# Munich's mayor claims €4m savings from Linux switch

Christian Ude, the mayor of Munich and occasional political cabaret artist, is trumpeting the cost savings made by switching from Windows to Linux, claiming his city has saved over €4m over the last year alone. Ude claims that Munich's IT department saved about a third of their total budget last year by dumping Windows and …

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1. #### Re: hmm

>>getting their work done quicker and cheaper

Please do explain why using Linux increases productivity for the average worker? I've never heard even Linux fans claim their software is easier to use than Windows software - they normally take the "it's a bit more complex but more powerful, I like the control over how it works" line. Which is not what a typical secretary wants at all.

So LibreOffice may be AS easy to use as MS, but I fail to see how it's going to make people more productive.

1. #### Re: Please do explain why using Linux increases productivity for the average worker?

Personally I would say that it saves on down time and maintenance.

Ensuring computers are virus and spyware free, defragged and operational is (in my personal experience) 5 times more effort than with open source based software. Which is probably due to good file systems, lack of viruses targeted at the platform and centralised software updates (not just MS updates).

I would not say people could type faster with LibreOffice, but I would expect the computer its running on to be up and running more often which directly affects employee productivity.

2. #### Re: hmm

I worked for IBM, where the stock image on laptops is Windows XP (or more recently WIndows 7). I overheard conversations from non-engineering staff complaining that it took them 20 minutes to boot their computer and get into Notes - that is a LOT of potential productivity improvements.

Linux was available to people who requested it.

1. #### Re: hmm

Not sure about the productivity savings for regular workers either other than the same experience as IBM mentioned (at another big shop) - by the end of it our XP machines ran like turtles in a tar pit. Even with Win 7 all the management software makes my i5 run like an i3 having a really bad day.

That said, besides license savings, I don't think the cost of license tracking/compliance should be underestimated either - not to mention the pain/expense of rationing expensive software. I read a quote the other day from IDG that for every $1 in Microsoft licensing the average company "generates" (their words, not mine)$8 in IT expense. Not saying that's right, but there absolutely is a lot of Microsoft expense beyond licensing to be considered.

3. #### Re: hmm

"Please do explain why using Linux increases productivity for the average worker?"

I've got this one!

First up, it doesn't crash nearly as often. Boom, recovered hours of manpower right there.

Secondly, it has many many more features built in that don't require additional components or faffing around when you realise the attachment you were e-mailed needs an office service pack to be opened. Archiving is a great example. Windows will open practically nothing, and Mac about the same - Ark on the other hand will open pretty much anything you can throw at it, and it's integrated so the user doesn't even need to know what it is. PDF reading is another - Windows needs Adobe Reader, which I think we can all agree is magnificent bloatware. Every Linux distro I've used has an integrated reader, so again, no training or product knowledge required by the end user - just click the bloody thing.

Lastly (and these are just quickly off the top of my head) the file managers in anything that isn't Linux are atrocious. I thought Explorer was as basic as it could get, and then I used Finder. These things are terrible, and considering how core they are to the average office user's experience, it's pretty unforgivable. Something like, say, Dolphin, is brimming with useful and easily accessed functionality that helps me out on a daily basis.

Those are just the ones that sprung to mind. Others might be "having a network manager that isn't the most confusing labyrinth piece of shit ever designed by man", or "it's just way way way faster", but I'll leave those for other commenters.

1. #### Re: hmm

I don't think I can agree with your first point, as to my limited knowledge recent Windows OSes appear to be pretty stable. I do fully concur with all your other points, however.

2. #### Re: hmm

The biggest time saver is that its designed to be configured by someone who pretty much knows what they are doing.

the number of windows desktops I fixed because a user randomly pressed keys and clicked on things....

with linux, you can preinstall a configuration that does not even include the admin packages if you want.

And update the whole lot automagically when required.

I did that on a windows setup once. but it was terribly hard work - and the automatic updates were impossible really.

Better still with invisible e NFS auto-mounting of the office server, the default places for documents are simply 'on the server' as is the users desktop configuration and menus..

Loss of a particular PC or laptop is simply a non issue - there is nothing really on it.

4. #### Re: hmm

First of all I admit I am not the "average worker", but back in 1995 I was doing a job that required doing some simple processing (contrast enhancement, cropping, file format conversion) on a few hundred digital images, as well as writing two sets of descriptions for each of them.

I had started doing it on a Windows machine using the tools available on it (including some third-party photo processing software, can't remember which), and the process was taking me about 20 minutes per image--multiplying that by the number of images, I think around 300, resulted in a pretty obvious missing of the short deadline that I had.

So I looked at this Olivetti branded PC which someone had given up on after being unable to run Win95 on it, and I had slapped some early (IIRC) RedHat version on. I discovered it came with some reasonably powerful-looking image processing software (the GIMP) which had Schema-based scripting capabilities. Luckily, I knew LISP already so at the end of 30 minutes I had a GIMP script that could be run from the command line and do the image processing, taking less than two minutes per image, during which time I was free to work on writing up the accompanying descriptions on that same computer. Then I did some very simple Bash scripting to QC the results (easy to miss a file or description amongst so many of them) and package it all together, and it was all delivered to my client with days to spare on my deadline.

That kind of convinced me to move all my infrastructure to Linux and I have never looked back since. I know this is just a personal anecdote, but there you go.

5. #### Re: hmm

I have found my Linux applications easier to use than their Windows counterparts.

you heard it here first...

