back to article And we return to Munich's migration back to Windows – it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

Munich City officials could waste €100m reversing a 15-year process that replaced proprietary software with open source following an official vote last year. Munich officials in 2003 voted to migrate to an in-house custom version of Ubuntu Linux called LiMux and tailor digital docs to be compatible with LibreOffice. Now the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brown envelops for city officials or free holidays in Seattle ?

    1. Weiss_von_Nichts
      Holmes

      No, but coincidentially Microsofts german HQ just moved to Munich.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, but coincidentially Microsofts german HQ just moved to Munich.

        Might be no to the Seattle trips but having the HQ in the city makes it much easier to pass out the brown envelopes unobtrusively.

      2. Kristian Walsh

        No, it didn't "just move". Microsoft's German HQ had been in Munich-Unterschleissheim ( for over three decades. What happened recently was that the company moved those offices into a more central location in Munich (Schwabing), near to the two major universities in the city.

        This was an organisational, not a technology failure. Fixating on "Microsoft versus Linux" isn't just juvenile, it's also counter-productive. It won't help address the reasons why this project became such a mess.

        And meanwhile, lots of other "serious" organisations have made the same transition that Munich failed to; the French Gendarmerie for instance now uses a Linux-based LibreOffice-based workflow for all its internal IT.

        If there's one easy lesson from this, it should be that Linux's proponents really need to stop pitching Linux as a "cost-saving" alternative to proprietary software: this gives the customer the wrong mindset from the get-go. In truth, the software licences are never the big line items in a business process improvement project.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "This was an organisational, not a technology failure. "

          No it was a technology failure. The users hated it ,and to use a version of Office that actually worked they had to use Windows via VDI anyway.

          1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge
            Flame

            Really? Users hated it? Which users? The newly elected mayor?

            Any links to support this wild claim?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Any links to support this wild claim?"

              Hübner said the city has struggled with LiMux adoption. "Users were unhappy and software essential for the public sector is mostly only available for Windows," she said.

              https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/13/munich_committee_says_all_windows_2020/

          2. Maventi

            It does certainly appear to be primarily an organisational and political failure (as opposed to technology) as we can see with all the speculation and commantary around this issue. There are plenty of wide-scale Linux desktop deployments out there (particularly in the European public sector) that have been very successful - they simply don't make the news because they just work as expected.

            Speaking as someone who's spent over 20 years managing Windows-based and and some fully Linux-based enterprise networks, both can be done effectively with the right processes in place. The Linux networks I've managed (including desktops) have had almost zero complaints even from extremely illiterate users - users simply don't care what the tech is as long as they can get their work done. Linux can certainly save a lot of money overall if done right, but whether it does in practice all depends on the organisation's actual requirements.

            The best thing that can be done is to actually establish those requirements and build to them, rather than choosing the platform first.

            Most users certainly don't have many emotional ties to Windows - proof of this is the the fact that the majority of personal computing devices in use by consumers today don't run Windows (although it's a small margin admittedly). There is love for Word and Excel among a few users and sometimes those two applications alone can end up dictating the entire network architecture. A shame - an entire infrastructure shouldn't depend around a couple of apps, but that's what originally got Windows so pervasive in enterprise.

            Also note that unhappy users exist on any platform - I've also come across plenty of badly-managed Windows networks where the users loathed it. Not a failing of Windows per-se, once again it's usually bad implementation. Apply some elbow grease (along with a big invoice) and everyone is happy again.

        2. Lord_Beavis
          FAIL

          @Kristian Walsh

          "...the software licences are never the big line items in a business process improvement project."

          I'll mention that during the next "Battle of the Budgets" and see how far that flies. They always change to the lesser cost of MS services and then plan a big project that requires resources from MS that isn't in our agreement and blame us for not being able to implement it -OR- pay through the nose to get it when they only could have paid a little bit upfront.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          " In truth, the software licences are never the big line items in a business process improvement project."

