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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the campaign-funding-brought-to-you-by-windows dept.

Government 579

alphadogg (971356) writes with news that the transition from Windows to GNU/Linux in Munich may be in danger The German city of Munich, long one of the open-source community's poster children for the institutional adoption of Linux, is close to performing a major about-face and returning to Microsoft products. Munich's deputy mayor, Josef Schmid, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that user complaints had prompted a reconsideration (Google translation to English) of the city's end-user software, which has been progressively converted from Microsoft to a custom Linux distribution — "LiMux" — in a process that dates back to 2003.

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Surprise? (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699119)

Well, yes, of course. When Microsoft throws that much software license cuts and maybe a few junkets for the mucky-mucks in exotic places for âoeconferencesâ, well, this is the way it goes.

Is there anyone who really thought it would go any other way?

Re:Surprise? (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699135)

Is there anyone who really thought it would go any other way?

Yes. Linux fans have been absolutely sure the Munich transition would complete successfully. You can't pretend it was always stacked against it now, just because it didn't work out.

Re:Surprise? (3, Insightful)

E-Rock (84950) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699163)

Yea, MS money made the users hate the experience. Just be honest, Linux kills it in certain situations, and the desktop for a regular office worker isn't it.

Re:Surprise? (4, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699301)

In fairness, there are at least two ways that could happen:
1) MS bribes people to complain. Unlikely, but not impossible.
2) MS bribes the relevant officials to *say* there have been overwhelming complaints. I mean, there are inevitably going to be complaints; that happens any time *anything* changes. The question is at what point they become important enough to sway the overall decision.

With that said, I suspect you're right.

Re:Surprise? (3, Insightful)

gothzilla (676407) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699341)

This is a city that loves open source. Do you really, honestly believe hundreds if not thousands of people got bribed and not a single one turned it down and reported the attempt to the press? That's a pretty serious and frightening case of paranoia you've got there.

Re:Surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699403)

This is a city that loves open source.

There is the flaw in your premise.

Re:Surprise? (4, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699581)

Reading comprehension fail?
First, I said there were ways it *could* happen, not that I thought either had occurred. So no, I don't "really, honestly" believe that...
Second, bribes don't need to be anything explicit - in fact, they rarely are, simply because it's so likely that people will report it - there just needs to be some kind of incentive. It doesn't need to be anything traceable to Microsoft; the people taking the hypothetical incentive never need have known from whence it came.
Third, there are always tons of people upset about any given change; with the years this project has run, MS has had plenty of time to find them and encourage them to complain. No need to bribe people to file false reports; just convince those who wouldn't otherwise have complained to do so (and maybe those who would have sent praise not to do so).
Fourth, I'm a security consultant. It is literally my job to be paranoid about potential attack vectors. That doesn't mean I think they'll happen - in fact, another part of my job is rating the risk of each threat coming to pass - but it's there.
Fifth, anybody who *doesn't* see that as the obvious answer to how MS having a bunch of money at stake could lead to this is (IMO) dangerously naïve. It's not complicated; it just requires asking yourself how you could generate complaints if you had lots of money and no morals.

Re:Surprise? (4, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699321)

and the desktop for a regular office worker isn't it.

It is pretty good in places that never developed a Windows culture. There are certain advantages for a regular office worker that come for the Unix way of doing things. I'm surprised that after a decade they hadn't switched paradigms and people weren't enjoying the Unix advantages.

Re:Surprise? (3, Funny)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699359)

MS money made the users hate the experience.

Well, I agree MS Money was horrible and I much preferred Quicken, but I'm not sure how that has anything to do with a desktop in the office...

(Removing tongue from cheek now.. )

Re:Surprise? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699429)

Yea, MS money made the users hate the experience.

Oh, come now. All users complain at least sometimes. If a complaining user were really enough to change the course of the enterprise, how many Windows desktops would be left? Or Oracle? I use an Mac Pro at work myself, and it certainly is not perfect.

Maybe system in Munich really is bad, but you simply cannot determine that in any substantial manner just by sticking your finger into the air. It all comes down to subjective decisions by whomever is in authority.

Re:Surprise? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699181)

Shut the fuck up you paid shill faggot. Go suck Bill Gates dick some more while you take Balmer's cock up your faggot asshole.

Re:Surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699211)

Wow. 12 year old nerd rage there. Grow up child.