6. #### Re: hmm

Less casual gaming during work hours :)

2. #### Re: hmm

They made their entire IT department redundant then outsourced to low waged workers abroad, a small but simple saving, but then had to retrain who was left which had they left them with MS would not have been necessary.

Redundancy... Saving of €22 000 000

Cost of retraining... €17 000 000

Outsourcing costs...€7.50

2. #### Rubbish!

They simply employed penguins! Tin of sardines a day, job done!

3. #### Re: hmm

Are those official numbers your quoting or statistical analysis.

3. #### Re: hmm

You are assuming that the mayor is telling the truth. And it is not necessarily the case that he is lying; he might simply be twisting the facts. I have read that the Linux switchover has been subjected to a great deal of criticism for its expense. Here is a link about Limux: http://limuxwatch.blogspot.com (which, sadly, has not been updated in a very long time.)

It would be interesting to hear from some of the mayor's critics about the program, and whether they feel that the program has either cost or saved money in the long run.

If, as one commenter suggests, the savings have come from replacing their whole IT department with outsourced off-shore low-wage workers, then the mayor's whole position is fraudulent.

1. #### Turned turtle

Any idea how often government computers fold in the UK?

I'm pretty certain it is horrendous. Almost once in 3 or 4 time I go into the Job Centre, those crap stations are dying or dead. If simple things like those (admittedly ancient relics) are supine a lot of the time, I'll bet a few more were doing the same about the time Munich started coming to its senses.

What was the OS of choice it has replaced; it couldn't have been Vista could it?

If it was, everything is explained isn't it.

2. #### Re: hmm

"You are assuming that the mayor is telling the truth. And it is not necessarily the case that he is lying; he might simply be twisting the facts".