          They can, however, be a recurring cost and a nasty shock after a software audit. And, of course, an ongoing management cost in terms of trying to keep track of them.

        4. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

          "This was an organisational, not a technology failure. "

          You are probably correct here, but:

          "Fixating on "Microsoft versus Linux" isn't just juvenile, "it's also counter-productive. "

          This was probably the reason why there are any issues with this rollout to begin with. It is most likely the non-technical elected Munich council/mayor who use Windows at home and don't want to have to 'learn something new' who are the problem. So yes, the problem is organisational AND it's most likely a fixation of some people who don't want to use 'this other stuff'. The hallmark of poor leadership which doesn't take advice from their subject matter experts.

          "If there's one easy lesson from this, it should be that Linux's proponents really need to stop pitching Linux as a "cost-saving" alternative to proprietary software"

          Unfortunately that is the main reason most organisations will be tempted to switch as most people who are supposed to be plotting out the long term strategy of an organisation, fail to take into account that handing over the critical infrastructure of your organisation to a convicted monopolist is probably not a good thing to do in the long term.

          1. oldcoder

            Well... Linux is a cost-saving alternative.

            Munich itself has proved that. So have the French.

            And a lot of others.

            This just looks like bribery.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > the French Gendarmerie for instance now uses a Linux-based LibreOffice-based workflow for all its internal IT.

          Not for all internal IT. They use Linux as a web browsing kiosk and for very basic document editing and email. Which it is capable of coping with for front line police who's main use of IT is filling in forms. They still commonly use Windows in areas that require business applications - e.g. back office and finance. The migration is "completed" and they still run Windows on ~ 12,000 desktops.

          1. oldcoder

            and 70,000 Linux systems.

            Which is quite a saving in license fees and hardware upgrades...

      3. Dr Mantis Toboggan
        Mushroom

        Munich, the only place in the world, where you can make charges of taking brown envelopes disappear with brown envelopes....

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28656050

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Munich, the only place in the world, where you can make charges of taking brown envelopes disappear with brown envelopes."

          Doesn't that happen in other places? E.g. although the term "fine" is often used in press releases SEC investigations seem to involve a "settlement" with no wrongdoing acknowledged.

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Money is a universal solvent

          Er, except for all the rest of the world.

          1. grumpy-old-person

            Re: Money is a universal solvent

            I suspect this happens everywhere, but is worse in some places.

            Read The President's Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison (its freely available as a PDF) for a South African sad tale of far worse than "brown envelopes" and "holidays in Seattle"!

      4. Uberseehandel

        You say -

        No, but coincidentially Microsofts german HQ just moved to Munich.

        Not so, Microsoft has moved from one outer suburb of Munich, Unterschleißheim, to another inner suburb, Schwabing. About 12,5km as the crow flies.

        1. Dr Mantis Toboggan
          Stop

          Unterschleißheim is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located about 17 km north of the city limits of Munich.

          City limits being the operative word here... how much money will flow between Microsoft and the city of Munich, when it's located outside of the city??? "Near" doesn't cut it.

          Stop trying and unspin this obviously related move.....

          1. Kristian Walsh

            Unterschleißheim is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located about 17 km north of the city limits of Munich.

            City limits being the operative word here

            I suggest you do a bit more research on how regional government and local taxation works in Germany, because that argument is based on a misunderstanding of this. Put In UK terms, you're close to stating that Ealing and Aldgate are not in the same city; a true assertion, but not one that's significant in this context.

            Microsoft's move to Schwabing will be a net loss to the local government in tax revenue, as the new offices are in a specially-designated development area, to which lower tax rates apply (for a long introductory period).

            There really is nothing odd about this move. Tech companies have been migrating from edge-city office parks to city-centre locations for most of the last decade. Has it escaped your notice how many "Silicon Valley" companies are actually operating from San Francisco now, rather than the actual Valley, 50 miles south of SF? How many UK-based companies have shifted from the M4 Corridor and now operate in London?