Re:Surprise? (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699271)

Not all Linux fans. I'm a Linux fan. I recognize that it's not suitable for non-techie users. There is literally no focus on end user development - that's what I like about it!

It's sysadmin / developer oriented and I hope that never changes.

Re:Surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699525)

Complete nonsense. We run Linux on 200+ desktops. The only problem is people like you that chime in about something they have no experience with.

Re:Surprise? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699551)

You're a faggot shill too. There's a 10% market share on the desktop for Linux and you know it. To deny it is to be a fucking M$hill and a faggot.

Re:Surprise? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699291)

There were those who were sure that anyone exposed to Linux would immediately prefer it over MSWind. Most people were a bit more cautious, but figured that the city would prefer to save money and have control over its own destiny. Others have been cynical since before the plan was first announced, on various different grounds. Some people actually think that MSWind is better. Some think that the applications available under MSWind are better. Some just think that the party with more wealth and power will always win.

Anyone who pretends that there was ever unanimity here is wrong. OTOH, I really wonder what is causing the about-face at this point of the game. (Though not enough to do ANY research. Yes, I read the "The users want it" explanation, but that doesn't do much to convince any organization, so there's clearly something else happening. And it could just be one politician with a hair up his ass.)

Re:Surprise? (1)

blackiner (2787381) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699493)

Well, pretty much I guess. I am a pretty big linux fan and use it for desktop usage (but also switch to windows occasionally). It doesn't work for everyone. I am glad that they at least tried though. MS these days isn't too horrible, so I can't get too mad. I am rather concerned about the massive flux in MS towards cloud computing, though. It is a clear move to lock people in. Hopefully stuff like openstack can keep the big name companies in line, and keep some modicum of power in the user's hands.

Re: Surprise? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699175)

This story is just beginning.

The Microsoft con game has always been good at playing on dissatisfaction and exploiting fud. They are just fundamentally incapable of delivering anything else. I cannot wait to see what a company that is incapable of modifying a third of its flagship os's code thinks they can actually deliver that will be remotely better.

Re: Surprise? (5, Insightful)

ZenDragon (1205104) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699313)

Maybe its a queue for Linux developers to pull their heads out of their asses and start collaborating a little better for a easier user experience. Don't get me wrong, I use both OSs for different things, each on its own merits. But despite what the FOSS crowd seems to want to believe, most users aren't as smart (and masochistic), they don't want to use the command line, or have to wade through clunky confusing dialogs to do simple things. They don't care about customizing their window manager, or their boot process, they just want to get their work done and gtfo. Despite its aging and buggy code base Windows is just simply easier to use for the non tech savvy crowd, and until Linux devs stop trying to over engineer everything and give it funky names that make no sense, then linux will never be successful on at scale on the desktop. Its really not that complicated, and nerd raging on slashdot doesn't help the case (not speaking to you, but the guy a few threads up).

Re: Surprise? (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699443)

You seriously need to run Ubuntu. I think there are some distributions that have made some serious strides in user interfaces and Ubuntu is one of them.

What I would say is that Linux desktops are significantly different from Windows. The look and feel and the GUI standards are worlds apart. What needs to happen is Linux desktops and programs all need to ascribe to the windows look and feel as closely as they can without infringing on patents. X-Windows is just so different and we are bound by it's customs so this is a difficult sale.

That's not to say all is lost. Personally, I think Windows 8 (and presumably 9) and it's move towards "metro" interface might just give Linux a big push. Especially if we can leverage the Android look and feel, we might capture some of the desktop world and get users who are going to have to switch to "metro" anyway learning something else instead. It's a long shot, I know.

Re: Surprise? (2, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699597)

Maybe its a queue for Linux developers to pull their heads out of their asses

There's a line for that? Man I just thought we were supposed to do it on cue...

Re:Surprise? (2, Informative)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699205)

Sure, just sweep under the rug all the complaints made by so many of the people who actually tried to use the system.

Re: Surprise? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699215)

Someone's due for a brown paper bag stuffed with cash...
I converted a law firm to Linux to what could be close to 13 years ago (thin client setup). I can undercut Microsoft every time. In the process of migrating the desktop software to a web based saas. (Linux servers of course).
Then they can run whatever on their personal computers however the systems and desktops I support will always be Linux. (Or a BSD flavor - I'm no fanboi) - however you can't beat booting straight into a full screen browser.
Who needs windows for that? Is the simple explanation (and revelation) is that paying for windows/internet explorer is cost effective ?
Anyhow I don't really care.