Of course, had he been bragging about how successful his M$purchases had turned out, you would presumably believe he was being perfectly truthful. 3. #### Re: hmm this was a response to a request by the opposition, so probably well scrutinized by media and political parties as well as lobbyists. 4. #### Re: hmm In hindsight (which as always is 20:20) it's quite clear what's happening here. Commercial products from companies such as Microsoft, Oracle etc do, in fact, start out as being superior alternatives. The commercial revenues allow more R&D and better and better products. Open source versions start behind the curve and take a while to catch up. Then there arrives a point where a product is mature, and the R&D runs out of new features it can add because all features that are useful to 95% of users have already been added. MS Office reached this state probably around Office 2007, Open Office would have caught up with that around 2010* and from then on it's a no-brainer to get the free version instead of the paid one. The case is even stronger for Linux, that had all the catching up to do on the user interface and usability** side but also had the backing of superior security and the underpinnings of UNIX. MS is far from dying, though, worst that will happen for it is that it will go from close to 95-99% market share to somewhere around 85-90% *I have used OpenOffice ca 2010 and it still had a couple of features that weren't as usable or user-friendly as MS Office but by and large it was fit for purpose as a suite for heavy daily use in an office environment. ** for people without Computer Science degrees 1. #### Re: hmm "Then there arrives a point where a product is mature, and the R&D runs out of new features it can add because all features that are useful to 95% of users have already been added. MS Office reached this state probably around Office 2007, Open Office would have caught up with that around 2010* and from then on it's a no-brainer to get the free version instead of the paid one." Completely agree. Very annoying, however, to be "upgraded" to Office 2010 at work (due to that old bugaboo, incompatible file formats), and to discover that the R&D team at Microsoft, while looking hard for something to justify their continued existence, has decided it would be a Good Idea to completely change the UI. This does not make my life easier, and does not endear the R&D team to me. They are now First Against the Wall When the Revolution Comes. 2. #### I know how they made a saving I know how they made a saving of this scale; Simply replaced the reboot mentality support staff with those that look at the problem so it does not happen again. Time saved from reboots==4m hours productivity. This and there are no card games as standard on alot of nix distro's. 3. #### Nattily dressed? As in Natty Narwhal? Looks more like a walrus to me. Joking aside, this is pretty good news. If you ask me, Holland mindlessly hands over way too much money to a certain redmondian firm whose name shall not be mentioned. 1. #### No dissing the well-dressed walrus, eh. Far from the only money leak the Dutch government cannot seem to plug. Though this project is clearly FOSS-focused, it is not what makes it tick. It's the mapping of needs, packing of tools, careful adaption, and firm grip on process that's the real but easily overlooked kicker. That you get nice savings in licences is useful, but really not that important. And yeah, I suspect that realisation is what drove the apparent change of heart on FOSS a certain company had not too long ago. They realised the software wasn't god, or at least could be relegated to demigod status for tactical or strategic reasons. Which is pretty amazing for a company of their stature. Whether it'll stick... time will tell. But it does mean FOSS advocates need to realise it as well. The upside, of course, is that open interop gives FOSS a natural advantage provided the movement can capitalise on it. Question is, can they organise themselves to rise to that challenge? If not, well, a certain unnamed company is certainly going to do their utmost to take that cake. 1. #### If by a "certain company" you mean Microsoft... ...then I'm afraid they haven't changed at all. If anything their attitude to FOSS has become more schizophrenic of late, but they do still seem determined to destroy it. And they're still failing hard at that. Still, shows you the truth behind Microsoft's bleating about TCO. "Get The Facts", indeed. And damn, they've taken the whole "Get The Facts" sub-site down. Well that could have been handy. 1. #### Re: If by a "certain company" you mean Microsoft... Downvoted for mis-using "schizophrenic". 1. #### Re: If by a "certain company" you mean Microsoft... "Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction." No, I think I got that dot on. I mean, they might have multiple personality disorder as well, but that wasn't what I was implying. What I was, and am implying is that the corporate entity known as Microsoft is getting ever more batshit fucking insane. Hopefully it'll be their downfall. 1. #### Re: If by a "certain company" you mean Microsoft... "Hopefully it'll be their downfall." Why do people have this attitude? It makes no sense. Competition is good for everyone. You don't have to like Microsoft or use any of their products, but their presence in the world is of net benefit. Not just in technology, but even down to all the jobs they provide to thousands of people... 1. #### Re: If by a "certain company" you mean Microsoft... Better late than never I guess... Thing is, I wouldn't dislike Microsoft quite so much if they were just another company. If they didn't have the Windows monopoly any more then they might be bastards, but they would be bastards I can walk away from and buy elsewhere. Even better is the various attempts to keep it that way, bending an already abused patent system to some truly absurd extremes because they can, and nobody appears to be doing anything about it. Now I could take a Microsoftian approach here about the employees of Microsoft and say "tough shit, you backed the wrong horse", and I really want to, but I won't. I just want Microsoft's role as the troll under the bridge to be negated, and for Microsoft to stop blowing other people's bridges up! Especially them free open source ones. MS really does seem to be a bit pathological there. 2. #### Re: No dissing the well-dressed walrus, eh. "Far from the only money leak the Dutch government cannot seem to plug." Get someone to stick their finger in the dyke... (that's what she said) 4. Cool!! But even though I hate the format and company, there still no open source equivalent to Adobe Acrobat for PDF manipulation. I know there are many ways to easily create PDFs under Linux but I've not found anything able to create/edit comments, watermark pages, downsample certain images, split/merge/move pages about, edit font subsetting, make mark-ups and edit text. LibreOffice is very close though, Writer is fit for purpose, Calc needs some stability/speed improvements for graphs/pivot tables, Impress needs a presenter view like Powerpoint. And it badly needs some sort of auto-update like Firefox, it's annoying downloading the whole shebang each time. Though that's less of a worry for corporate deployments. 1. #### Open Source document manipulation @batfastad: "there still no open source equivalent to Adobe Acrobat for PDF manipulation" LyX – The Document Processor - http://www.lyx.org/ 1. #### Re: Open Source document manipulation Emacs? Vim? Lyx? Tex? You can tell that the Reg Readership on the whole is somewhat insulated from the rest of the world. 99% of the planet would look at that lot and go "fuck this, where's MS Office?" Libreoffice on the other hand, they could probably cope with. 1. #### Re: Open Source document manipulation FYI, If you'd like to get a Math, Physics, Engineering etc article published, you better have it in LaTeX. 1. #### Re: Open Source document manipulation "FYI, If you'd like to get a Math, Physics, Engineering etc article published, you better have it in LaTeX" Yes, granted, for some reason (possibly the good formula handling) LaTeX is what you write a science paper in. Having said that, as soon as you get a job outside of academia, you need to use MS Office or Open/Libre Office. These are the standards, they're just easier and more inclusive. 