            The new location is between the two largest universities in Munich. If you knew the city at all, you'd understand why any company that needs to attract smart graduates would jump at this kind of move.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have seen Microsoft "persuasion" in real-life in a Munich (non government) office, and it's sickening how Microsoft money can make anything happen....

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        @AC Why not blow the whistle and give you evidence over to them?

        "I have seen Microsoft "persuasion" in real-life in a Munich (non government) office, and it's sickening how Microsoft money can make anything happen...."

        1. Lusty

          https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/compliance/integrity

          Report it. Microsoft have a portal specifically set up to let you do so. MS is not OK with corruption so if you have info send it in.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha....

            "MS is not OK with corruption so if you have info send it in".

            ... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          They work top-down

          "@AC Why not blow the whistle and give you evidence over to them?"

          Over to whom? Microsoft? Or the Munich officials who are being successfully leaned on?

      2. JLV Silver badge

        >Microsoft money can make anything happen....

        Hmmm, hasn't made Windows 10 very secure or resulted in a clean unified configuration system (outside of Powershell perhaps) : Tikfam pages, Win 7- dialogs, direct registry edits, (unpinnable) msc. changes version to version

        far as Munchen goes "12000 macros" is probably a good hint at the cultural/organizational issues causing this clusterf***.

        1.5 million inhabitants supporting upwards of $250M of direct in-out costs, not counting likely indirect productivity losses, nice job Teutonic efficiency.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Hmmm, hasn't made Windows 10 very secure"

          ? It's way more secure than the alternatives.

          "or resulted in a clean unified configuration system "

          But Windows has a single repository for all configuration data, which has many other advantages over legacy solutions like text files. And can be managed by unified enterprise wide tools like AD Group Policy.

          1. JLV Silver badge

            >single repository for all configuration data

            You mean the Registry? Yes, it seemed like a good idea when it was launched. I am not even being sarcastic here.

            20+ years later has taught everyone* but MS that in practice it's a lousy approach to system management to shove everything into an opaque binary undocumented hairball.

            Undocumented? Well take the case of Windows randomnly going into hibernation, which was plaguing my system. The solution, found by someone on the net, was flipping a boolean flag, in a key with a non descriptive name, under 2 levels of GUID-style Registry folders with 20 digit numeric "names". 77888886/8888899/flagFoo or the like. That's what disabled that hibernation!

            Take your shilling and shove it, AC.

            * well not everyone, a certain Linux subsystem often gets mentioned...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Registry? That's so 90's darling....

              "The solution, found by someone on the net, was flipping a boolean flag, in a key with a non descriptive name, under 2 levels of GUID-style Registry folders with 20 digit numeric "names". 77888886/8888899/flagFoo or the like"

              Elevated command prompt or powershell -

              powercfg -h off

              No hunting for obscure registry flags when the OS provides a simple way to turn it off.

              1. JLV Silver badge

                Re: Registry? That's so 90's darling....

                I was actually aware of that command, before finding the registry hack. That was my workaround for months.

                But, do you realize that powercfg -h off has to be re-run every single time you restart that machine? It's not permanent.

                Additionally, the registry item in question is not a blanket deactivation of hibernation. Rather I think it flips off some weird subsystem condition where Windows is expecting a bluetooth mouse or keyboard (which my machine didn't have). When that, inexistent, mouse doesn't do anything for a while, Windows in all its wisdom decides it needs to go to sleep. Even when the main sleep/hibernation settings say NEVER.

                Windows has infinitely weird ideas about hibernation - there are items about USB peripherals and their sleep times, for example.

                And it's a config mess: you have the basic Win10 sleep settings, but the advanced one shows you a Windows 7 legacy dialog of the relevant part of the Registry. But, that does not include the stupid bluetooth flag, that's somewhere else in the Registry again and has been there since Win 7, I think.

                Bet Windows 11 will have yet another way to configure with sleep and hibernation.

                Nope, not a fan of this crap.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Registry? That's so 90's darling....

                  "But, do you realize that powercfg -h off has to be re-run every single time you restart that machine? It's not permanent."

