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Munich Finally Starts to Embrace Linux

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the finally-taking-the-next-step dept.

154

sankyuu writes "After years of rumor and vacillation over fear of patents, the city of Munich has decided to trickle in its first 100 linux terminals. The floodgates are scheduled to fling open by 2008, when 80% of government PCs should be running Linux."

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80% By 2008? (1)

MoThugz (560556) | about 8 years ago | (#16196693)

Meaning the 80% of government boxes running Linux will be supplied immediately by a floodgate that's scheduled to open on that year itself?

Amazing.

Re:80% By 2008? (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | about 8 years ago | (#16198543)

We're talking about hydroelectric power, right?

holy not cost effective, batman! (4, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 8 years ago | (#16196699)

The current projected costs are 35 Million Euros (up from 30 Million) to convert 14,000 computers.

2,500 Euros per computer.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (3, Interesting)

dk-software-engineer (980441) | about 8 years ago | (#16196717)

I wonder what it would cost to upgrade to Windows Vista, and the next Windows after that.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (4, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 8 years ago | (#16196857)

Even if the costs are same, it's better for Europeans for the money to stay in local economy, than to be flushed away to Redmond. But I'm probably just forgetting all the jobs that will be created by Vista ;)

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | about 8 years ago | (#16197009)

You obviously missed the part where they are paying this money to IBM, so your point was?

As far as I can see, its not only not cost efective, its not even going to be complete. The project lead himself admits they can only migrate around 80%, theres also a quick gloss over the 12 month pilot extension because of unspecified 'problems'.

So slipping deadlines, increasing costs, less than complete and beset by problems. looks like a typical software project to me and not the poster child for migration some people round here think it is.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (2, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | about 8 years ago | (#16197063)

You obviously missed the part where they are paying this money to IBM, so your point was?

But most/all of the cost is consulting, of which a significant percentage will go to salaries to people locally.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#16197413)

But most/all of the cost is consulting ...

Ditto for a Vista upgrade.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (3, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 8 years ago | (#16197363)

You obviously missed the part where they are paying this money to IBM, so your point was?

The point is that the government and the state institutions are the motor behind the adoptions in the private sector and personal use. By adopting open source solutions, Munich is incentivating the creation and growth of a local market for training, supplying and managing open source solutions. And having in mind that quite a few open source is produced in Germany (KDE, for example) then it is obvious that the people of Germany have a lot to win with that migration.

One other aspect to have in mind is that the money which Munich is paying isn't just for installing new software. Munich is paying the price for not being dependent on a certain platforms (windows) and certain software. It's like a drug addict paying for detox treatment. There are quite a few places that certain software was adopted and subsequently their business was built around it. Now, those solutions will have to be rethought and redone, which costs time and money to accomplish. Nevertheless, it does indeed pay off and pays off well.

On a side note, isn't it funny how the exact same FUD directed towards Ernie Ball's migration to Free/Open Source software is being used against Munich? And once again the FUDers will realize that the migration process, although it isn't always smooth, not only is perfectly possible but also ver positive for the organizations which adopt it.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (0)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#16197435)

Munich is paying the price for not being dependent on a certain platforms (windows) and certain software.

Come on! They will be dependent on a different platform (Linux) and different software (OO, etc).

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 8 years ago | (#16197513)

You can hire some guy to "correct this nasty bug in XXX OSS software". You can't hire some guy to correct this problem in IE or in Windows. It is technically more difficult, and legally questionable. That is what is meant when someone talks about independance in the OSS community.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#16197921)

And then how do you get the bug fix distributed to all your desktops? Is part of the project to replicate Microsoft's update mechanism? Are they planning on maintaining their own source tree for all applications and the OS? If not, then will they simply be forced to accept whatever the OSS community deems appropriate? Or will their "gun-for-hire" person have to negotiate with the community to check his/her changes into the public source tree?

That is what is meant when someone talks about independance in the OSS community.

I don't see alot of "independence". I see many new dependencies on different entities.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 8 years ago | (#16198241)

And then how do you get the bug fix distributed to all your desktops? Is part of the project to replicate Microsoft's update mechanism?

Don't you think you should actually try Linux before posting in a forum like this?

In case anyone is still wondering, keeping Debian systems and applications up to date is MUCH simpler than doing the same on Windows.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 8 years ago | (#16198491)

You just demonstrated that you don't have a clue about how linux distributions handle updates. Have you ever heard of apt? I did and it didn't took me long to learn that with apt anyone can create and maintain his own software repository. It can be done online and even through uptade CDs/DVDs and all without ever depending on anyone or anything to manage and supply the updates.