2. #### Re: Open Source document manipulation I like LyX a lot. I wrote my thesis in it. But an equivalent to Adobe Acrobat it is not. More like an equivalent to FrameMaker. The only Linux PDF manipulation tools I've found to be as good as the likes of Acrobat, are Windows ones that I've run under WINE. On the bright side, they did run quite well. 1. #### Re: Open Source document manipulation Why on earth would you want to edit PDF ? After all, it loses structure after rendering it from office formats or things like TeX. As I said, don't take the Windows-ecosystem concepts and try to make them work on Linux. Edit stuff in TeX and regenerate the PDF in a few seconds. Or create TeX from a database and then create PDF from that. Edit the database, not the low-level PDF output. 2. #### acroread is bad TeX and friends (Emacs,LyX, vim whatever) , TeXinfo and org-mode is awesome (all export to latex, pdf and more) Otherwise everything can be ghostscripted thorough cups-pdf-print For the created PDFs without source one can use flpsed and pdftk 1. #### Re: acroread is bad @Eulampios - your suggestions tell me that you've never worked in business, have you? You simply can't give packages as complex as Emacs, vim, TeX to a call centre operative who need to occasionally edit a document. 1. #### @3 09:42 Coward The question was asked by not a call center operative. When you do a basic text editing in X Windows (X)Emacs what makes so utterly more difficult than that piece of sh..t called Notepad? 1. #### Re: @3 09:42 Coward Ok, two things: 1) Notepad is not intended to be anything except the most basic text editor, no special functionality, just a really, really basic graphical text editor. It fulfills its design spec. 2) While the likes of TeX and vim do what they are specified to do perfectly, they are not intended to be pdf editors, and are far too complex to be picked up quickly, without training. This is basically what the discussion was about. 2. #### Re: acroread is bad "TeXinfo and org-mode is awesome", eulampios What anonymous arse(s) modded the above down three times, come on show yourselves ... 3. There are a lot of jobs where you just boot and run a single application all day. Not even LibreOffice is used much. Government is unlikely to be a massive profit centre due to deep discounts, but it is extremely embarrassing that a whole organisation can get along without MS and it puts a lot of pressure on MS' sales teams elsewhere when the "we might go linux" card is played. 4. This post has been deleted by its author 5. The recently-release version 3.5 of LibreOffice has an auto-update feature. 6. Yes "acroread" is bad but it's not "acroread" I'm talking about. It's Acrobat Pro. For PDF manipulation. Can the tools suggested here take an existing PDF document and add alternating watermarks to the pages. Then downsample all images in the document to 90dpi that are between 130dpi and 200dpi. By using just 2 entries in a menu? I hate PDFs (really hate) as much as the next guy but unfortunately they are everywhere in bizness. And you know Adobe keep all the good stuff to themselves thus making an open source equivalent of Acrobat incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Linux has almost eerything else covered for general biz use. Desktops/shells have been mature enough for a long time now. Biznesss use of browser-based/intranet applications is on the up. But it's only in the last 12 months that the open source office suites have evolved to a position where most work can be reliably performed using them. And there needs to be a graphical application to do the above with PDFs. And CMYK support in GIMP. And that's the problem. Businesses can't justify a switch unless 100% of their current workflows can be accomplished under Linux as easily/quickly as they can currently. In my experience 90% isn't good enough, even when there is a cost saving. Almost there though! 1. #### RE: Can the tools suggested here take an existing PDF ... I can understand how companies get them selves in enough mess where this is needed, but surely this is fundamentally a workflow problem. In my mind a PDF is an output format, updating/editing/tweaking should be case of modifying the source document(s)/data and/or some generation options. Don't get me started on PDF forms, especially those the HRMC make me fill in. 2. #### \dfrac{\int_a^bf(x)dx}{b-a}=f(\xi) Why would you hate PDF? Portable Document is a good open format. I think, someone has already mentioned. When working with pdf, you have to have the source of it. It is not designed as a source doc itself. Say there is no way any pdf pro can substitute the texlive (+ Emacs) for me when I got a document teeming with formulas, non-UTF8 symbols and such. 3. #### Acrobat pro? Ooh, I just cant wait to download it on Ubuntu.... Errr...just a minute... 7. #### PDF manipulation PDF X-Change works well for me under XP. It's reported to also run under WINE, and that's on my list of experiments to try. I haven't found anything as good which is native Linux, though. 8. #### OS means a different mindset If you just take your MS-ecosystem worklflows and approaches and expect them to work on Linux or BSD one-to-one, you will almost certainly be disappointed. If you want to reap the benefits of Open Source, you have to learn doing things a bit differently. Learn TeX, learn subversion, learn about the command line, learn about graphviz and similar tools. That's a considerable investment, but it will pay off one the long run. It will pay off in greatly improved productivity, improved data security (think SVN versus SourceSafe), less dependency on braindead external decisions and general less IT-related hassle. It just does not look as polished and blinking as the MS and Adobe crap. It will not fascinate the dumb people who judge something by the looks. But it will definitely make you more productive on the long run. The saved software costs are actually of minor importance. 9. #### re: PDF's Why not simply print a file to a PDF ouput? Works a treat, and saved time because i find windows scrambles carriage returns and line feeds - ideal for remote printing! 5. #### Been a long time coming. In fact, I recall an interview with the chief of the project where he had to admit being overly optimistic, and had to turn down expectations a bit. Still and all, they seem to've pulled through well enough. And given that the environment was a veritable maze of little empires filled with proprietary solutions and macro stacks, all different, it's probably a pretty good show. Just a pity they didn't hire me when they were looking for sysprogs. Oh well. Now if they're smart, they pack up the methodology and sell it on to their fellow cities, just like they packed up all the FOSS and custom stuff used into their own linux distribution. 6. #### 70 to 46 support calls a month???? In an administration responsible for a city of 1.3 million. Incorrect. 1. #### Re: 70 to 46 support calls a month???? Maybe they mean per user? 1. #### Re: 70 to 46 support calls a month???? 46 (or 70 for that matter) is definitely not possible. According to the linked article (golem) they went from 1,500 to 9,500 employees while reducing calls to 46. Either the stated numbers are missing a 'k' or they may indeed have 9,500 employees but only 50 of them are using a computer. Then again, I'm not sure whether 'support calls to help desk' is the correct translation for Stormeldungen, although I cannot think of something else that would make any sense. 1. #### Re: 70 to 46 support calls a month???? Just a wild guess here, but could that be the number of calls per month that their average helldesk technician has been fielding? That sounds a little more reasonable, if still a bit lowish. 2. #### Re: 70 to 46 support calls a month???? Using 'number of support' calls as a metric is a deeply flawed idea in any case. Based on my recent experience it may just mean that a helpdesk familiar with one OS is so incompetent at dealing with problems in another that people simply stop logging support calls. The resulting "DIY" support solutions that involve the office 'expert' tweaking things based on something they read on the 'net often result in screwed up systems that then fail catastrophically when some otherwise minor problem arises. We'll see. 7. #### Hmmm So they were already running Windows but they would have had to spend £millions on new hardware so they could run Windows, whereas they could keep the hardware for Linux. I'm rather surprised the saving is that great - I thought the discounts at this level were very high - and that they are having fewer support issues. However what about the fragmentation issues, whereby different cities could all pick different Linux versions, etc? If/when a vulnerability arises, each is on their own. Maybe that's a problem for another decade though - not until Linux is roughly as popular as Windows. 