                  No it doesn't and yes it is.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Munich City officials could waste €100m reversing a 15-year process that replaced proprietary software with open source following an official vote last year."

      In addition to the ~ €100 million they already wasted on the migration to open Source.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        "In addition to the ~ €100 million they already wasted on the migration to open Source."

        Dont know why you have downvotes for that? Is it that the 100m figure includes the previous migration? doubt it . I think its just a knee jerk reaction cos you kind of indirectly called open source bad.

        Whereas if you you go linux , then dont use it , its waste no matter how good it is.

        1. oldcoder

          He has downvotes because until they switch there isn't 100M loss.

          BTW, that loss also sounds like the amount they saved by doing the switch to Linux. If that is true, then yes - it would be a loss.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "that loss also sounds like the amount they saved by doing the switch to Linux"

            It has so far cost Munich € 99 million just to try to migrate without adding the cost of backing it out. Staying with Microsoft would have cost them ~ €10 million.

            1. oldcoder

              Only in license fees.

              You left out the costs for replacing the hardware every three years.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          > I think its just a knee jerk reaction cos you kind of indirectly called open source bad.

          It is the Richto/TheVogan dogma that Munich cost an extra 100m to go to Linux because a HP report paid for by Microsoft gave some completely spurious figures, such as the costs of computers that Munich did not buy, while not balancing these with the costs that would have applied had they stayed with Microsoft, where they would have had to buy new computers. Also he adds in the total cost that IBM spent on developing Linux even though that was for their mainframes and nothing to do with Munich.

          In spite of posting as AC, his posts are easily recognisable.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "It is the Richto/TheVogan dogma that Munich cost an extra 100m to go to Linux because a HP report paid for by Microsoft gave some completely spurious figures"

            The €100 million is based on published figures from Munich Council's IT dept themselves and is made up of €17 million in migration costs and €82 million in consequential integration costs. It excludes the claimed ~ €30 million cost of creating Limux itself which is what I think you refer to.

      2. Daniel von Asmuth
        Windows

        A Bavarian Rhapsody

        The LiMux project was estimated to have cost some 40 M€, so this is a massive waste of funds.

        Apart from the desktop OS, a sigificant amount of money was spent on Wollmux, a forms processing application realised as OpenOffice macros. Replacing this will be expensive.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A Bavarian Rhapsody

          "The LiMux project was estimated to have cost some 40 M€, so this is a massive waste of funds."

          That was IN ADDITION to the €99 million migration and integration costs already quoted.

          However much of that bill was footed by IBM to try and screw Microsoft. Seeing as IBM have had 24 straight quarters of declining sales, whereas Microsoft's share price is at record highs - didn't that go well ?!

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: A Bavarian Rhapsody

            @ RICHTO / TheVogon / AC

            > However much of that bill was footed by IBM to try and screw Microsoft.

            No. That is just your anti-IBM, anti-Linux, Microsoft-loving dogma that fuels your conspiracy theory on how much it cost.

            IBM has spent many millions on developing Linux, but that has been for its mainframes and POWER systems and none went to Munich.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A Bavarian Rhapsody

          "Replacing this will be expensive."

          Replacing it will just mean deploying Microsoft Office Forms / Macros. Easy to do with widespread availability of skills.

      3. Kabukiwookie Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        I know reading is hard for wintards, but the article on the left hand side:

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/29/munich_linux_savings/

        Actually states that the introduction of Linux already saved some 15 million Euros when introduced, along with several millions saved in licencing fees and unnecessary hardward upgrades, because the linux desktops run fine on older hardware.

        Paris... because... quite obvious for most.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Actually states that the introduction of Linux already saved some 15 million Euros when introduced"

          When "introduced" possibly that was true. Over the lifetime of the project, Munich Council's own figures show that it has cost way more than sticking with Windows would have.

    4. Gary Bickford

      Free holidays in Seattle???

      First prize is a week in Seattle. Second prize is two weeks in Seattle ... in February!