So why exactly do you talk about "negotiating with the community to check changes into the public source tree" and other nonsense like that? O, I see. You don't have a clue about what you are talking about.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | about 8 years ago | (#16197911)

Come on! They will be dependent on a different platform (Linux) and different software (OO, etc).
Using open-source software means that they won't be dependent on Linux, because the software can be ported to any other operating system (and likely already has), by the makers of the software, the makers of the operating system, other random people, or even people hired by Munich. Using software that saves to open file formats, like ODF, means that they have a wide variety of choices if OO or whatever no longer meets their needs. So no, they will not be dependent on a different platform and different software.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (2, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 8 years ago | (#16198303)

Come on! They will be dependent on a different platform (Linux) and different software (OO, etc).

Are you seriously trying to compare the adoption of a standards-compliant, free and open-sourced platform which guarantees backward compatibility and even compatibility with other standards-compliant platforms with the dependance on a platform which is as closed as it gets, has always compatible problems even with it's predecessor and even patched versions, has a history of very dangerous security problems and to top things off, costs hundreds of dollars per seat and per version?

Let's not even mention that by adopting linux they will not be tied down to a OS, let alone distribution. Are you capable of trying to compare both cases and still keep a straight face?

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | about 8 years ago | (#16196727)

They're taking a big one-time hit although. Once they've rewritten/replaced all their software and migrated their data the cost to add new units will be significantly lower.

Costs: €0.00 (3, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 years ago | (#16196881)

They're taking a big one-time hit although. Once they've rewritten/replaced all their software and migrated their data the cost to add new units will be significantly lower.

I agree with you and I don't understand why so many people assume that a migration from a Windows infrastructure to an OSS one will cost €0.00? If Munich is going ahead and doing this in the first place they might want to make some fundamental changes to their IT infrastructure since they will be ripping the guts out it anyway. Take for example the proposition of replacing dumb Windows PCs that just stand around all day giving users access to a single application (Why pay a Windows XP license for every one of those PCs?) with Linux based thin clients. In this case they might be factoring the replacement of some quantities of computer equipment and infrastructure changes into that figure of €30 million. Then of course there are the costs of testing the whole system, the costs of writing custom software to aid in the migration of entire data bases, websites and other applications previously hosted on Windows 2003+MSSQL+IIS to open source platforms, porting custom made GUI applications/clients to Linux or replacing them with new webapps. I can see why the costs would go up but in the long run I agree with you that their costs should go down as a result of this measure if they handle the project properly which, admittedly, is asking a lot of a German bureaucracy. I would really like to see a financial breakdown and progress report of this project when they are done, this project is really interesting due to it's scale.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (2, Insightful)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | about 8 years ago | (#16197151)

Take for example the proposition of replacing dumb Windows PCs that just stand around all day giving users access to a single application (Why pay a Windows XP license for every one of those PCs?)

Because it's the only thing the application will run on? Unfortunatley it's not always possible to use an alternative.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (1)

freemywrld (821105) | about 8 years ago | (#16197211)

Thus explaining those asking in previous posts about the incomplete cross-over to Linux. Not all applications, some of which are necessary to people's jobs, are currently unavailable in an OSS format. Paying for 80% FEWER Windows licenses is an enormous savings.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (2, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 8 years ago | (#16197469)

That's exactly what some FUD-spreading people don't get. What Munich is paying for isn't simply F/OSS. Munich is paying for the total replacement of it's software infrastructure. Munich is paying to get rid of a solution which costs them on software alone more than 500 per platform per upgrade cycle (which, by the way, is dictated by the software company) and replace it with a platform which is uncomparably cheaper. Tha is exactlly the point of Munich's migration and what every german tax payer should be happy for.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 years ago | (#16197295)

Because it's the only thing the application will run on? Unfortunatley it's not always possible to use an alternative.