1. #### Re: Hmmm Depends if they've gone for a document standard or not Lets face it, no user even cares what system/software they are using so long as the displayed result looks the same/responds to the same editing commands. PS Although I'm a linux user, M$ losing 30% of its market share to FOSS could be the kick in the a M$needs to make better software..... but then I maybe just a silly dreamer 2. #### Re: Hmmm What fragmentation issues, wanker? It's Jormany so it's SuSE though to be honest for the desktop that hardly matters. OpenOffice is a more than adequate replacement for MS Office in the few cases where it's required: many Jorman terminals are just that: Fujitsu-Siemens terminals talking to some host. Oh, you might mean they need browsers in which case *anything* but Microsoft would be an improvement. IE 9 won't run on XP so new hardware and software needed plus it's poo anyway. What else would office-workers need MS Windows for? Security: it doesn't matter whether it's SuSE or Debian or RedHat all of the systems have tried and tested methods of rolling out security patches and a lot more often than once a fooking month. Of course, FreeBSD is the best of the lot. As for support: if my own experience on the Windows 7 migration is anything to go by, Microsoft still has a long way to go. Don't get me wrong: it is a vast improvement but still full of issues. I reckon a locked down XFree desktop is easier to manage. 1. #### Re: Hmmm >>FreeBSD is the best of the lot. Package (binary) upgrading is inferior to major Linux distros, this was the main reason for mail.ru and yandex to switch to Linux. 2. #### Re: Hmmm >>What fragmentation issues, wanker? Wow, what a good retort. What a poster child for open source. 1. #### Re: Hmmm This is the reg, you know. ANyway, Linux fragmentation is a myth unless you're trying something stupid like installing OpenOffice onto OpenWRT, or trying Slackware in any shape or form. Go get yourself a desktop distro like Mint, Ubuntu or Mandriva. Be AMAZED at all the same applications being available through the repositories. Watch your C++ code compile the same on them all. Gasp and clap your hands at LibreOffice or OpenOffice exporting PDFs from machine to machine without even a hiccup! And then go write an angry missive to El Reg about how people who download stuff from teh intarwebs should all have a short drop and a sharp stop. Go on, I know you want to. 3. #### Re: Hmmm >>I'm rather surprised the saving is that great Maybe you should research a little beyond the "Get the facts" study cases and "totally independent" IDC reports. >>However what about the fragmentation issues, whereby The fears of Linux distros's fragmentation are greatly exaggerated... 4. #### Re: Hmmm "However what about the fragmentation issues, whereby different cities could all pick different Linux versions, etc? If/when a vulnerability arises, each is on their own. Maybe that's a problem for another decade though - not until Linux is roughly as popular as Windows." What fragmentation issues ? FUD "If/when a vulnerability arises, each is on their own." -- What are you talking about ? "Maybe that's a problem for another decade though - not until Linux is roughly as popular as Windows [on the desktop]" -- There, fixed that for you 5. #### forking and choice isn't a bug It's a feature, get used to it. Forks tend to rejoin anyway once developers figure what their and the other fork got right and wrong. Much better to have these kind of choices than to have to stick with a 10 year old XP because the Vista fork comes out buggy to the point of unusability and then takes several years to be patched into a barely usable state to the extent the vendor charges you again for it having rebranded it as Windows 7. Infections targetting vulnerabilities also don't propagate though a diverse ecosystem nearly as widely or as fast as they can do through a monoculture, as the history of Windows worms testifies. 6. #### Re: Hmmm "So they were already running Windows but they would have had to spend £millions on new hardware so they could run Windows, whereas they could keep the hardware for Linux." Fairly normal. I have an ex-Windows 2000 server doing something similar... "I'm rather surprised the saving is that great - I thought the discounts at this level were very high - and that they are having fewer support issues." If you are that surprised, then I suggest that you consider looking at the current pricing structure of the products concerned. Even if you go for an Enterprise Linux package, the type that charges for support, the economies of scale for Linux will always be superior, at least until Microsoft put their own code to open source. And like that's going to happen! "However what about the fragmentation issues, whereby different cities could all pick different Linux versions, etc? If/when a vulnerability arises, each is on their own. Maybe that's a problem for another decade though - not until Linux is roughly as popular as Windows." Ah, now here's where you show your ignorance. You correctly consider the matter that there and many different distributions of Linux (distros) but incorrectly assume that this immediately makes them completely different. We aren't talking about the old days of microcomputer systems where you would be lucky if they spoke the same version of ASCII, let alone the same CLI. A distro is merely the result of one group loading up Linux with different packages. That doesn't mean that they are incompatible - there's a reason why we refer to Linux as a single entity. Yes, there's a possibility that users may end up on different distros with different packages. That depends heavily of who is making the decisions about what gets loaded, and is just as likely to happen on a Microsoft platform if the users are allowed to do their own thing. Trust me, I've seen it! So sorry, JDX. Try some different FUD. Although I will give you that you didn't try some of the old excuses for not using Linux such as "it's difficult to install or use" or crud like that! 7. #### Re: Hmmm No fragmentation there, they have their own custom build distribution. 8. #### Re: Hmmm irrelevant. they probably managed to push their capex budget back 5 years by ditching windows but keeping the 'puters. And if I can interoperate with my wife's (shudder) MAC G5 i am sure different versions of linux are no problem, at all. 8. #### Meanwhile in the UK it's the usual snouts in the trough 1. #### Oink Budge up, would you? I want my fair share! 9. #### Short lived success Its good to be competing Microsoft on desktop, but this came too late and still too small. I would like to hear from the actual users, as the savings can always be cooked up at the Mayor level. So staying with old hardware, unfinished OS and inability to move towards post PC era is cetainly going to help Munich in the upcoming years. While Linux is fighting the battle it cannot win, Windows 8 is setting the bar up a notch 1. #### Re: Short lived success It's OK, calm down. Just stay with Windows. Oh and make sure you have a good anti-malware running and up to date. 1. #### Re: Short lived success Any idea what the hardware makers are likely to be in Munich -or Germany for that matter.? 2. #### Re: Short lived success > old hardware > unfinished OS > inability to move towards post PC era What the hell? Go back to Metro, marketroid. 3. #### Re: Short lived success Erm POST PC era??? What the hell are you talking about. Last I checked all the people around here that actually NEED to do actual WORK don't want tablets or smartphones. They want a decent laptop with an external screen to hookup to and be able to do their jobs. Some even have some of the fancy 'droids but they really can't use that for anything. Any Frankly Windows 8 won't change that in any way. 4. #### Re: Short lived success "Windows 8 is setting the bar down a notch" Not to worry squire, I've fixed this typo for you gratis :). 5. #### Re: Short lived success Nice try, Mr M$ shill. Ubuntu and the like are much more complete operating systems than Windows. You pop a CD into your compter and have a fully-functional workstation half an hour later. Office package, games, image processing and a proper browser already there.