      Sorry Seattleites - I’m a refugee from the cold, dark, damp, rainy, cloudy, grey, depressing Northwest winters. There’s a reason why coffee is so popular there. The weather reports should include a “damp chill index” just like the wind chill. 40 degrees in drizzle & mist feels like -10 degrees in sunny dry.

      Seattle is famous for that special type of rain called What Rain, a drizzly mist, as in when a miserable visitor asks, “How can you stand out here in this rain?” To which the Seattleite replies, “What rain???”

      Seattle has more definitions for types of rain than any other place:

      - sunny (rare to unheard of except for two days in August)

      - sog (where you think your to sunny but it’s not)

      - fog

      - fist

      - mist

      - mizzle

      - drizzle

      - drain, or “light rain”

      - rainy

      - rain

      - hard rain (rare)

      - downpour (very rare)

      ;)

      1. Agamemnon
        Pint

        Re: Free holidays in Seattle???

        Sing it Brother.

        I'm *Sitting* in Los Angeles (considering cervesas and fish tacos in Venice) right this moment, strictly because, I've spent the last four winters in ... Redmond.

        Oh, no...not just Seattle but Macro$loppy Central.

        It was actually a very nice town five years ago.

        But the (consults your handy chart, fails to find "slizzle")...

        Slizzle: It's 30DegF, why is this shit not Snow? Because it is Rain that Should be snow but it warmed up in this Magical Warm Layer about a mile up and is now a heaping glob of something that would very much like to be slush but can't be bothered to make the transition, so it's (not quite) Freezing Damned Rain (plus that Frost Chill thing).

        Add in four months of the hammered-lead sky, an a Massive Influx of stupid (Microsofties, and Redmond's expansion of the Kool-Aid Stepfords), that wasn't going to fly this winter.

        Beer and Sun for Us. Salut!

      2. DanceMan

        Re: Free holidays in Seattle???

        Not February -- November, December or January. Here in Vancouver with similar weather, there are usually a couple of weeks in February when spring hits, the sun is out, more motorcycles reappear, etc.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Simply...

      LibreOffice is not €100m bad...'it does the drudge' as well as MSOffice.

      You're never going to make €100m savings back from switching away from LibreOffice, once you're using it. This has to be blatant bribery and corruption, no other words for it.

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Brown envelops for city officials or free holidays in Seattle ?"

      Maybe they're just into bondage.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A lot of talk on here about how LO doesn't play well with MS Office. Why not have a developer or two (?) start with LaTex or Tex-Live to make them more easily usable in the creation of nicely formatted docs that are saved as PDFs? I know that doesn't cover the rest of the Office use cases but that seems reasonable.

      I simply cannot believe that for 100 million euros, minimum, most of the issues Munich has can't be properly rectified, including spinning off both software and manufacturing businesses locally.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Hanlons razor

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by backhanders.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Munich residents...

    Enjoy your new increase in property taxes...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Munich residents...

      Out of interest, did they do a comparison on how much it would cost to convert to Apple?

      100 million euros would buy you around 77,000 entry-level iMacs, or 66,000 of the quad-core retina ones, at full end-user retail price. I'm sure they could negotiate a substantial discount.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Munich residents...

        "100 million euros would buy you around 77,000 entry-level iMacs, or 66,000 of the quad-core retina ones, at full end-user retail price. I'm sure they could negotiate a substantial discount."

        And how much to write all the software that doesn't exist? And to relicense all the stuff that does? And to migrate? And support / run it?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Munich residents...

        >> 100 million euros would buy you around 77,000 entry-level iMacs

        Or about 3 times as many entry level proper computers.

  4. wolfetone

    They must have money to burn in Munich. Or money in brown envelopes to collect.

    1. Friendly Neighbourhood Coder Dan

      I have friends there, and from what I saw, the place does have money to burn. I can only see one Vertu shop now, but I am pretty sure there used to be two :-)

      If my impression is correct, the reason why they do have money to burn is because they don't do burn it. That seems to be changing now though?

