? (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171279)

Am I the only one who thought they switched to Geico?

Re:did i read that wrong? (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171349)

Yes.
I did have to pause a moment to think millions of what? Initially I thought people.

Re:did i read that wrong? (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171997)

I've got people!

Allies? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171289)

So can we now call Linux the Allies coming to save France? I didn't want to 'call' the other side of that.....

Re:Allies? (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171479)

So can we now call Linux the Allies coming to save France? I didn't want to 'call' the other side of that.....

No! No, way! You absolutely, positively are NOT going to trick me into saying that Microsoft is the Axis of Evil! Do you have any idea how fast I'd be modded down by the Microsoft fanboys? Forget it! I'm not doing it!

Re:Allies? (2, Interesting)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171581)

I think he was rather referring to Godwin's law. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Allies? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172501)

Is there a "law" that states Godwin's law will be applied to any and all conversations leading to references of Nazi's or Hitler? Kind of like a meta-law...

Re:Allies? (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172013)

Well.. They guillotined the blue screen of death!

I'll give it 3 years (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171293)

3 years until they realise that Linux is a shitty hassle and go crawling back to Microsoft.

French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu? (5, Funny)

canuck08 (1421409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171299)

"French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu."

Jesus Christ! Windows was killing millions of people in France?!?!

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171353)

Jesus Christ! Windows was killing millions of people in France?!?!

Why do you think they call it the 'Blue Screen of Death'?

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171517)

And why do you think the French sigh of exasperation is "sacre bleu"?

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171575)

Actually, it's a reference the Virgin Mary, for whom the color blue is sacred.

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171747)

Who will be the first moron to post one of those lame "whooosh" postings?

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (2, Funny)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172033)

You?

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (1)

agnosticanarch (105861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172431)

I'll bite.

Uhm.... whooosh?

*shoots post in the leg*

There ya go: one lame "whooosh" posting.

~AA

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172651)

That kind of self-referential humor makes my head hurt :(

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171409)

Or maybe...,

"French Police Save Millions of people that were in the process of Switching to Ubuntu, from M$ henchmen out to kill them.

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171453)

Dear AC,

Fuck you.

--Linux

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (5, Funny)

nixdroid (1482893) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171421)

No, no, millions of _Francs_. About $1.98.

Euros (0, Redundant)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171731)

France completely switched to the Euro years back. I was there. The article even mentions it was Euros. But I should expect people on /. to RTFA.

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172215)

No, no, millions of _Francs_. About $1.98.

Let me guess, you got your conversion done by Bill O'Reilly, whose call for a boycott of French products utterly destroyed* the French economy!

* (According to sources named Bill O'Reilly)

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (1)

Caue (909322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171475)

I swear I read it like that as well... But then I saw the Ubuntu in the end of the phrase and tought: naaaah. No OS other then Leopard could be harassing to so many people, and leopards are not that dangerous if you let them be.

Re: French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubunt (4, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171557)

Not just in France, the summary says Euros, so people all over Europe.

Applications already migrated (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171305)

What the summary doesn't mention, but is worth noting, is that they were already using open source programs where possible---Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo. Now I think their migration is wonderful, but I suspect it might have been somewhat more difficult if users were asked to adjust to new programs, as well.

Re:Applications already migrated (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171505)

They migrated their applications first, as part of a phased rollout, aimed at being a first step before the migration to Linux.

So the users did migrate applications, it just wasn't at the same time as changing operating system.

Re:Applications already migrated (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171519)

What the summary doesn't mention, but is worth noting, is that they were already using open source programs where possible---Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo. Now I think their migration is wonderful, but I suspect it might have been somewhat more difficult if users were asked to adjust to new programs, as well.

The only insightful comment so far, and I don't have any mod points. :(

Oh well. Yes, that is what is meant by "nothing changes but the icons".

Re:Applications already migrated (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172095)

What the summary doesn't mention, but is worth noting, is that they were already using open source programs where possible---Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo. Now I think their migration is wonderful, but I suspect it might have been somewhat more difficult if users were asked to adjust to new programs, as well.

Of course it would have been more difficult. That just means they did it right, switching to Free applications first then to the Free OS. They probably saved money in the first step as well as the second, and lowered the burden by doing it phased rather than dumping it all on the users at once.

French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171473)

I didn't know so many switching to Ubuntu were in need of being saved.

You just saved millions! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171487)

Waddya gonna do?

We're going to Disneyland [disneylandparis.com] !

Mandriva snubbed? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171531)

Why didn't the French police didn't switch to Mandriva since it is of French origin? I thought the French are fairly protectionist and prefer to use French-based companies over foreign ones. Seems like they could have given Mandriva a needed financial boost with lucrative support contracts.