With Windows you would have to install MS Office, Firefox, Winzip, Acrobat Reader and Photoshop to get there. And each of those will require some stupid fiddling sooner or later, because MS does not have a single package manager and patching system.

10. #### Monopolies fall

Just like empires.

I honestly believe that the tide has turned against Microsoft. Vista was, by common consent, absolutely terrible and a huge mistake. Windows 7 is a big improvement but while Microsoft has been fixing Windows but otherwise stagnating, Apple has been going great guns with the world's most popular CEO, more cash than you can shake a stick at and lionised by the press.

In other news, the world has gone mobile and Microsoft are nowhere to be seen. Google and Apple have that one sewn up.

Corporations are starting to move to mixed environments more and more. I work for one of the Big 4 and spend a lot of time in a lot of other people's offices and I see Macs and iPads all over the place, particularly in the CEO's office. Five years ago only the designers used Macs.

What does that leave Microsoft? Not much.

1. #### Worlds most popular CEO? (Re: Monopolies fall)

If I were Steve Jobs I wouldn't be seen dead with an I-phone..

11. #### hmm...

Two things:

What is the saving against, if it's against initial costs of 5m, great, if it's against 500m, not so good.

And: The project started in 2003, last I heard they still haven't moved all of the workstations over to Linux. How much has the project cost?

Just some verifiable numbers would be nice...

12. #### kudos to München

Fantastische! Microsoft, get the real f...acts now?

1. #### Re: kudos to München

Real facts like it takes the best part of a decade to move off MS and proprietary Unix, if you're local government?

1. #### Re: kudos to München

Yes, it can take that long. How many organisations are still using IE6 instead of IE8?

It's really not as long 2003 to 2012 since there was a 1 to 2 year delay due to all the patent-related FUD.

While the headline is that they moved the desktops to Linux, the underlying story is that they've shifted all of their systems to be platform agnostic and that means migrating applications, email and documents..

Anyway, last I knew they were at 11,000 of 14,000 desktops (which I believe is actually higher than the original target since they've added computers). I believe there's still MS software used by migrated users, but they've used virtualisation to maintain an agnostic desktop.

I'm sure they could have cut a cheap deal with MS not to migrate, but all the information about MS' special fund just increased the political resolution to migrate to Linux and avoid lock-in.

13. #### Prosit München!

Regardless of your technical leanings, government savings on that order due to reduced licensing fees and hardware costs are excellent news.

Yes, it would be nice to know the relative meaning of an annual Euro 4M saving, but still, a big number in absolute terms regardless of the percentage of the budget it represents. Even if I am sure there must be some interesting details to niggle about that we are not privy to.

Not so good news for MS shareholders.

14. #### Note to Microsoft

Ask Florian Mueller for your money back. He obviously failed to do what you paid him for.

15. #### Saving or cost reduction ?

He says that they are now saving 4 million euro's last year in licensing costs. Yet they remain silent when it comes to changes in overall costs such as support, training, etc. All they shared is that the "amount of support calls has decreased".

I'm a bit skeptical here. The whole project to implement the change was estimated on roughly E 35 million around 2004 for 14000 computers, and around 2008 another 13 million was estimated for the next 4 years. So in total they appear to estimate this on 50 million euro's.

Although other sources say that the initial estimate of 35 million hasn't been reached yet. And yet another source claims that the whole project has only cost 15 million euro's. What strikes me as odd is the seemingly secrecy when it comes to the costs of the project. Hardly anywhere do you get solid facts as to the real costs.

But... How does saving 4 million in one year, solely on licensing costs, weigh up against having to spend 35 million in order to make that reduction possible? It seems to me that the actual saving will only occur if they keep this up for the next 9 years or so.

Or, if we take the 15 / 16 million into account then the actual saving starts at 4 years.

As such I think its a little too early to conclude that the project is a success. Lets wait for another 2 - 4 years and then look at the IT costs in general. Support costs, maintenance costs, training costs... I can't help wonder if the figures at that time will shed a whole different light on the project.

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2. #### Re: Saving or cost reduction ?

>>Support costs, maintenance costs, training costs...

Psychotherapists and psychology counseling might also be quite costly, as nobody can guarantee peoples' reaction at the news that not only there's no Start button anymore, no antivirus to unceasingly run, no need of reboots after most updates (as well as the peculiar reboot-Windows-panacea) . These very updates together with installations are available from a single interface and one secure source... ("No third parties anymore, folks or volks, but do stay calm!") Yet the most obscene and hardest of all for an unprepared and weak person is that the dirty-usb-key, click-on-an-infected-link, joining-Kelihos-(or any other from the plethora of)-bonets, would now become the phobias of the past... Perhaps this chilling information should not be dumped at die Bürger users at once.