While I appreciate that there are some cases where it is impossible to move from Windows this is hardly the case 80% of the time. My example was aimed at a case where migration to Linux would be possible. I walk into businesses every damn day that that have several NT4/Win2K/WinXP boxes standing around giving people access to either a web app or some GUI client which these days is quite often implemented using some cross platform solution like Java Swing or using something like Lotus Notes where a client is available for Linux and from what I hear even Lotus is being ported to Java. So the question is once again what obligates anybody to pay for a Windows license when they can easily switch to a bare bones Linux box or a thin-client? Even if a dumb Windows terminal is serving up a webapp implemented using .NET on the server side to a bunch of sales people or office drones drones it is usually perfectly possible to access that .NET webapp using a Linux terminal and thus save the cost of a Windows license so long as the webapp's developer didn't tie the app to IE with some satanic technology like 'activex' which most of them, thankfully, do not do. In fact all of the major webapps I use are certified for Firefox as well as IE.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16197609)

Unfortunatley it's not always possible to use an alternative.

Yes it is. You may need to write the alternative yourself, but if you're throwing 35m at a project a lot of things suddenly become possible.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 8 years ago | (#16197221)

They also stated somewhere that they're currently using NT4, which is no longer supported, so they *HAD* to migrate anyway...
I wonder what the costs of upgrading to a current supported version of windows would have been?

Re:Costs: €0.00 (1)

indifferent children (842621) | about 8 years ago | (#16197289)

I wonder what the costs of upgrading to a current supported version of windows would have been?

Cheaper than usual, if they had accepted Ballmer's bribe, but still more expensive (TCO) than switching to Linux.

Re:Costs: €0.00 (1)

Simonetta (207550) | about 8 years ago | (#16198445)

One must also consider that there is a lot of overhead in any project of this size. And overhead is expensive. Especially in Europe. They have to pay for all their overpriced bureaucrats, all of Brussells overpriced Eurocrats, all the standards documentation requirements, all the different languages, all the training costs, all the 'calm-the-public' costs.
    Plus all the subsidies like the opera, the East German social-integration costs, the legacy costs from their escapades of sixty years ago that left 70 million people dead, the schools, the pensions for the millions of the old people living now, the pensions for the millions of old people thirty years from now, the costs of training the people who don't speak the same languages as everyone else in Germany but who actually do a lot of the actual work, etc...

    It all adds up.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 8 years ago | (#16197145)

They're taking a big one-time hit although.

I wonder how many of the custom apps they're building on Linux will also be open source, and therefore available to the next government looking to switch. It could be that Munich is taking a _really_ big hit, but each organisation which follows the same path will find it progressively easier to switch.

I've often thought that commercial software vendors are taking an immense risk in not porting to Linux, thereby allowing the whole FOSS application stack on the platform to be developed without commercial-grade competition.

This sort of migration could start a cascade effect, where each successful adoption catalyses the next, and there are damn few commercial software houses prepared to take advantage of that.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (2, Insightful)

Ireneo Funes (886273) | about 8 years ago | (#16196741)

That's upwards of $3k per computer, how in hell did it get to this ridiculous figure?
Being an european myself and in-the-know about the ways of social-democracy I have some nice theories indeed, but being less than IT--related I'll spare the rest of you.

Work costs $$$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16196949)

You obviously have little experience with IT and logistics of IT. At my work, they charge over $3500 (in Norwegian money) internally just for setting up a new computer with network. So if this is the total cost, I'd say it is actually pretty cheap considering they don't need to upgrade licenses once the transition has been made. New PCs can simply be cloned without the headache of licenses, and then upgraded with nightly jobs. However, there'll still be lots to pay in the support and administration.

Do you really think 40-60k salaries are based on small figures? Not so in big companies. You'd be surprised how much money it costs for a big company to pay just one extra person, with support and computer and all personell administration. Even if you hardly see the "work" being done yourself.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

Bwian_of_Nazareth (827437) | about 8 years ago | (#16196961)

Can it be because they are not migrating just the PCs but have to migrate a lot of other undelying infrastructure? Some of the cost will be fixed - ie independent of how many PCs are migrated - and this will be later (supposedly) dissolved when more PCs are migrated. And by the way, $3k is less than one manday of a big-name consultant. Go figure.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about 8 years ago | (#16197077)

That's upwards of $3k per computer, how in hell did it get to this ridiculous figure?
Being an european myself and in-the-know about the ways of social-democracy I have some nice theories indeed, but being less than IT--related I'll spare the rest of you.


Ever consider the costs relating to the person sitting in front of the damn thing? Human beings are a lot more expensive than the workstations they work with.