Re: Surprise? (2)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699559)

Certain industries have expectations of what's normal. For law firms, it's Windows and MS Office.

Getting people to accept a Mac environment is tough enough. Some workers pass on the job because they know the NEXT job will be looking for Windows and MS Office.

That's the workers. After you walk off the job, that firm has to find a rare specimen who will be able to administer your fringeness. I took over a Mac shop once and converted it to what the workforce, and admins expect when we went to hire people.

You didn't do anyone any favors except yourself (if you actually did any of that stuff).

Re:Surprise? (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699303)

Is there anyone who really thought it would go any other way?

I did. I've been following this since it started. They seemed to have a fairly high degree of commitment and had made tons of progress. I'm shocked to see them throwing in the towel since after a decade I'd assume they no longer have a Windows culture. We know that institutions that never developed a Windows culture were able to switch to Linux easily.

So yeah put me down for surprised.

Re:Surprise? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699495)

Thing didn't go the way I wanted, clearly bribery.

Ha ha! (-1, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699123)

Ha ha!

The one example of transitioning to desktop Linux. And it's failed. I think we can finally say that it will never be the year of Linux on the desktop.

Just a year? (2)

suso (153703) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699149)

Well apparently it was the decade of Linux on the Desktop in Munich. Who said it would last anyways?

Re:Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699151)

Yeah, this is absolutely excellent. Definitely something to laugh and rejoice about.

Re:Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699201)

Ha ha! [nocookie.net]

Re: Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699209)

Because no one in history as switched away from a Microsoft dependeny and been happy with the transition.

Not one.

Ever.

Re: Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699251)

That's correct.

Re: Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699283)

"Year of Linux on the desktop" exist only in your head. The term is a complete fallacy. Linux has had many desktops for over a decade now.
The problem for people like you is that you can't fathom the idea that Linux Pty ltd does not exist and there is no CEO taking to the stage in silk pants announcing it.
Just install the desktop software for yourself already and get on with life or do you require a corporate messiah to tell you when?

Re: Ha ha! (2)

HiThere (15173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699345)

Well, to be honest Gnome3 didn't help things any. Neither did whatever that mishmash that Ubuntu is up to. xfce isn't really slick enough for corporate work. Etc. KDE4 still isn't as good as KDE3 was, but it's definitely mainly usable, and can look as pretty as you desire.

My real guess is that they forgot what a nightmare it was to deal with MSWind, so now the problems with Linux are looming a lot larger in their minds. Please note, however, that this is just a guess.

Linux Desktop developers have pissed me off mightily in the last few years, but not enough that I'd consider going back to MS, or even back to Apple.

Re: Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699477)

Well compositing sucks for thin clients - I will admit that. X was efficient at rendering pre-composited windows on the client. With compositing it just streams the image blob since it has no clue what to do with it but just display it AS IS. Maybe thats the problem here? Upgrading to Gnome3/KDE4 just crapped their thin client setup?
As yes they need to really get moving on Wayland. Can redhat please pump some cash. Seemed to work for systems....

Re:Ha ha! (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699333)

The one example of transitioning to desktop Linux. And it's failed.

That's not the one example. Lots of unix, mainframe and mini shops transitioned quickly and easily. Lots of business where the owner forced the change transitioned easily. Lots of institutions with a Windows culture looked at the cost and balked early on. Munich was an example of a large public group that put the time and effort in. But it is not the only example.

Re:Ha ha! (5, Informative)

mcl630 (1839996) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699363)

One politician said it failed... all other reports of the project (even very recently) have said it's been a success. The actual article says they are convening a panel of experts to consider whether to go back to Microsoft, so despite the misleading summary here, nothing has been decided.

Another MS Story on FP - amazing! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699127)

they just keep coming and coming and coming.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$nakes

mod me down, corporate sock puppets

Microsoft (0)

suso (153703) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699141)

And of course Microsoft now likes to act like they are an open source company that believes in open standards. Maybe they do, but that sure is an annoying stance for them to take.

Re:Microsoft (2)

HiThere (15173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699369)

I don't find that annoying, so much as unbelievable. What surprises me is that they can still find anyone to believe them after lying so often.

