back to article Linux-friendly Munich: Ja, we'll take open source collab cloud

The Linux-friendly burghers of Munich are rolling out their own open-source groupware cloud, bucking the trend for going public. The German city has selected Kolab Desktop Client and Kolab web Client for more than 14,000 Linux PCs, surviving Windows PCs and a generation of mobile devices under a four-year project called MigMak, …

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Anonymous Coward

Lucky

The citizens of Munich are lucky that Microsoft doesn't (yet) have nuclear capability.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

Perhaps the Microsoft senior management just does not speak German.

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Re: Lucky

That's just stupid. No company wants to kill potential customers except possibly Philip Morris.

However, the citizens of Munich are remarkably lucky that their city council a) gives a shit about IT and b) is seemingly resistant to the usual bribery.

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Mushroom

Re: Lucky

But they have "friends" that do have the capability.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

"Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, said in 2012 the switch from Windows to Linux had saved the the city more than €4m in one year alone."

Rather misleading to quote just 1 year ongoing costs.

A review by an independent vendor (HP) came to the conclusion that between them and IBM, it has actually cost ~ €30 million MORE than sticking with Windows over the last decade!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

"A review by an independent vendor (HP)"

Ha ha - i haven't laughed so much for ages! Thanks!

http://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/List.aspx?sel=PBDT

Which one of those PCs is available, from that page (no customisation /etc required), without MS software? Which one of those PCs is available, using default customisation options, with MS software removed and replaced by a Linux distro, with the price reflecting the retail price of the software accordingly?

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Anonymous Coward

@dogged

"That's just stupid. No company wants to kill potential customers except possibly Philip Morris."

My point was that if someone at Microsoft could just press a button and have Munich disappear, they would be strongly tempted. As for customers, Microsoft doesn't have customers in Munich - or at least not in its municipal government. And I imagine a number of companies and private individuals have reflected that if their government can save money without any loss of services, they could do so too.

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Re: Lucky

There is some sweet irony in that Microsoft Germany is based closed to Munich!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

"Rather misleading"

Well, you are the expert !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

They will be available with Linux when over 1% of the market actually want such a configuration...

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Re: Lucky

Even if it did cost more the most important point is that THEY are now in control of their IT roadmap and infrastructure. Remember the mess the NHS is in with XP?

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Re: Lucky

>A review by an independent vendor (HP)

Are you serious? HP is Microsoft. 99% of their products run Windows and Micro$haft software.

He's what a M$ or a vendor pushing M$ products report will always include:

1. ** Retraining costs associated with migrating to Linux. This is basically where they claim all those additional costs will come from.

It's completely bogus though. Every new version of Windows or M$ Office requires retraining, and some might argue are even more of departure from the normal workflow paradigm than switching to Linux/Libre Office. Metro and the Ribbon alone are so far removed from the previous versions that the Linux desktop and Libre Office software are much easier to pickup. Thus it's more costly to retrain in M$ and their every-changing and radical UI overhauls than to go FOSS.

2. ** Document conversion costs. This is another bogus claim. How many times I've seen incompatibilities between different versions of M$ Office file formats. Safe to say, M$ doesn't include those costs in it's assessment of continuing to use its products.

Then there are the savings associated with migrating to FOSS:

1. Licence fees. There are none for software like LibreOffice.

2. Retraining costs are lower going from XP to desktop Linux than from XP to 8. The same applies going from M$ Office 2003 to LibreOffice than 2007+. Metro / Ribbon changes are so alien to users, it's like starting from scratch, whereas, the FOSS option is very familiar.

3. Hardware can be repurposed. There's no need to buy all new hardware when FOSS has lower system requirements than Windows.

4. No risk of malware, rootkits, NSA backdoors. The NHS just recently was infected with malware on their XP systems. You can bet that M$ never includes those costs when it sponsors ROI reports about migrating to FOSS.

5. Vendor neutral standards like ODF, and the plethora of office suites which implement it, guarantees future accessibility, and competitive prices for support contracts.

6. Security. All code can be audited unlike proprietary products from Micro$haft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

The citizens of Munich are lucky that Microsoft doesn't (yet) have nuclear capability.

MS do, however, have heaps of paid shills, as we've seen from the ODF proposal here in the UK: It's been a while since I've seen so many of them in one place, and they're not even being subtle about it either (easy to poke holes in their story, though). There's a whole eco system that has to learn new skills, though, let's see what happens there.