Thats one big incentive... (2, Insightful)

mutube (981006) | about 8 years ago | (#16196905)

...not to go back.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (2, Insightful)

Spliffster (755587) | about 8 years ago | (#16197019)

I, for one, think a migration to windows Vista would not be much cheaper; licenses, new hardware, 3 praty and home grown application rewrites, and a lot of tests. however, the license costs for OS and many desktop apps will vanish in the future with the linux solution. also, it looks like they are going for linux terminals, so i guess a lot of maintenance work will be saved on the new clients as well.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#16197099)

> yes, no, maybe (tagging beta)
You forgot fud and notfud.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (1)

Spliffster (755587) | about 8 years ago | (#16197247)

hehe, you are right.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (2, Interesting)

Denial93 (773403) | about 8 years ago | (#16197265)

You forget that this will leave Munich with suppliers who are able to do mass Linux migrations to government specifications. This unique ability was hard fought for in administrative and legal nightmares over the past years, and is a major part of what the 35 million buy.

Munich will be quick to offer practical migration services to other cities all over Germany. If even a few see the chance to save some money over the M$ option (many German cities, most importantly Berlin, are in big financial trouble), Munich will see its initial investments pay off very well.

Re:holy not cost effective, batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16198299)

Schiessl refused to make a comparison. "We do not have a goal to compare total cost of ownership. Microsoft stopped supporting NT 4.0, so we must migrate."

Wouldn't a valid TCO comparison be the NT > Linux migration vs NT > Windows XP migration? If that's how he justifies overruns, he's probably not the guy I want running my IT shop.

With the dicounts MS was offering, there is no way in hell an XP migration would have cost E2500/ws. Not even half that, and that's assuming the copy of XP is coming on a brand new machine.

Costs because of Windows-only applications (1)

wysiwia (932559) | about 8 years ago | (#16198619)

2,500 Euros per computer

The cost are so high because somewhere between 100-200 third party applications have to be rewritten since these applications are currently Windows-only applications. Most of this rewriting will be done with Java, so it's just a matter of time when the next rewrite will come.

Only 80% of the computers will be switched to Linux because several of these third party applications can't be rewritten since it would be too expensive or no knowledge is around. There's some expectation that once in the future all these cases will finally become obsolete but nobody tries to give an estimate when.

O. Wyss

Behind the scenes... (3, Insightful)

freemywrld (821105) | about 8 years ago | (#16196729)

They fail to mention how many government servers have been running linux behind-the-scenes for years. Changes are, at least a handful. I realize the excitement of this is in bringing Linux to the desktop, but people aren't always aware of its presence, even when quietly surrounded by it. Now I don't have any facts on Munich's server architecture, so I could very well be wrong.

Snarkiness aside, I think this is a cool project. It'll be interesting to see who else follows Munich's lead, and what ol' Ballmer aims to do about it. Maybe he'll chuck a chair (doh.. there's that snarkiness again... time for me to creep back into my hidey hole).

Re:Behind the scenes... (4, Informative)

pimpimpim (811140) | about 8 years ago | (#16196921)

I checked this news out yesterday, and read on the german project website that they already used linux on their servers since 1995. The idea to change came when it was apparent that windows NT would be stopped and new MS software would require them to start a contract forcing them to renew this contract constantly. Then, if I remember correctly, the major tested if his wife could manage to work on openoffice, which turned out pretty nicely.

With the major and of course a majority in the city council backing this, they started a very gradual and careful way to change, with a halt since 2004 because they needed a risk analysis in the case that software patents would be installed EU-wide. The cost risk turned out to be pretty small, as for every patent there can be a workaround eventually, linux is based on code that is already known since the 60s, and some other reasons. In the mean time they made sure they had automated software install systems working, and other practical issues resolved. The big news now is that they will actually start with the first linux machines for office employees. First ones will be for office work that requires interchangeable software (word processor, etc), then more complicated office work will follow.

s/major/mayor (2, Informative)

fotang (606654) | about 8 years ago | (#16198161)

After staying in Germany, people seem to get y's and j's all mixed up...

Re:Behind the scenes... (1)

ajs318 (655362) | about 8 years ago | (#16197229)

I think Ballmer is probably going to start killing stray dogs and cats around Redmond with Open Source Software to prove just how dangerous it is; and in the process, miss out on the patent for an invention which ultimately goes on to symbolise the United States of America around the world.

See here if you don't get it [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Behind the scenes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197343)

Interesting example of this, if you live in California, all those dopey looking California State Lottery machines you see in every quickie mart and gas station in the state... Linux/Java/Flash :P

I happened to see one going through the boot phases at one point, was kinda cool to see :)

80% in 2 years? (1, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | about 8 years ago | (#16196731)

The article keeps emphasizing how hard it has been so far (to move over 100 computers, and 200 by the end of the year).