OTOH, I can hope that it's true, and that they actually HAVE reformed. I'm just going to let the evidence accumulate for awhile before I believe it. Possibly in a decade....

Re:Microsoft (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699397)

And of course Microsoft now likes to act like they are an open source company that believes in open standards. Maybe they do,

Well, let's test that. Let's ask them to open-source and de-patent (if there are any) the protocols used between the MS SQL client and server, and to perpetually keep that protocol spec completely open and unencumbered.

Embrace (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699433)

Microsoft now likes to act like they are an open source company that believes in open standards.

But they DO. It's step one - embrace:

1) Embrace
2) Extend
3) Extinguish
4) Profit.

Re:Microsoft (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699437)

Microsoft's chief advantage is their ability to provide the slush for the fund that bends target markets to their will.

True Open Source would diminish their ability to do so.

Seems easy to connect those dots.

What a bunch of Wuss (4, Funny)

vivek7006 (585218) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699145)

These Germans. Cant follow through on anything. Fascism, Nazism, linux ..... No wonder they got their asses whooped by Americans. USA ... USA ... USA ...

Re: What a bunch of Wuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699169)

Well, they make a mean Toaster Streudel though.

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (2)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699189)

These Germans. Cant follow through on anything. Fascism, Nazism, linux ..... No wonder they got their asses whooped by Americans. USA ... USA ... USA ...

Because American's are following through on Linux?

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699225)

No we are smart enough not to start stupid endeavors like transitioning to piece of shit Linux in the first place.

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (1)

fwarren (579763) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699237)

Damn straight!!! They are in my house.

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (0)

vivek7006 (585218) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699239)

No Americans believe in crony capitalism. Ergo Apple and MS products rule

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699245)

Maybe they prefer fascism? ;-)

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699373)

And you forgot WWI where they just gave-up for no reason. Their kind never follows through. They are the laughing stock of the white world.

Re:What a bunch of Wuss (4, Funny)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699471)

These Germans. Cant follow through on anything. Fascism, Nazism, linux ..... No wonder they got their asses whooped by Americans. USA ... USA ... USA ...

Yea, they are the wurst...

Let's not be too hasty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699159)

There may be a way to blame this failure on Ballmer.

Bernie Eccelstone Spent 60 million visiting Munich (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699179)

..wonder if it was cheaper, or indeed more expensive, short-term, for Microsoft?

They don't reverse course (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699187)

Their course only became part of city politics. There are people not wanting linux, but the city council still stands behind linux. The news is only that one of the people against linux started a study regarding linux effiency.

All that money... (4, Insightful)

Lisias (447563) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699203)

Yep. And then all that money that would be used to pay salaries that would be used on expenses locally, making the local economy work, will be redirected to Bill Gate's pockets.

I remember when Munchen waived Windows, in 2004. This was noticed a lot on Open Source news, as Quilombo Digital and BR-Linux in Brazil.

I did my share of criticize - Star Office was not ready at that time for the task, and a lot of documents were locked down in a proprietary format that would be a nightmare to convert from and back to be shared. As it's nowadays, by the way.

And things are gonna be worse.

When in a few years, when all our documents will be locked in a proprietary cloud (that anyone with the right influence will have access) or stored locally in a format that you must pay to read, remember 2004.

Misleading title & summary (4, Informative)

mcl630 (1839996) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699207)

The actual source article says they are *considering* going back to Microsoft, while the title and summary here imply its a foregone conclusion.

Re:Misleading title & summary (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699387)

Well when the First Mayor is making statements like "Linux is limping after Microsoft" and the Second Mayor says the "employees are suffering [under Linux]" then I have a fairly good bet on how the "independent" committee to review their OS policy is going to turn out. And maybe finally we can stop flogging this dead horse, because I'm tired of hearing about Munich as the beacon of light that will usher in a new era of Linux on the desktop. It's been rather obvious to all but zealots that they weren't convincing anyone else to make the switch.

Re:Misleading title & summary (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699577)

I don't really care which way they go. My point was they haven't decided anything, but in typical /. fashion, the summary makes it sound like it's happening.

As for politians making decisions on technology, that's usually a bad idea.