Here in the UK, it appears Cabinet Office has started a serious political storm with ODF. MS knows full well that one implementation that works will topple the whole house of cards, and may even undo the con job they ran on the schools (rope them in with educational discounts, and then removing that discount). I bet you can't park In Westminster for the lobbyists trying to change the interpretation of the consultation. I suspect none of them will see much of the coming weekend..

Well done to Munich, proving that it's not just Nurnberg that can claim "Vorsprung durch Technik" :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

HP - independent - rol and again

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

"The German city has selected Kolab Desktop Client and Kolab web Client for more than 14,000 Linux PCs, surviving Windows PCs and a generation of mobile devices under a four-year project called MigMak"

The user base are complaining and fighting for access to the "extra" 30% of computers that have access to a version of Office that actually works and has Outlook installed - and this is the latest attempt to deliver something vaguely useable....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

"Remember the mess the NHS is in with XP?"

Yeeeees - they would have be in a similar mess more times over the last 13 year period if they had had a Linux based desktop....

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Re: Lucky

"The user base are complaining and fighting for access to the "extra" 30% of computers that have access to a version of Office that actually works"

ref ?

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Re: Lucky

1. The product might be free, but paid support costs are generally higher. As is the TCO. For instance you can manage Office setting for tens of thousands of users centrally via Group Policy. For freeware office solutions, you generally have non enterprise ready solutions like local flat text config files.

2. You don't need to migrate Office file versions. It just works. With the freeware products you get all sorts of compatibility and editing problems.

3. Current versions of Windows outperform Linux on the same hardware (e.g. faster Open GL, faster copy of a large file - latest benchmarks of Ubuntu vs Windows 7)

4. You still have a risk of Malware and being hacked on Linux. Just look at where Linux is actually used like Android - 99.9% (actual figure) of mobile Malware is on Android. Or at Webservers - you are several times more likely to be hacked running a Linux based webserver than a Windows Server based one....

5. Office has supported ODF (and the far more commonly used OOXML) since Office 2010.

6. All Microsoft OS and Office code can be audited on request by government (or enterprise) type organisations.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

"ref ?"

Ref that roughly 30% of users in Munich still use Windows. After a decade of migration to Linux. As stated by Munich themselves.

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General The Register Comment

There really, really should be some way to distinguish one AC from another in any thread other than by using a posting time (apart from the obvious AC that is). Maybe AC1, AC2 just for the duration of the thread.

It would save a lot of confusion

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Re: Lucky

"The user base are complaining and fighting for access to the "extra" 30% of computers that have access to a version of Office that actually works and has Outlook installed "

ref ?

Roughly 30% of users use some programs is what they say

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Re: Lucky

@The Vogon - so you've actually managed NOT to tick the AC box or was it an accident ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

FUD

"1. The product might be free, but paid support costs are generally higher. As is the TCO. For instance you can manage Office setting for tens of thousands of users centrally via Group Policy. For freeware office solutions, you generally have non enterprise ready solutions like local flat text config files."

Speaking from actual experience? or theory, hearsay, or is this what you [would] do?

"3. Current versions of Windows outperform Linux on the same hardware (e.g. faster Open GL, faster copy of a large file - latest benchmarks of Ubuntu vs Windows 7)"

Yep. On specific hardware, not generally.

http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=74

"4. You still have a risk of Malware and being hacked on Linux. Just look at where Linux is actually used like Android - 99.9% (actual figure) of mobile Malware is on Android. Or at Webservers - you are several times more likely to be hacked running a Linux based webserver than a Windows Server based one...."

There is still a risk of malware/hacked on Linux, a fool thinks they're immune.

However, Android is a layer on top of Linux and the malware you talk of applies to Android. It's like blaming Windows for a Firefox vulnerability.

"6. All Microsoft OS and Office code can be audited on request by government (or enterprise) type organisations."

They can audit the code that's actually being executed? So people are able to audit, then build+run the exact code that's been audited?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

> fighting for access to [....] a version of Office that actually works

Has MS Office really become that unstable these days?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky

> All Microsoft OS and Office code can be audited on request by government (or enterprise) type organisations.

If only you could do that with (ahem) open source code... and if only you could be sure that you are compiling the very same code that you have audited, with a compilation toolchain that is itself auditable.

And who knows if one day we might even be able to modify ourselves those bits of code that haven't passed our audit.

God, I can't believe all that I'm missing by sticking to (ahem) open source software.

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Linux

Re: Lucky

"1. The product might be free, but paid support costs are generally higher. As is the TCO." -- As opposed to the cost of the licenses AND the support costs. It's a little something called supply and demand, which currently is heavy on the demand side if you go Linux.