Teaching people to use strong passwords, unique per each account would take several days and euros. The maintenance would not be a problem, a few people are enough for the job. want to remind you that, GNU/Linux - is not Uni.. Windows. There is no need in highly competent reboot specialists.

1. #### eulampios

It's amazing Linux is so good when you consider what a fawning idiot the typical Linux user appears to be.

What kind of saddo gets all emotionally involved with their operating system?!

1. #### Re: eulampios

"It's amazing Linux is so good when you consider what a fawning idiot the typical Linux user appears to be.

What kind of saddo gets all emotionally involved with their operating system?!"

Resorting to personal attacks? consider your barrel well and truly scraped.

You are clearly getting a bit emotional that Linux has replaced Windows in this article, perhaps you are the kind of saddo that gets all emotionally involved with their operating system.

2. #### "What kind of saddo gets all emotionally involved with their operating system?!"

You do, evidently.

2. #### Re: Saving or cost reduction ?

Folks == Leute in German. Nazi/war films aren't the best source of German language skills. "Volk" is used to mean "people" as in "nation".

That's not a propaganda loudspeaker.

1. #### "Buß und Reu" @ the pedantinc win7sufferer

Usually I draw my German upon Bach's cantatas, if this is OK with you? I can likewise use google translate. The hint was at the the Americanism "Hey, folks?" Sorry to hurt your feelings.

3. #### Re: Saving or cost reduction ?

Fair points but you have to consider that some or all of the E35 million may have had to be spent anyway in the next round of Windows upgrade.

4. #### Re: Saving or cost reduction ?

"Or, if we take the 15 / 16 million into account then the actual saving starts at 4 years." -- so they could have successfully completed the project and seen savings within the time-frame that our politicians are in office for? Still sounds like a win to me.

5. #### Re: Saving or cost reduction ?

If they add in support costs, then Linux will be even more attractive, as it is generally more robust and has powerful remote-management capabilities (ssh, bash, LDAP).

If someone has trouble, you can log into a Linux box via a narrowband connection from Tahiti (to get to the system command line), while Windows requires a broadband LAN to remotely administer. Your post is a FAIL.

1. #### Re: Saving or cost reduction ?

@Win7Sufferer - I've worked out why you seem to have a problem suffering Windows. It's because you know nothing about it.

I'm sick of fanboys - on both sides - spouting rubbish about the "enemy" OS based on utter ignorance. This comments section is full of it on what is supposed to be an IT literate web site, just FUD FUD FUD FUD against Linux and Windows from people who want to justify their choice of OS by slagging off the other. It's pretty sad because, if you went to the trouble of learning more than one OS, you'd be more employable and have more knowledge. I know it's not easy to learn an OS and is far easier slagging the other off, but learning is ultimately more fulfilling.

Me? I use Win/Lin/Mac and many proprietary UNIXes pretty much every day and am happy with my knowledge. I can use the most appropriate tool for each job, rather than having to force something to do what it doesn't want to do, when there is a better solution.

1. #### So you can administer Windows w/o a GUI ?

How do you do that ? Change AD, which will trigger a large network transfer ? Ah, no that happens just when logging into a corpo Windows installation. No changes required, my fault to assume that.

1. #### Re: So you can administer Windows w/o a GUI ?

No, no change required, everything that you can do in Windows' GUI, you can also do from the command line. This has been the case since win 2000, I only don't say NT4 because I am aware of a single thing that you can't do from the command line in NT4, which is grant/remove a user's permission for RAS. The things you do to configure Windows may not be done in the same way as Linux, but they're different systems, why would you expect them to be the same?

As for my initial point that you don't know anything about Windows, I rest my case.

1. #### @ac

If cmd.exe were as user friendly (with autocompletion and more) and as powerful as posix shells like bash Windows users would tend to resort to cmd much more often. Terminal emulators are (still ) no good either.

What is an authentic Windows alternative of sudo? Runas is not. How do you capture a flash stream played by a flashplayer? On a *nix you can do "lsof | grep -i flash" and recover from /proc filesystem, when it is programmed to be only kept in a ram buffer? What is the Microsoft analog of almighty tcpdump? Just curious...

1. #### Re: @ac

@eulampios - I'm not here to give you a training course in Windows, however:

Runas is similar, but slightly different to sudo, actually it has more options than sudo. You don't say why you don't think it's an alternative to sudo?

cmd.exe does have autocomplete, has for ages, if you want a more fully featured shell, use powershell, it is excellent. You have heard that Windows server 8 isn't going to have a GUI by default and that server 2008 offered a no gui option?

I'm pretty sure that I've used tcpdump on Windows, also there is the MS network monitor tool.

As for the capturing a flash stream, I don't know it's not the sort of thing that I've ever needed to do, have a look on the internet, it's your friend.

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2. #### @so knowledgeable ac

I don't need your training courses. Despite the fact that a copy of Windows is being imposed here and there (immorally not illegally though), I am not interested. cmd.exe did not have file autocompletion, granted how weird and long dir names Windows uses, this is even more important. PS originated in 2006-2007 rediscovering a 25-year old thing messing it up with oo crap. I remember it since WIn95. The mentality of Windows users and most admins was formed by this deficit of CL tools.

Most Linux/BSD desktop screenshots would have a beautiful terminal emulator. Is there such Windies screenshots to brag about?

Windows has no sudo alternative. tcpdump itself does not count (it's a 3-d party and it produces text, not objects), secondly to work with it you have to have grep, awk, sed, sort, even perl and others . That per se is totally anty-Microsoft.