Re:Misleading title & summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699595)

Users, cities, and administrators in my experience tend to be generally ignorant and arrogant of what they should be doing. Users demand things that make absolutely no sense. They say “I want MS Windows back” and think that means they are going to get Microsoft Windows XP. No, sorry, your going to get something even WORSE than you have now with severely greater problems. Administrators respond with bull shit like “I can't disable scripting because the business depends on it”. No, you choose not to deal with it because users are *difficult to deal with* compared to letting things be as they are. Your world view is skewed toward your business environment. The rest of the world isn't dependent on macros and the like and disabling it by default isn't the end all. If your business really is that dependent on it you can always CHANGE that default. Stop being so damm lazy. And I get that your overworked... but that's another issue.

Re:Misleading title & summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699447)

Well of course it is. You're on Slashdot, remember? The whole POINT of the posts here is to be misleading. Always has been. Malda knew how to use that crowd tactic well and the rest of the editors have been exploiting it ever since; make mistakes on purpose. The trolls show up to make fun of it, the regular users show up to correct it, they get their views and ad dollars and you can get fucked, because they don't give a damn about anything but lining their pockets. Now that they've been scooped up by DICE, the fate of this dwindling, troll-ridden cesspool of the Internet is sealed; as long as you keep coming back, they get their views, they get their statistics, they get their money.

You want improvement? Open up a new tab and find a better site to visit because this one is going to hell faster than a child molester with a Hitler mustache.

Re:Misleading title & summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699537)

The actual source article says they are *considering* going back to Microsoft, while the title and summary here imply its a foregone conclusion.

Hey, it's these times, you can't even get quality tabloid journalism any more.

Re:Misleading title & summary (4, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699547)

You are correct. This is a political move being driven by the Deputy Mayor of Munich. One can only assume that Microsoft is funding his rise to power (and promising to move their German HQ to Munich) for a reason. ($15.6 Million reasons to be exact.)

Maybe not (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699219)

The rest of the council disagrees [heise.de] (google translate [google.com] )with the second mayor.

Bribery and corruption (5, Interesting)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699221)

From arstechnica
http://arstechnica.com/busines... [arstechnica.com]

Microsoft announced last year that it was moving its German headquarters to Munich. This move is planned to take place in 2016. While Reiter was involved in the deal that precipitated the move and describes himself as a "Microsoft fan," he says the criticism of LiMux is unrelated.

Limux is a project which, up until 3 days ago, has been widely reported as successful. It's been going on for 10 years for god's sake.
Now, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it's a failure - according to one politician.

This is a single politician in the german government trying to derail the project for personal gain.

Re:Bribery and corruption (0)

mad-seumas (59267) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699287)

Yep, if the only real problems are a unified email platform and document formats bribery makes far more sense.

Re:Bribery and corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699393)

I agree, something smells fishy and it's not the garnelenbroetchen. Either that, or they're too dumb for Linux. Because, you know the average Linux user is smarter than the nose-picking windows users.

Re:Bribery and corruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699481)

Or blackmail. Look at what happened the Massachusetts CTO when he threatened Microsoft with switching to OpenOffice, because the format is actually open. Then look at the flaming limbo dance Microsoft did to get the fraudulently named "Open Office XML" created and ISO certified.

A lot of people resigned from the ISO standards groups in the face of the blatant fraud involved in the spec.

Re:Bribery and corruption (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699557)

Over the years, there's been several articles on Slashdot about the problems involved with transitioning to Linux, which is like FOX news talking about problems with unregulated assault rifles. There's been constant cost overrruns, the transition has been far behind schedule, and I'd say a better take is "possible, but not a good idea." As a model, it hasn't been widely copied by other municipalities around the world, despite Linux becoming a much better, well-known, and practical system over the past 11 years.

What do you expect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699223)

Most peons growing up and using Microsoft Windows exclusively are too dumb to learn anything new, even if they are paid to do so.

It's like a brothel staffed by people with down syndrome.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699569)

We are talking about government workers here and city workers at that.

LibreOffice/OpenOffice still kind of suck (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699241)

The basic office-type products for Linux still kind of suck. I've been using them since the StarOffice/SunOffice days, and now use LibreOffice. They've improved a lot, but they're still flakier than they should be, a decade after initial release. Nobody wants to fix the hard-to-fix, boring bugs which damage usability.

Oracle buying the remnants of Sun didn't help.