      1. Rob Telford

        Vertu

        I should be surprised if there is even one of their shops open in Munich right now; Vertu went into liquidation last July

        1. Friendly Neighbourhood Coder Dan

          @Rob Telford

          I only searched on Google for "Munich Vertu", to confirm that there really were two, and it returned only one. But I am quite convinced there was a second one at some stage... I remember reading about Vertu being liquidated, but I am not an expert and assumed liquidation didn't have to be immediate and they were allowed to go on for a while to sell as much stock as possible. Their own website seems to confirm that all their shops have now gone. Thank you for the correction :-)

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      There's money, and then there's money

      "They must have money to burn in Munich".

      Only taxpayers' money - that's virtually free.

      "Or money in brown envelopes to collect".

      OTOH, that's managers' money and very well worth while.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its not just the cost either...

    Wait till that juicy data ends up in Microsoft's 365 Cloud ready to be mined. Plus, how long till reports of Munich's Azure bucket exposed to hackers???

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Its not just the cost either...

      Wait till that juicy data ends up in Microsoft 365 Cloud ready to be mined.

      Not likely. German DPA authorities and laws have teeth even today (pre-GDPR). Mining that the way Joe Average Hoy-Poloy is being mined is in the realm of suicidal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its not just the cost either...

        Eagerly awaiting the decision of SCOTUS on whether the Feds can rifle through Office 365 mailstores...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Its not just the cost either...

          "Eagerly awaiting the decision of SCOTUS on whether the Feds can rifle through Office 365 mailstores..."

          EU law says they can't. What US law says isn't relevant.

          1. oldcoder

            Re: Its not just the cost either...

            To the US, EU law doesn't matter.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Its not just the cost either...

              "To the US, EU law doesn't matter."

              But it does to Microsoft. It would be far more expensive and risky for them for them to break EU law than to ignore a US judgement. By design obviously.

              1. oldcoder

                Re: Its not just the cost either...

                No, it would be more expensive for MS to be fined in the US.

                They could even find the board of directors in jail.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Its not just the cost either...

                  "No, it would be more expensive for MS to be fined in the US."

                  Nope, EU law such as the GDPR is way higher in fines than the US. To ten percent of global turn over per incident! Deliberately to trump such an attempt to subvert EU law. And also the company executives can be imprisoned for release of data.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Its not just the cost either...

                    >> Nope, EU law such as the GDPR is way higher in fines than the US. T

                    Quite. Not to mention that the EU is a larger market with a greater GDP than the US and they have more to lose.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Its not just the cost either...

            "EU law says they can't. What US law says isn't relevant."

            US govt. version:

            US law says they can. What EU law says isn't relevant. Where is it? Oh, there. Doesn't make any difference.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Its not just the cost either...

              >Where is it? Oh, there. Doesn't make any difference.

              Well it does:

              https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/information-protection/plan-design/plan-implement-tenant-key

              "As an additional protection measure, Azure Key Vault uses separate security domains for its data centers in regions such as North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), and Asia. Azure Key Vault also uses different instances of Azure, such as Microsoft Azure Germany, and Azure Government. "

              1. oldcoder

                Re: Its not just the cost either...

                So what? Microsoft corporate is still in charge.

                And that is what is being pressured.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Its not just the cost either...

          ...soon to be extended to whether feds can order MS to handover contents of kernel private memory areas

      2. oldcoder

        Re: Its not just the cost either...

        Or until some US court directs Microsoft to copy the data...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its not just the cost either...

      "Munich's Azure bucket "

      I think you are thinking of AWS security issues.

  6. LDS Silver badge

    'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

    Of course researches sponsored by FOSS companies and organizations are not.... they all live out of thin air... Munich may be doing a mistake or not, but both FOSS and proprietary sides are obviously biased.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'FOSS and proprietary sides are obviously biased.'

      Usually one side gets to enjoy a far greater financial upside though, right?... Wonder which side that could be... XD

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

      That's right. Which is why "An independent expert" should be called upon.

