September 6, 2005 5:07 AM PDT

Munich's Linux migration slips to 2006

The city of Munich will not start its migration to Linux on the desktop until 2006, a year later than planned and three years since it decided to go with the open-source operating system.

The migration of 14,000 desktops from Windows NT 4.0 to Linux and Microsoft Office 97 and 2000 to OpenOffice.org was originally planned to start in 2005, but the schedule has slipped, Peter Hofmann, the project leader of the migration, said Monday.

Hofmann said that the first department to migrate to Linux and OpenOffice.org will be that of the Lord Mayor. This migration is due to happen in the middle of 2006, although not all of the department's 250 computers will be migrated straight away.

One of the reasons for the delay in the migration start date is the need for an additional pilot phase, which will run in the first half of 2006. "It became clear later in the planning phase that a pilot was more important than we first thought and should last longer," Hofmann said.

The migration team plans to set up pilot PCs running Linux and OpenOffice.org in every department. Once the pilot is completed, departments will be migrated to open-source software in either one or two steps, according to Hofmann.

"Some departments will start with OpenOffice on Windows, others will start with OpenOffice on Linux," Hofmann said. "It depends on their infrastructure, for example, if a department has a small number of simple (Office) macros and templates, but a large number of complex applications, it is easier to do OpenOffice on Windows first."

Employees at the city administration have had a mixed response to the news that Munich is migrating to Linux, according to Hofmann. "Some (employees) are anxious that nothing will work (once we migrate) and others are enthusiastic," he said.

Munich is not the only European city migrating to Linux on the desktop. In July, the Austrian city of Vienna kicked off its migration to open-source software on the desktop, and the Norwegian city of Bergen also plans to migrate.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.

11 comments

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It'll Happen Really...No Really....Just Wait and Wait and Wait.
Munich was making a statement to Microsoft when they said they were moving all of their systems to Linux that Linux will be less expensive. Well how much have they spent so far on their migration and how much more for the pilot. I'll be willing to bet that this will all be eventually written off as a bad idea.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Trying to do it right perhaps?
Or perhaps such is the level of Windows/Office monopoly that
the vast majority of workers are dubious about whether Linux/
OpenOffice can replace these? They need to be educated. This
takes time.
Many people don't think there is another WP app than Word.
They assume all computers run Windows. It's an uphill battle. As
someone who uses mainly Macs, with one Linux server and a PC
for testing web sites in IE6 (yuck!), even friends who would
consider themselves IT literate can't believe my Mac and Linux
boxes don't get viruses, trojans, spyware etc. And so it is with
Office/Windows - people assume that's all there is and that
something else (especially something free!) must be rubbish.
And the cost of waiting and doing it right will FAR outweigh the
licensing costs for sub-standard MS products.
Posted by ross brown--2008 (57 comments )
Link Flag
yesh, let's all just take needless risks
i agree, if they are going to switch to linux they should do it all at once, without any testing and just hope that it all works out. /sarcasm. idiot.

when i switched to linux, i still kept windows around for a couple of months until i was able to use linux for everything i used to use windows for. it just takes longer when you have 14,000+ computers to migrate. plus the costs will have to be managed. it's better to slowly move over, making sure that you can learn the differences between the operating systems so that when it is fully ported over you will be prepared.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
Excuse and whinning again
Linux and OpenSource was given a CHANCE in Munich, but couldn't prove themself valueable to user. Even OpenSource active supporter like Munich could not use them.

And you, a Linux jelot, are making excuse and blame game again. Chance is given to you, prove yourself, dont blame other.
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No Excuses...
will come from me about linux or OpenOffice. I don't really care for OpenOffice or Microsoft Office. I am a WordPerfect user.

The truth here is that we don't give credit to anybody for anything. It's always ours is better than yours.

For those who work in business maintaining computers and servers you know it takes a long time to plan and implament new things. When it comes to a major overhaul like switching to linux and openoffice it should take a long time to get it going.

Think about how long it's taken Windows to claim it's dominance. Windows had one major advantage as well. They were around for the birth of the desktop. Linux and BSD have only begun to start really fighting for the desktop. In twenty years will take another look back at the desktop and see what's what.

Of course you have to ask yourself why people would want to switch to Linux? Business and probably governments are always looking for a cheaper alternitive, but that's only a very little reason. I figure it's more about having a choice and about the open nature of Linux. Any good IT person knows that linux isn't free. Linux isn't as supported as Windows, but it gains more support everyday.

I don't believe that Linux is the end all be all of OS's. I believe that Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac, etc. all have a place in the computer world. People should do the research to find an appropriate OS or software package for their needs.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
See This...
Linux/Open Source is cheaper where is ?, r u listing Mr. Stallman. You Get What You Paid For!

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.netdisaster.com/go.php?mode=meteor&#38;destruction=massive&#38;url=http://www.gnu.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.netdisaster.com/go.php?mode=meteor&#38;destruction=massive&#38;url=http://www.gnu.org/</a>
Posted by (128 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow, that's impressive.
How cute. What's your point? I've been running open-source server software for most of the past ten years, and I've not had any trouble. Even now, for example the open-source DNS server I run on my own Linux server is a lot more stable than Microsoft DNS running on a local Windows 2K3 server at my current place of employment. What good is a DNS server that randomly decides not to serve zones and occasionally pegs the computer it's running on at 100% cpu usage?
Posted by sjsobol (115 comments )
Link Flag
Well, It's about numbers
Given that the city wide network is very large at 14,000 units, this undertaking would have to be undertaken over a series of sequential planned steps! Its all about numbers and it must cost the IT department, a small fortune annually to ensure that new security patches are installed, and fully compatable with the mainframe database servers, with a network system of this magnitude!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yah, and Linux has more patches...
Both RedHat and Suse have more patches in the same period of time than Windows. Those patches include kernel changes, i.e. reboots. And the number of days between announcement of a vulnerability and release of a patch is longer for RedHat and Suse than for Windows. So their cost of patching and maintaining systems is *higher* with Linux than with Windows. How was this going to be cheaper, again?
Posted by jdzions (85 comments )
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