Re:Mandriva snubbed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172167)

Ubuntu (Canonical) is a British company, which is still EU.

They aren't necessarily paying Canonical anything anyway -- I'm sure there are local French companies willing to provide Linux support, just as there will be French companies willing to do any additional software development they need.

Re:Mandriva snubbed? (5, Informative)

basiles (626992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172667)

First, a small precision: The Gendarmerie Nationale is not exactly the French national police (called Police Nationale in French), but an armed force (the fourth french armed force, after infantery Armée de Terre, navy = Marine Nationale, air force = Armée de l'Air). The small difference between Gendarmerie & Police is that Gendarmerie members are exactly soldiers (with strict military discipline).

In practice, Gendarmerie tend to work in rural or semi-rural areas, while Police tend to work in urban zones (actually, there exist some kind of competition between Gendarmerie and Police, which gives interesting french thriller films and books) And they have different legal abilities. For example, in some limited cases, a Gendarme can legally shoot his gun first, while in principle a Policier (policeman) can use his gun (policemen and gendarmes are armed with guns) only for self defense (but IANAL so I may be wrong).

Gendarmerie is centralized and military, so it was easy to order them to switch at once to Linux [no training needed; just an official order from a high-rank official]. And I hear their IT department was strong enough to customize (without subcontractors) some Ubuntu distribution to the exact needs of Gendarmerie (which includes access to some peculiar databases). This could be an explanation of why Gendarmerie did not need any support from Mandriva.

But Mandriva still has several French state contracts, including even research contracts on collaborative projects.

Disclaimer: I do work sometimes with Mandriva on collaborative research projects (such as GGCC [ggcc.info] ).

For information (3, Informative)

godrik (1287354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171615)

The Gendarmerie Nationale already used free software daily such as open office. The migration would have been more complicated is they were using MS Office.

Re:For information (3, Insightful)

getclear (1338437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171697)

Not particularly, they would have had to offer retraining from 2003 to 2007, as well as on the new OS.

Re:For information (2, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172377)

My point was that moving from office 2003/windows to openoffice/ubuntu would induce much more compatibility issues than from openoffice/windows. since the file format are fully compatible.

Re:For information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27171895)

It ain't necessarily so. If you don't use VBA macros or complex docs, it could even be easier to switch from Office XP to OpenOffice than to Office 2007. French parliament didn't use any free software on the desktop before switching to Ubuntu.

Re:For information (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172169)

The Gendarmerie Nationale already used free software daily such as open office. The migration would have been more complicated is they were using MS Office.

Actually, they used MSOffice back in 2005. They did a staged transition to free software, first moving to OpenOffice and Firefox and Thunderbird. Now they're moving into the second stage and switching the underlying OS now that most of their applications are platform independent.

Tis a good day for Linux (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171703)

Great for Linux , awesome for Linux admins, even better for open source movement!

can't happen in Cambridge, MA. (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171749)

Almost every time I pass the parked policy car in Cambridge, I saw the policeman playing some game (e.g., solitair) on his PC. I guess games *are* the priority here, hence don't see any migration to Ubuntu any time soon.

Re:can't happen in Cambridge, MA. (1)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171869)

Never mind that Solitaire is on the default Ubuntu install, along with a dozen other (read: more than Windows) pre-installed games.

No, that's not what they did (5, Informative)

kenh (9056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171817)

They saved millions by migrating 90,000 desktops to OpenOffice, they have migrated only 5,000 desktops to Ubuntu, they plan for 15,000 by the end of 2009, and 90,000 by 2015. (IIRC).

The title of the article, and the title of the slashdot posting is inaccurate - the savings are real, but the reason was not Ubuntu - it was OpenOffice.

Re:No, that's not what they did (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172175)

I think this is the key to moving away from Windows. Once users are happy with Open Office, Firefox, Gimp for Windows etc, then the next step to migrate totally to Linux becomes a much smaller one to take.

Re:No, that's not what they did (0, Redundant)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172335)

QUICK! Mod him down!

He's ruining The Year of The Linux Desktop(TM)!

Re:No, that's not what they did (4, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172401)

The title of the article, and the title of the slashdot posting is inaccurate...

What's your point?

Re:No, that's not what they did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172545)

to be fair, they switched to openoffice so that the next step -- switch to ubuntu -- would be seamless. so it is true that in the process of switching to ubuntu (using openoffice first being a first step), they saved millions.