You probably can't capture a flash stream using simple lsof | grep mechanism, according to google. It might be because there is no /proc alternatives or that the windows admins are mostly NOT CL oriented.

1. #### Re: @so knowledgeable ac

Ok, so you resort to sarcastic name calling, you seem to admit that you base your knowledge of Windows on Win95, you can't answer direct questions like "why isn't runas a sudo alternative", you suggest that any answers to your questions are all wrong by adding to the question after the fact, you discount improvements in the OS like powershell and you suggest that an OS is as good as it's users ability, rather than accepting that you need knowledge of an OS to make it function correctly.

You are not interested in learning, you are only interested in getting your point across at all costs and I see no reason to carry on trying to enlighten you. You are a very bad advert for Linux.

1. #### sudo-runas enlightenment

You had a condescending tone in the first place, so expect to get something in return. Do try to enlighten, not me though, yourself please: the difference between sudo and runas (su) is that sudo uses the user's profile and the permissions system in sudoer, groups, passwd files. It asks for the password of the current user not the one this user wants to be. So, e.g., the root (administrator) password is not neededat all, you may to disable it completely by not allowing to login and still using it. Very nice feature from the security point of view for a desktop. Expect a Windows sudo in next 10 years.

Anyhow, you hide behind a mask and I am not interested to continue either.

16. #### The dominoes start falling

As time goes by, they go faster and faster (being closer together). What has the Redmond people worried is always the first domino, thus their thrust to prevent it. When others wake up and start smelling the coffee, more dominoes will fall. Unfortunately it won't be recognized until it is too late.

Of course, I really like the patterns that the falling dominoes make, but that is just me!

1. #### Re: The dominoes start falling

I do think it will be much less dramatical, with Apple and Linux gaining mindshare and marketshare and this getting a normal industry with several true alternatives.

There is more than enough room for Linux, MS and Apple to co-exist. It is not about "which system is best in dominating the world", but it is about "gaining diversity and having real options to chose from".

17. "WIN - A free one year, 25 user licence of Microsoft Office 365!" at bottom of this story! ;-)

Mayor Ude now frantically filing multiple entries!

1. #### win365

There's only one problem with this "WIN": it won' t run on anything but microsoft.... So you buy a "cloud solution" that requires one make of client.... I'v never understood this...

18. #### Savings or no...

...it does prove that a GNU/Linux system can compete with MS on the desktop, this means some level of competition and competition is good for the consumer.

Whether or not GNU/Linux is better is beside the point, reducing the near Communist-style stranglehold MS holds on the desktop can only make things better for the purchasers of such systems.

Furthermore, the promotion of Open Standards (and by my definition, that means patent-free) such as ODF can only be a good thing for interoperability.

Really, whether or not you are a Penguin-lover or a freedom-hater; there is no downside to this that I can see. Unless you are an MS shareholder because your monopoly fuelled gravy-train may just be beginning to run out of steam.

1. #### Re: Savings or no...

I also hate MS for many reasons, but financially they are doing quite well lately.

2. #### @The BigYin

I have to agree with you on one thing; there is no downside what so ever here. At the very least they gathered up some real life experience (which is /much/ more valuable than theory) which might be useful in other cases.

However, the main issue which I think many people are forgetting is the way politics operate. Some people (including the mayor) are responsible for the project. As such; do you really think we'd be told if the project wasn't going as prosper as anticipated? I doubt it; because that would also mean that the people responsible had to confess to have made an error in judgement, and that could "damage" their political careers.

Please keep in mind that I'm not claiming that this is also the case for project Limux, I simply don't know, yet all I'm saying is that people should definitely keep this in mind when dealing with politics.

Heck; our country (Holland) got involved with the JSF, we also ordered quite a lot of those darn things. And even now where -involved- US military personnel speak up against the whole project; calling it a failure and something which costs get way out of hand... Even now does our government consider the decision to go for the JSF a "big success" which has "many advantages". Costs which seem to rise by the tens of millions every few months or so? "Details which need to be worked out, yet have no effect on the success and our trust in the JSF".

/THAT/ is politics for you and that is something we should be mindful off. Even if it concerns topics which we really want to succeed.

19. #### Taxes should benefit society not one company.

Aside from the fact of improved reliability, lack of need to upgrade machines and license savings.

One other (and in my opinion very important) improvement by using Linux is the benefit to the wider world.

Rather than the tax payer fund one (hideous) party that uses patent trolling to crush competition (and lobbies governments in favour of PIPA/ACTA) at least funding any Linux company with create improvements that will benefit the entire computing world.

Even just using the software and reporting bugs helps to improve the software for the whole of mankind

20. #### schweinebraten and russ roulade...nom!

"Unless you are an MS shareholder because your monopoly fuelled gravy-train may just be beginning to run out of steam."

Personally, I hope this kind of thing dosen't catch on, as i've kitted myself out a lot on the back of IT depts 3 year cycles.

Now if Linux natively supported ZFS.... i'd definitely pay for that!!

1. #### Re: schweinebraten and russ roulade...nom!

The 3 year cycles won't go away because Linux is being used. The OS will still need to be maintained and updated, as will the hardware. In fact the refresh rate, of software at least, may well increase because of the much shorter lifetimes (in support) of Linux OSes. The current RHEL long term support is 10 years, IIRC, which is about 5 less than MS. No serious company will run software which is out of support.

1. #### Re: schweinebraten and russ roulade...nom!

"No serious company will run software which is out of support."

Anyone making such a laughable statement should be willing to put their name to it.

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