After reading all that, this seems like a lie:
"Schiessl said it would be impossible to migrate all users to open source, but that 80 percent would move across by between late-2008 and mid-2009."

Re:80% in 2 years? (2, Insightful)

dk-software-engineer (980441) | about 8 years ago | (#16196781)

Most of those computers are probably used for almost exactly the same. The first 200 computers are probably representative for the 80%.
So they use the first 100-200 to learn and to develop deployment procedures etc. When that works, they roll it out to all the similar computers.
Just like in some smaller places, they use days to test something on one or two computers. When it works they spend an hour putting it on all 500 company desktops, most of the time just waiting for network transfers and rebooting.

Re:80% in 2 years? (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | about 8 years ago | (#16196865)

And another reasons would be to get the users time to switch over to some of the news apps in a timely fashion (i.e. not just having them "airlifted" into a whole new set of apps and OS). That's why they also have an interrim stage where the users run OpenOffice on Windows. First the apps, then the OS... makes sense doesn't it?

Mayor's PC among the first (4, Informative)

rainer_d (115765) | about 8 years ago | (#16196749)

It should be noted that Mayor Christian Ude's PC is slated to be among the first batch of systems to run the Debian-based Linux-desktop Munich will be using.

Just curious (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 years ago | (#16196797)

It should be noted that Mayor Christian Ude's PC is slated to be among the first batch of systems to run the Debian-based Linux-desktop Munich will be using.


Why Debian? Not that I'm implying that Debian is a bad distribution but isn't SuSE HQ practically in their back yard (Nürnberg) ?? Or has Novell uprooted SuSE development and moved the entire outfit to the USA ??

Re:Just curious (4, Informative)

rainer_d (115765) | about 8 years ago | (#16196847)

Re:Just curious (1, Informative)

el americano (799629) | about 8 years ago | (#16196963)

I don't see an answer there at all. (-1, Not informative)

Re:Just curious (3, Informative)

rainer_d (115765) | about 8 years ago | (#16197003)

sigh.

that site has general information about the Linux-Project and a link to this site:
http://www.ssrc.org/wiki/POSA/index.php?title=LiMu x%E2%80%94Free_Software_for_Munich [ssrc.org]

Re:Just curious (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197041)

Because Debian GNU/Linux is the freest of the Linux distributions??? That can't be it.

If you don't know, just say so.

Re:Just curious (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 years ago | (#16197043)

sigh.

that site has general information about the Linux-Project and a link to this site:

Firstly, thanks for a very German answer :D

Secondly, while that is a nice a site and I say that because this project interests me and I did take a look at that Wiki, I was hoping for a more detailed business and financial oriented explanation than "They will be deploying not SuSE but Debian GNU/Linux, the freest of the Linux distributions." The word 'Debian' is mentioned only once on the pace you linked to.

Re:Just curious (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about 8 years ago | (#16197105)

AFAIK, they wanted to avoid swapping one vendor-lock with another.
At the time, there was no OpenSuSE like now.

cheers,
Rainer

Re:Just curious (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 8 years ago | (#16198525)

Especially one sentence on that page it quite interesting:
Without the Ballmer visit, Hoegner concedes, it would have been more difficult to garner the complete support of the City Council
Seems to have been a really bad marketing move by Ballmer. And I always thought the one thing Microsoft were really good in was marketing! :-)

Re:Just curious (1)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | about 8 years ago | (#16197001)

but isn't SuSE HQ practically in their back yard (Nürnberg) ?
Because Munich is in Bavaria and Nürnberg is in Franconia (or whatever "Franken" is in English). That's a whole different country, man!

Re:Just curious (1)

morie (227571) | about 8 years ago | (#16197933)

It's only a few 100km apart. And to use US centered vocabulary, it is in another state, not another country. Berlin at least as far from Munich as Nuernberg is.

Re:Just curious (1)

el americano (799629) | about 8 years ago | (#16197015)

They don't say, but since the support and maintenance contract was won by Softcon and Gonicus, they obviously don't want to pay Suse for doing nothing. Debian was their choice.

Just one more reason to admire this rethink. You might expect that they would move from the big name vendor to the biggest name Linux vendor they could get, but in the end the name doesn't buy you anything. What matters is that you're supported.