This just in from the ticker. French police save m (2, Funny)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171863)

French Police Save Millions Switching To Ubuntu

French Police are going door to door these past days informing citizens of the long-term health
effects of Windows. The so far largest campaign for public health in the history of France is
expected to continue for another week and is aiming for a coverage of over 90% of the nation's
households. Jean Trudeaux, an elderly villager in the Bretagne recalls opening the door to officers
early in the afternoon and being asked if he owned a computer. Acknowledging the possession of
a computing device, Trudeaux learned of the immense cardiovascular risks associated with using
inferior desktop software that is sold to an unsuspecting public bundled with almost every sale
of computer hardware. At the end of the conversation with the officers, Trudeaux remarks:
"I don't use my computer that often but that's mainly because it's such a hassle to do anything
with it and then I get really really mad".

While the campaign has certainly not escaped the attention of Microsoft it has also been noted
by the medical profession world-wide. In an interview with Dr. Francois Boudoir, one of the foremost
advancers of the field of cardiology in France the connection was quickly made between reducing the
amount of time spent in distress to downright rage and the more than obvious benefits thus incurred
for cardio health. "This campaign will save millions of lives in the long run and we need to look at
this problem from more angles than just the cardiologist's perspective. This is also a quality of
life issue."

Biggest differences? (1, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172091)

The two biggest differences are the icons and the games.

Man alive. If that's what this person thinks are the "biggest differences" ... I don't know, that just sounds really strange. This wasn't a very technical person, I take it, saying this. Even from a pure user's perspective, there's more that is different than "icons." Like, the entire GUI is different. I know, basic functionality is mostly the same, and you still click things to get them to open, but there's still a lot more different. Good things, too, I'm not trying to say the switch was a bad idea (like security and updates). But it slightly boggles my mind that someone thinks the "biggest difference between XP and Ubuntu are icons and games." It's almost an insult to Ubuntu! ;) Except I like XP, too, but whatever.

I am expecting responses saying that this was from the "user's" perspective... probably true; I still think there's more different than icons and games. Package management would be a major difference from XP, for one thing. More so than icons.

Re:Biggest differences? (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172419)

But really, the paradigm of all modern GUIs is the same. There really isn't that much difference between XP or XFCE on a paradigm level. It's all clicky menus and icons.

My parents, who are about the most illiterate people I've ever met, went from Win98 to Gnome to Mac OSX over the years without a single complaint about usability of the GUI. Plenty of other issues, but never about the GUI.

So yes, I agree with the article. The biggest difference is in the icons and the games.

Sadly, "thanks" is all those programmers will get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172157)

Sure, the system was free to the French government. But I wonder, with the economy the way it is,who's going to help all those programmers that donated their time and effort to write all that code? Are the French going to step up and make a donation to help out all those coders trying to make the mortgage payment?

Re:Sadly, "thanks" is all those programmers will g (4, Informative)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172669)

no
they donated their code.

if they wanted to get paid for their code, they should have not donated their time.

There are 2 separate national police force (5, Informative)

thirty-seven (568076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172515)

The French national police force, the Gendarmerie Nationale...

Actually, there are two separate national police forces in France.

The Gendarmerie Nationale [wikipedia.org] is, (adapted from Wikipedia):

the national gendarmerie (a military body charged with police duties among civilian populations) and military police force. Its missions include:

  • The policing of the countryside, rivers and coastal areas, and small towns with populations under 10,000. About half the French population is under the direct jurisdiction of the Gendarmerie.
  • Criminal investigations under judiciary supervision.
  • Crowd control and other security activities.
  • The security of airports and military installations, as well as all investigations relating to the military, including in foreign interventions.
  • Participations in ceremonies involving foreign heads of states or heads of governments.
  • Provision of Military police services to the Military of France.

The Police Nationale [wikipedia.org] is, (adapted from Wikipedia):

the main civil law enforcement agency of France, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. In those larger cities and towns, its mission includes:

  • Conducting security operations (patrols, traffic control, identity checks...).
  • Conducting criminal enquiries, serving search warrants, etc under the orders and supervision of the Investigating magistrates of the judiciary. It maintains specific services ("judicial police") for criminal enquiries.

viva mon âne (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172525)

I saved untold grief by switching from french fries to freedom fries.

      Anyway, its not always about me and here on gashdot, its all about free and screwing the american capitalist.

Fine, next time they call and say "venez sauf nos ânes collectifs et malheureux" we'll say, "disparaissent la baise vous-même"

vous foutus twits

Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27172611)

Looks like results from this story last year [slashdot.org] .

Mandriva? (4, Interesting)

generalchaos23 (1326053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27172689)

I am surprised that they didn't go with Mandriva, seeing how I am pretty sure they are based in France.
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