Re: LibreOffice/OpenOffice still kind of suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699411)

Still overkill for most mundane office tasks. Web form with spell checker some basic formatting options beats it (and yes can't get it to print properly). There is still some work to be done - but we are moving to it right now. Libre office/ms office will become less relevant in the future IMO.

Re:LibreOffice/OpenOffice still kind of suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699423)

actually Oracle buying Sun helped a lot.

Complaints? About what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699247)

As I don't speak or read German, and translation is light on detail, can someone who is familiar with this story highlight what the 'userbase' is complaining about exactly? I'm curious to see if this is an actual inhouse function issue, software not working correctly or troublesome, or it has entirely to do with external facing parties; i.e., websites and 'Internet' related content.

Clearly this is all just a misunderstanding (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699249)

From TFA, some guy named Limix invoked the right to be forgotten. Nothing to see here, move along...

Document formats... (5, Insightful)

mad-seumas (59267) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699261)

As far as I can tell from that horrible translation the only real complaints from users are about document interoperability problems and a unified messaging platform. Document format problems were going to be a given as MS will NEVER allow their software to default to an open standard (gotta sell dem Office seats); the best you can do is tell everyone who is going to be dealing with your city to send your documents in universal standard. As far a unified messaging platform goes, somebody screwed up if they couldn't get a fleet of smartphones to talk to a standard email server. Integrating with an open caldav/cardav server is tougher, but not impossible. They've already dropped a lot of cash on this transition and if those are the only two real complaints it seems more likely that the politicos are banking on a pile of $$ concessions from MS.

Document formats... (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699505)

What are you talking about?<br><br>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ooxml<br>http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dmahugh/archive/2010/04/06/office-s-support-for-iso-iec-29500-strict.aspx<br>http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_ics/catalogue_detail_ics.htm?csnumber=61798<br><br>Microsoft supports an open document standard, standardized by the ISO, with Office and has for some time, though admittedly not "Strict" support until Office 2013.

Re:Document formats... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699561)

You have to pick the right tools for a job and it sounds like the document interoperability was a key requirement that was probably overlooked or oversold. All platforms have strengths and weaknesses and good problem solvers pick the best ones for the situation. It's entirely possible a 3rd party seeking a pile of $$ could have been responsible for going with Linux in the first place. It got enough press that you have to wonder about everyone's motivation involved.

User complaints... (2)

Docasman (870959) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699267)

will be zero, once Microsoft products are installed. Sure. And don't forget to put those old LiMux dvds under your pillow for the dvd fairy to exchange for credit at the Windows Store.

Re:User complaints... (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699593)

And don't forget to put those old LiMux dvds under your pillow for the dvd fairy to exchange for credit at the Windows Store.

I don't think the DVD fairy is real... I've had the AOL CD's under my pillow for decades and she never even left a note saying "no thanks!"

Microsoft Products "Just Work" (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699281)

I'm sort of kidding, but at the same time Microsoft actively maintains their bloatware and has profit as a motivation to do so.

And "normal people" are used to it because as sheep, they are familiar with the product.

On the other hand, the various open solutions are ok on a screen shot level and for very elementary tasks, but unfortunately when you go to do complicated things, you frequently find the Microsoft product has a feature to handle it and the open solution either doesn't or it is rather messy.

Which is a shame. Firefox gets $$$ (from Google) and can afford to polish up, but the open source office solutions --- while nice --- are not polished to such a level.

Why not google docs? (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699285)

Our (S&P Midcap) company switched to Google docs + Google Apps packages successfully. It lets people buy Microsoft products too if they ask for it. But except for a few fancy presentations including lots of animation no one on the engineering side uses Microsoft. Some in accounting use Excel. But almost 90% of the time people stay in google docs. Slowly people have figured out what features not to use in Microsoft to interoperate with Google docs. There is relative peace and clam. Its integration with gmail, and collaborative editing and sharing makes google docs very useful. We no longer have multiple versions mutating through the email attachments. That is the biggest benefit as far as the users are concerned.

Re:Why not google docs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699427)

Slowly people have figured out what features not to use in Microsoft to interoperate with Google docs.

Right there is the problem.

Re:Why not google docs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699585)

I don't see any problem with that. The standard is X. If you decide to use Y, we'll let you, but the onus is on you to make sure what you're doing works with the rest of us. I don't see how it would be any different if X and Y were switched.

Slack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699289)

Government employees probably weren't able to properly load cat videos in FaceBook while they were supposed to be working which would cause a huge outcry.