Re:Just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197111)

Just one more reason to admire this rethink. You might expect that they would move from the big name vendor to the biggest name Linux vendor they could get, but in the end the name doesn't buy you anything. What matters is that you're supported.

That's what I was thinking to, support and the stability of their Enterprise grade distribution, matters most with Linux vendors. My employer is an IBM junky. They deploy AIX and the SUSE enterprise grade distribution on production servers and systems that demand high uptimes. For other systems such as desktops they deploy SUSE workstation distros, mostly on laptops, and Open SUSE on desktop machines to save on costs. Say what you will about Novell/SUSE their support is quite good in my experience. I was simply wondering who offered a similar package of Debian based solutions that was good enough to beat Novell/SUSE.

Re:Just curious (1)

Fred Porry (993637) | about 8 years ago | (#16197037)

*totally offtopic*
isn't SuSE HQ practically in their back yard (Nürnberg)
Oo didn't know that- why am I still unemployed?!...

Re:Just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197495)

Oo didn't know that- why am I still unemployed?!...

It's all that pent up bitterness and the way it is being converted into sarcasm.

Linux urinals? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 8 years ago | (#16196757)

Heh. Misread that summary as "Linux urinals". I was wondering what sort of benefit Linux could bring to the porcelain pots.

But seriously, I am surprised more governments don't move to Linux as a terminal/front end solution anyway. With more services being handled on central computers far away from the actual customer access points, it doesn't really make sense to have full-featured OSes put in place only to hobble them with security software. It is better to create simple remote terminals which can run programs remotely over the network, saving hardware costs and reducing IT headaches.

Linux, of course, is not a hobbled OS by any means. Rather, it is up to the OS configuration expert how to set up the terminals and restrict the installable files from the outset. Compared with trying to tie down a Win98 or WinXP box, this is much easier. Especially considering the latest distros' ability to easily customize the OS during installation (with very good pre-configurations) and system cloning tools, Linux ought to be at the fore of any IT decision maker's list. Not to mention that installation and additional licenses cost nothing, it makes sense that governments would look to Linux.

Re:Linux urinals? (2, Insightful)

partisanX (1001690) | about 8 years ago | (#16196871)

But seriously, I am surprised more governments don't move to Linux as a terminal/front end solution anyway. With more services being handled on central computers far away from the actual customer access points, it doesn't really make sense to have full-featured OSes put in place only to hobble them with security software. It is better to create simple remote terminals which can run programs remotely over the network, saving hardware costs and reducing IT headaches.

I honestly think it has something to do with them having been convinced once already to move away from that type of architecture(their old mainframe systems) towards PCs, and in the process, getting reamed nicely for the effort. At least the government agencies I'm aware of here in the states. IMO, the best line of attack for opensource adoption is through the apps, and not through the OS. It's a lot easier to teach people new apps, than it is to teach them new operating systems. It's also a lot easier to teach them new operating systems, if their apps will be the same on the new OS. My 2 cents.

Re:Linux urinals? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 8 years ago | (#16196915)

For many governmental "terminal" apps, the interface really isn't anything more than the crap applications we used to write in dBase III or Access. i.e. very simple dialog-based applications where all the relevant data is in little textboxes on the screen.

You don't need to train people on Linux in these cases. You just replace their terminals with one that has equivalent client software and they are back to work.

Now for clerical jobs or positions that require non-trivial closed-source software, you're going to have trouble migrating those folks because you have to fight not only the inertia of the application but also the OS. In those cases, what you say is true.

Re:Linux urinals? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | about 8 years ago | (#16197279)

I remember visiting a large independent electrical appliance warehouse and seeing a brand-new computer, running Windows XP; with a terminal emulator (VT320-alike) being used to access a mainframe. That was the only app it was used for. There were older dumb terminals (VT220 clones) around the building; this PC was evidently being used as a replacement for one such.

Companies are paying a fortune in licences where there are Free alternatives available.

Re:Linux urinals? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 8 years ago | (#16196959)

>I honestly think it has something to do with them having been convinced once already to move away from that type of architecture
I remember us smugly installing x-terminals everywhere to replace the PCs we had. It's the future! It's open! It's economical to run!
Within 3 years, several million pounds worth of x-terminals were junked and we were back with PCs. So much easier to get the software! People know how to use them! Easier to find support staff!