"For instance you can manage Office setting for tens of thousands of users centrally via Group Policy. For freeware office solutions, you generally have non enterprise ready solutions like local flat text config files." -- So it's not just a point and click method. Stop being lazy. Group Policy? Use SCCM...

"2. You don't need to migrate Office file versions. It just works. With the freeware products you get all sorts of compatibility and editing problems." -- Because M$ implementation of ODF is purposely flawed. I haven't seen an issue between true ODF compliant softwares.

"3. Current versions of Windows outperform Linux on the same hardware (e.g. faster Open GL, faster copy of a large file - latest benchmarks of Ubuntu vs Windows 7)" -- Using drivers that M$ has demanded are not fully Linux compatible.

"4. You still have a risk of Malware and being hacked on Linux. Just look at where Linux is actually used like Android - 99.9% (actual figure) of mobile Malware is on Android. Or at Webservers - you are several times more likely to be hacked running a Linux based webserver than a Windows Server based one...." -- You can't compare apples and oranges here. You whole arguement became invalid when you mentioned Android.

"5. Office has supported ODF (and the far more commonly used OOXML) since Office 2010." -- Um, no they haven't. See my comment to point 2.

"6. All Microsoft OS and Office code can be audited on request by government (or enterprise) type organisations." -- Seet Jesus in a chariot driven sidecar... You actually BELIEVE that the code that can be examined is the actual production code? Or that the anyone could say anything about it IF they did find something? I have some swamp land in Florida I'd like you to take a look at...

I like how the M$ trolls have had to change tack because they can't use the "It took them 10 years to make it (mostly) work" arguement. It took them 10 PLANNED years to make it work. That's what they don't bother to say when they are trying to shove a M$ license down your throat.

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Linux

Re: Lucky

"that roughly 30% of users in Munich still use Windows" -- That's just their own damn fault.

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MS-Orifice

MS-Orifice has been increasingly problematic over at least the past decade. When we used MSO-2003, a customer used to send in docs also created in MSO-2003. However, our install would not read many of the submitted documents. To solve the issue, I would often load them into OpenOffice, save as MS-Office, and then our MS-Office would read them. As for the latest MS-Office... the interface is a total fustercluck! I've used a lot of application suites, and none have had such terribly-designed user interfaces. Radical changes often take adjustment, but good ones do make the advantages clear, after a while. A year with MS-Office 2010 have made clear to me that ergonomics were nowhere near the designer's minds when this turd was polished.

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Vorsprung durch Technik

would be Ingolstadt

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Re: Lucky

You sir, are a shill.

1. Yes, Licensing costs are lower. Support costs are higher. Does anyone know where Redhat gets its money?

2. This argument is false compared to Windows 7.

3. This argument is also false. Categorically.

4. This is a pompous argument. Apache is the most viable source of malware delivery today.

5. Nuts to this. If a vendor supports their own AND neutral standards, your argument lumps them in with proprietary vendors as well. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

6. WHEN they get around to it. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/21/kde_bug_quashed/

Good news, everyone! KDE cookie-scoffing bug smashed after 10 years ...

You can puff out your chest in pride over this one.

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Re: Lucky

> 1. Yes, Licensing costs are lower. Support costs are higher. Does anyone know where Redhat gets its money?

For Linux licensing costs can be zero, support costs can be zero. Yes, Red Hat has commercial support costs, others have optional support costs. Munich is not using RHEL for its desktops.

> 3. This argument is also false. Categorically.

Wrong. There may be specific individual cases where Windows can be shown to faster, other cases where Linux trounces Windows.

> 4. This is a pompous argument. Apache is the most viable source of malware delivery today.

I agree that yours is a pompus argument. If deliberate malware delivery is the aim of the site then it may well be more likely that Apache will be used. That is like arguing that Ford vans lead to more robberies (because there are more of them).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vorsprung durch Technik

Vorsprung durch Technik

would be Ingolstadt

I must have been very, very tired indeed when I wrote that because

a - you're absolutely right.

b - I actually had the tour there.

Thanks for prodding my clearly exhausted braincells.

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Re: Lucky

"Good news, everyone! KDE cookie-scoffing bug smashed after 10 years ..."

The 'bug' was so trivial nobody had even noticed it

From your ref :

"The flaw in the free-software environment is best described as a glitch or irritant rather than anything serious, but it did cause some systems to forget their web cookies after a reboot or shutdown"

Do you know how long I leave some of my desktops between reboot or shutdown ?