Re:Slack (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699611)

Yea, read the article... They "suffer" so...

I'm thinking it's all the missing CODECS so the porn doesn't play like it should. However, same difference.

Unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699305)

Governments should not be using proprietary software; it results in being stuck with whatever company that made it for updates, and you can't see the source code (or even if you could, The People can't) so you have no idea what's hiding in it. Neither schools nor the government should be using proprietary software.

The point of OSS (1)

nowylie (3776183) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699357)

Isn't this where OSS should shine? If users are complaining, take those complaints into consideration and modify the software to fix the problem.

Re:The point of OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699511)

Not when the complaints go like this:

1. It doesnt look like it used to.
2. I cant find my things anymore.
3. When i do "X", "Y" happens, but before it was "Z". i want "X" to do "Z".
4. Where is internet explorer?
5. I cant find the start button!

Re:The point of OSS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699605)

And it does, it's what LiMux exists to do. If it doesn't, then there's likely something awry in the organisation somewhere. Which is why the FSFE also says, yes, let's look into what the complaints are, so they can be fixed. It doesn't have to be the fault of the software. In fact, it's likely it isn't.

Note that this fixability is in fact being used as an argument against, "oh it's not ready because it still needs so much programming by our own people". Well, the alternative is that you buy off-the-shelf to fit your (highly custom since large organisation) needs, hire external parties to build it for you (maybe out of FOSS, who knows?), or your people will have to just muddle along without a well-fitted tool to do the task. Guess what'll happen? A temporary solution, possibly using unlicensed software, and lots of spit and baling wire. Exactly the kind of thing that made the LiMux project almost derail and certainly take a lot longer to implement than originally thought: Catalogue all the temporary ad-hoc solutions, work out more substantial alternatives, and give them a place in the LiMux catalogue of solutions.

It'd be raving madness to throw that all away. No wonder several people wave away these comments as irrelevant prattle by a lawyer. But he's not the only one that doesn't understand how ICT should work. There's also the greenie girl mentioned in the same article that complained that all the world was using a "standard program" and why do we have to use something nonstandard? Well, dear girl, because we don't standardise on programs, certainly not from a vendor notorious for being deliberately incompatible with everyone else and notorious for successive versions of its programs being incompatible with previous versions of the very same program. That's a right archiving nightmare and so the thing is wholly unsuited for running a governmental administration with. Yet "the whole world" does. They'll get over it eventually, no way around that. But she's a greenie, maybe she just likes lemmings a lot.

What we do standardise on? Interchange formats, like file formats. Like, oh, ODF, as in ISO 26300. That way, if your "standard program" fails to work with the format properly you can complain to the vendor that he's doing it wrong and he should fix it. And if he doesn't, you walk away and pick a different program that talks the same standard format. Which you'll probably have to in ten or twenty years, and you still want to be able to read the files then, too.

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699379)

Seems like they missed the good and bad about Win7/Win 8.
Don't know why they shy from Linux. Jut this morning we heard about how the updates for Win7/8 went haywire.

It is standard op for Microsoft. (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699415)

Microsoft used to pay hosting service providers to switch to IIS. To gain a few server count numbers in netcraft.com surveys or something. It actually paid people to use Bing. Well let us see how much they are willing to give Munich to buy one more headline. All the while Google is consolidating its position in search and is seriously undermining the Office monopoly through Google docs.

I just met a 50 something guy who bought Nokia latest phone Lumia 650 or whatever. His phone constantly forgets the google log in, changes the ring tone and randomly shutsdown. Normally some kid or a nephew would have fixed the issue had it been a iPhone or android. There is no kid in his extended circle who knows to troubleshoot a microsoft phone. His complaint is not the problems with the phone. ALL his phones malfunction because he answers yes/no to prompts without fully understanding the questions. But there are always children who would bail him out.

I wonder how long its desktop monopoly is going to provide the cash to try these gimmicks.

Windows 8 then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699483)

They should "upgrade" to Windows 8 and see how much their userbase complains compared to the change to linux.

CAPTCHA: bribers

So maybe it was MS afterall!

Open Source Integrated email/calendar/phones/etc (3, Interesting)

onkelonkel (560274) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699491)

Work has recently added Lync to our standard MS environment. It's far from perfect, but we now have integrated everything. I do mean everything. We get IM/VOIP telephony/email/shared calendar/book rooms and meetings/desktop sharing/n-way calls/webcam video conferencing/etc, all in one package.