Re:Linux urinals? (3, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 8 years ago | (#16196919)

Heh. Misread that summary as "Linux urinals". I was wondering what sort of benefit Linux could bring to the porcelain pots
"Welcome to UrinalXP!
Your ToiletFlush(tm); license has expired. Please supply your Credit card details using morse code on the ToiletFlush(tm); button. The ToiletDoor(pat.pend.) will stay shut for safety reasons until you comply."

Re:Linux urinals? (1)

indifferent children (842621) | about 8 years ago | (#16197367)

Please supply your Credit card details using morse code on the ToiletFlush(tm); button.

Another reason to upgrade to one of those toilets with the yin-yang 'low-flow/higher flow' buttons: you can use the two buttons to enter binary (higher-flow=1, lower-flow=0) instead of having to learn Morse Code. Computer geeks rejoice. Radio geeks need not upgrade.

Re:Linux urinals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197089)

- Urine level sensor relaying to flushing mechanism
- Water saving mode on low levels of pissing
- Bacteria sensor chip triggering text message to vice presidents of hygiene

- With IPv7, every urinal being its own server!

Three months into WW3, electronic warfare agents set urinals to 300% water pressure spray immediately on activation. Society collapses.

Re:Linux urinals? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 8 years ago | (#16197197)

Heh. Misread that summary as "Linux urinals". I was wondering what sort of benefit Linux could bring to the porcelain pots.

The current Windows-based urinals are susceptible to the Piss of Death attack.

additional info (5, Informative)

Andreas Schaefer (513034) | about 8 years ago | (#16196759)

the standard configuration will be Debian GNU/Linux 3.1, KDE 3.5 and OpenOffice 2.
however, the main reason for the delays and the slow roll-out are that a lot of custom applications had to be ported and for some existing client/server apps interfaces had to be created from scratch.

cheers from Munich,
Andreas

Re:additional info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16196895)

Congratulations Andreas!

Germans are frightened of Muslims (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16196791)

It's a good thing Linux isn't offensive to Muslims (yet...). Otherwise the Germans would have to cancel the whole project.

Re:Germans are frightened of Muslims (-1, Flamebait)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 8 years ago | (#16196965)

It's a good thing Linux isn't offensive to Muslims (yet...). Otherwise the Germans would have to cancel the whole project.

Hey, I just booted up my Linux box, and surfed around a bit, and suddenly I saw the following sentence displayed by my Linux box:

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached

Re:Germans are frightened of Muslims (0, Flamebait)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 8 years ago | (#16197693)

How is that flamebait? I was only quoting what I read off my Linux box' screen...

They Tried (4, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 8 years ago | (#16196811)

They tried. They gave them every chance to come up with a better operating system. They even delayed the switch to Linux by many years to give them a chance. Even now, they're giving them until 2008 to get at least some share of the cake.

But Microsoft just couldn't get Longhorn ready in time.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Rhine... (5, Informative)

boule75 (649166) | about 8 years ago | (#16196821)

... some more (French, sorry) 400,000 PCs are to swith to Open Office in 2007 in the oublic sector, folowing a successfull move in the Gendarmerie (rural police, 90,000 PCs). - A summary here [europa.eu] or in the official French annouce [adele.gouv.fr] .

Some Open Source headways in Europe, indeed, can clearly be seen in EU site [europa.eu] .

Quite heartening indeed! Maybe the big conservative companies will finaly notice this trend. I am sure Microsoft did.

Re:Meanwhile, on the other side of the Rhine... (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | about 8 years ago | (#16196951)

I'm sure IBM did see where the money will be flowing...

(Nice link to the EU site BTW!)

Difficult Switch Benefits Linux? (2)

mutube (981006) | about 8 years ago | (#16196885)

The cost of switching would apply both in both directions of an OS migration. What Linux has in it's favour is that it's support for Microsoft closed formats (e.g. via Openoffice) is far better than the reverse. Once documents are in open formats it's hard to make a case to back out.

I do wonder whether we'll start to see Microsoft supporting these Open Standards as a way to ease the migration path back - supported of course by heavy subsidies on licensing.

Is this not... (0)

ddvlad (862846) | about 8 years ago | (#16196893)

This has to be strongly related to recent EU regulations regarding Microsoft; okay, so they're no longer recent, but they recently threatened to enforce them.

Re:Is this not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197053)

Not at all. That Microsoft pissed at the EU institutions, precisely DG Competition, is their own problem. That an uninvolved EU Communication commissioner called Microsoft a bad company shows that they did wrong.