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Re: Lucky

> but it did cause some systems to forget their web cookies after a reboot or shutdown"

I dump all my cookies on a regular basis, those that I allow in the first place. I'd be quite happy for KDE to 'forget' them, but reboots are only on power outages.

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So forward looking in Munich

...I may go over there to live whilst we still have open borders

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Re: So forward looking in Munich

Mate, you wouldn´t want to live in a (small) City where 50% of native inhabitants suffer of Tourette - Syndrom. Libre Office or not. They should have a border. 50m high and backfilled with concrete.

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Anonymous Coward

Ironic

I know 2 very senior MS European managers that live in Munich....I don't dare give them a call asking how MS business is in Munich at the moment.

I know that this is only a Munich project but it could be in the process of establishing a precedent for others to come.

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Re: Ironic

Not just precedent, skills ecosystem and funding for refinements are also handy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironic

"I don't dare give them a call asking how MS business is in Munich at the moment."

14,000 users - (1/4 of which are still using Microsoft products!) - isn't even going to be a blip on the RADAR in a city of ~ 2 million people....

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Re: Ironic

"14,000 users "**

Maybe not but 70000 French police, 24 million Brazilian schoolchildren and lots, lots of other projects - it's starting to stack up.

**1/4 of which are still using some MS products BTW

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Re: Ironic

"24 million.."

My mistake it's 35 million !

"Success! 35 million students in over 50,000 schools throughout Brazil are now enjoying 523,400 new computer stations"

"The Brazilian Ministry of Education chose the free Linux operating system as the platform, calculating the projected long term benefits this choice will bring to the Brazilian economy."

http://userful.com/products/case-studies/brazil-case-study

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironic

"Maybe not but 70000 French police, 24 million Brazilian schoolchildren and lots, lots of other projects - it's starting to stack up."

24(35) million (very poor) school children that wouldnt have bought a Windows license each anyway.

Linux adoption is smaller than Microsoft's growth in sales! Even 'stacked up' Linux adoption is to date tiny and insignificant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironic

"I know that this is only a Munich project but it could be in the process of establishing a precedent for others to come."

Also (slightly but significantly different) an existence proof that the thing can be done. All over the world, others will be thinking "So they pulled it off. Maybe we should think about a similar move".

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Re: Ironic

"So they pulled it off. Maybe we should think about a similar move".

Indeed looks like a good opportunity for a consultancy business

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironic

24(35) million (very poor) school children that wouldnt have bought a Windows license each anyway.

Well done, that's EXACTLY the argument why avoiding MS is worth it. They did that in Spain too. The fun bit is that these children will grow up not being locked into the "must buy Microsoft" syndrome that enables MS to extract tax money from citizens on a global scale, who end up paying twice: once to have it in government, and again to have it at home so they can actually access what the government is sending them.

Now imagine what happens when these kids grow up and get involved in business? Who will work more cost effective, you think?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Indeed looks like a good opportunity for a consultancy business"

Perhaps especially so for the ones that are historically Certified Microsoft Dependent but have seen which way the wind will be blowing in the next few years, and want to be ahead of the migration game rather than at the back of the queue.

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Facepalm

Re: Ironic

"24(35) million (very poor) school children that wouldnt have bought a Windows license each anyway."

Sorry, but wasn't it "proven" by MS + HP that Windows was actually cheaper than Linux?

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Linux

Re: Ironic

Yes that link is worth a read.

"On average, schools using Windows in Latin America have reported spending 40% of the value of their computer purchases on software licensing fees. Embracing Linux and Open Source software frees up this spending so that schools and ministries can provide more students with computer access for the same budget. Virtually every Windows application has a free equivalent for Linux and because of the stable and secure design of Linux, less intervention by IT support staff is required to resolve virus issues and keep the computers running properly. Selecting MultiSeat Linux not only ensures lower deployment costs, but also sows the seeds for a future local ICT economy that isn't locked-in and dependent on a foreign monopoly."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironic

>On average, schools using Windows in Latin America have reported spending 40% of the value of their computer purchases on software licensing fees

..... it's less than $40 a seat to license every MS product for school use - unless they're only spending $100 a seat on hardware there's something obviously wrong with that statistic or that money is going on non-MS licenses...

It probably only exists because of FLOSS dev tools, and these sadly aren't core applications in UK schools, but the prices on https://www.dreamspark.com/Institution/Subscription.aspx will probably surprise most readers....

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