Is there any open source equivalent that has all these features? Because that is what MS is bringing to the fight.

Munich Schmunich (4, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699521)

Please, stop posting blather about Munich adopting Linux. This drama has been going on for years and years and I'm tired of it. There are stories going back past 2004; "City of Munich Freezes Its Linux Migration", "Munich to Go Ahead with Linux After All", blah blah blah.

Munich uses Linux to pressure Microsoft for better deals, which is just fine, but not interesting to me or most of the rest of us I imagine. Linux is not some struggling underdog begging for attention. So much computing today is Linux, from super computers to $90 smartphones, set tops, huge cloud infrastructures, corporate data centers, weapons systems, etc. — what Munich's government clerks happen to use to print emails or whatever just doesn't matter anymore, if it ever did, and I don't care either way.

Mein Kampf! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699539)

Linux will not do means. Germans have a very, very odd sense of humor. Captcha was "erection".

No retraining costs the other way? (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699555)

The Microsoft party-line has always been that retraining employees to use Linux is far more expensive than paying those license fees... It was always a ridiculous argument, since Microsoft products make major UI changes between versions that require just as much training.

But here, the employees are trained and working on Linux. So how is it that the fees for all that Microsoft software, PLUS the retraining fees, PLUS the undeniable reports of money savings, are still going to make a switch to Windows somehow worthwhile?

Popularity effects & user perception (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a month and a half ago | (#47699589)

Reading TFA I suspect that the sorts of problems are:

  • * Interoperability with third parties. Eg document exchange. In a world where most others use MS software then there will be issues, moving to ODF will help, but not eliminate all issues -- incompatabilities between the way that MS and Open/Libre Office interpret the spec will remain. People will still use other formats where Open equivalents may not exist - eg CAD
  • * Munich have gone out on their own, few are following their lead. They thus have to pay the first implementor's penalty. Those who follow will find things easier and cheaper.
  • * Hardware devices (eg mobile phones). Although many of these might have Linux as the base, the vendor will make sure that it works with MS products and not worry about Linux equivalents
  • * Users are using something that is new and will blame problems on it. This time they have a name ''Linux'' - this becomes perceived as the root of all evil.
  • * Similar problems would have happened with a roll out of a new MS system and these problems would just be accepted as teething problems of a new system. But because Munich is doing something different by having software running on Linux systems this will be seen as the cause of it and thus blamed, with a belief that return to MS will fix all the problems. It will fix some but cause others, but until then Linux systems will get all the blame.

The best way to fix Munich's problems is for others to grab the LiMux distribution and use it. This will:

* Reduce compatability problems. A tipping point will eventually be reached, look how MS IE was king and then it went to less than 80% and suddenly slid as web sites had to take web standards seriously.

* Hardware vendors will have to test against more than just MS Windows and its ecosystems

* Others will contribute software and patches, the cost to Munich will drop.

* Munich IT department will not be seen as maverick since others are also doing it. Eventually they will, hopefully, be lauded as pioneers and visionaries.

This is total bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47699617)

Almost every news site has been reporting this story as being an emphatic move back to MS Office/Windows. It's not. It's a couple of politicians throwing their weight around and some "consideration" as to whether to move away from Linux or not. There have been NO changes set in stone, none. And yet Slashdot is stating a reversal of course as a fact rather than a possibility - clickbait at its finest. I'd expect it from Neowin (which has happened, since they're reporting the same story but saying that Munich will definitely be ditching Linux rather that it being a possibility, but I'd expect nothing less from a Microsoft fan site), but not from Slashdot.

This whole issue is despicable. If Munich falls here then no-one will ever touch Linux on the enterprise desktop again. Microsoft have a LOT of interest (and money) in making this happen. Let's face it - going against the grain is never easy and there's a lot of people who want to keep you locked into an ecosystem. It's fucking hard I know, but Munich are one of the few who were looking at this as a long-term project. If they reverse, then this kinda shows that Microsoft are unstoppable and the Linux desktop movement will be dead once and for all.

All the complaints people have about Microsoft are pointless if people aren't prepared to move away from them to alternatives. Either keep accepting being fucking in the ass or plan an exit strategy for goodness sake.

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