When Microsoft invades Brussels with unsound x lobbying cowboys, fights for software patents which all developers hate, funds EU hate groups like TechCentralStation and Tim Worstall, no wonder they ruin their reputation.

The best that could happen to you is Microsoft on the other side. Media hates Microsoft and you can be sure their hired guns will make things worse for them.

Microsoft public affairs demonstrates how important it is to get information infrastructure independence.

The headline is mis-leading! (2, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | about 8 years ago | (#16196929)

Munich Finally Starts to Embrace Linux

The sentence should read, "Munich Finally Starts Implementing Linux."

The embrace happened a few years ago. It's (Linux) implementation is what has just happened. By the way...does anyone know whether it's KDE or GNOME at the forefront here?

Re:The headline is mis-leading! (1)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | about 8 years ago | (#16197201)

From my understanding (reading other posts in the thread) it's KDE 3.5 on Debian. Why they didn't go with Ubuntu+Gnome, I don't know.

Re:The headline is mis-leading! (4, Informative)

Chaffar (670874) | about 8 years ago | (#16197303)

From my understanding (reading other posts in the thread) it's KDE 3.5 on Debian. Why they didn't go with Ubuntu+Gnome, I don't know.
Because KDE is a (mostly)German project, whereas GNOME is distinctly American.
According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :
German non-profit organization (KDE e.V.) owns the trademark on "KDE", and KDE conferences often take place in Germany.

Octoberfest (4, Funny)

hey (83763) | about 8 years ago | (#16197025)

Probably won't be doing much migrating next month.

Re:Octoberfest (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197091)

Oktoberfest [oktoberfest.de] is currently running right now in Munich. It typically runs from the middle of September to the beginning of October. This year, the dates are: September 16 to October 3.

Re:Octoberfest (2, Informative)

slart42 (694765) | about 8 years ago | (#16197095)

[i]Probably won't be doing much migrating next month.[/i]

Actually the Octoberfest is in September and ends Oct 3rd, so once the hangover is gone the can migrate at normal efficiency for the rest of the month.

Re:Octoberfest (1)

Yahma (1004476) | about 8 years ago | (#16197993)

Uh.. Oktoberfest [oktoberfest.de] runs from September 16 to Oktober 3rd. Granted, during this celebration, not much is going to get done!

Can I be the first to suggest... (3, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | about 8 years ago | (#16197067)

Munix?

Re:Can I be the first to suggest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197281)

Actually they call it LiMux.

Re:Can I be the first to suggest... (1)

morie (227571) | about 8 years ago | (#16198039)

It would have been a better name than LiMux, in my opinion

Re:Can I be the first to suggest... (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | about 8 years ago | (#16198611)

MuNiX would be closer to the right pronunciation.

But 35 million? (1)

djuuss (854954) | about 8 years ago | (#16197143)

How do you spend 35 million, or 2500 per workstation, to migrate it all to debian? I could call a few friends and we'd do it for half the price. The only logical explanation is that they're also replacing the hardware, but there is no mention of it in TFA.

Re:But 35 million? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 8 years ago | (#16197951)

Can your friends train a whole pile of public servents and office workers who still think of the blue E icon as "the internet"?

Thats probobly where the cash is going, to train all the people (not just the users but the IT people, admins etc) and to provide support for it all.

AWESOMe fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197187)

contaminated while were nuulified by dead. It is a dead bleak future. In

Chairs of Mass Destruction (3, Funny)

db32 (862117) | about 8 years ago | (#16197245)

I hope the Germans have a better missile defense system than we do. Intercontinental Ballmer Missiles (ICBM) incoming!

Re:Chairs of Mass Destruction (1)

frogstar_robot (926792) | about 8 years ago | (#16197449)

Intercontinental Ballmer Missiles (ICBM) incoming!

I didn't know that he could throw that far or that Aerons were viable WMDs.

Linux Terminals!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16197575)

My God...all those poor people's heads spontainiously exploding...it'll be a janitoral nightmare! We have to stop those terminals!!!

Curious to see how long openoffices works for them (1)

chroot_james (833654) | about 8 years ago | (#16198561)

I have never been satisfied with OpenOffice. There's always something I need to do that doesn't work right or documents don't look right, etc. I really wish it was an office replacement, but it's not. I guess if everyone uses it, then it doesn't matter since it handles it's own documents fine... It will be interesting to read about for sure.
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