      1. JimC

        Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

        I don't believe its possible to find an independant expert, and for that matter I don't even believe its possible to make a fully informed rational decision about these issues. I always considered it to be an almost religious decision made on faith. Certainly IME that was what was going on where I worked.

        But I'm rather of the opinion that if you have your support staffing and training sorted out it probably doesn't matter too much what you use - and if you havn't got your staffing support and training sorted out it probably still doesn't matter.

        But as others have said I am sure the key issue will have been support for specialist applications. IME they will be Windows only, and anything away from a pure MS environment will greatly increase the amount of resource you need to put into the specialist apps because the vendors won't. Use different vendors? Its hard enough finding a competent package for these jobs anyway without excluding from consideration all the ones who won't support a multi platform shop. We're there to serve the users and deliver them the best working environment...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

          >> We're there to serve the users and deliver them the best working environment...

          That money can buy! There, finished it for you.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

      Back when Munich was about to switch to free software there was a report showing how much more expensive that would be compared to staying put. That report was secret, available under NDA for €40,000, leaked and blatant bullshit.

      1. oldcoder

        Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

        It was also produced by a microsoft sponsored company.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

          "It was also produced by a microsoft sponsored company."

          It was produced by HP. Hardly "a Microsoft sponsored company"

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: 'Most research is sponsored by proprietary software companies, and as such might be biased'

            > "It was also produced by a microsoft sponsored company."

            > It was produced by HP. Hardly "a Microsoft sponsored company"

            While HP is not 'sponsored' by Microsoft beyond the usual 'loyalty discounts' and 'sponsored advertising' which are used to lock in the OEMs, the report produced by HP on Munich was entirely paid for by Microsoft.

            It thus said what Microsoft wanted it to say. In order to allege that the costs were higher than Munich claimed HP added such costs as replacement computers when Munich actually recycled existing computers.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

    Looking at the linked list, I remark that it took Valencia, Spain a mere year to migrate 120000 PCs from Windows to Linux. Munich strolled into a full 10 years for their paltry number, and now we learn that their IT can't cope and they want to go back ?

    German efficiency isn't looking good in this picture. If they can't cope on one platform, I don't see how it will be better on another. Changing cars is useless if you can't drive.

    But I'm guessing that's not the real problem. It's influence. There's obviously a strong pro-Windows faction in Munich and they've been real busy making a nuisance of themselves since the beginning of the migration. Looks like they've worn down the resistance and are going to get their revenge. All that at the citizen's cost, of course. With all the other administrations and entities that have successfully made the switch to Linux, Munich can hardly pretend that Linux is not suitable for them.

    1. Naselus

      Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

      "With all the other administrations and entities that have successfully made the switch to Linux, Munich can hardly pretend that Linux is not suitable for them."

      Without knowing more about the wider environment that they're using, that statement is rubbish. It's like saying 'if fish have no problem breathing underwater, then humans can't pretend living in a river is unsuitable'. You don't know all the factors. If Munich had just signed a 10-year software support contract for a Windows-only program with a massive penalty for cancellation, for example (not an uncommon one in the public sector), moving to Linux would not be suitable for them at that time. If they had a very large number of files held in proprietary formats for programs which - again - do not exist for Linux, then it's not suited for them either.

      While a managed and carefully planned transition to Linux might work, this is pretty clearly not what happened in Munich. The pro-Linux faction didn't do their due diligence and promised things that - for whatever reason - they couldn't actually deliver, so the transition failed. And it was already clear that the transition was an expensive failure long before the pro-Windows faction managed to convince anyone that spending a(nother) fortune switching back was a good idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

        " If Munich had just signed a 10-year software support contract for a Windows-only program with a massive penalty for cancellation"

        " If they had a very large number of files held in proprietary formats "

        Did you read the article?

        1. Naselus

          Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

          "Did you read the article?"

          I did, yes. It contained literally nothing which refutes the point that 'this worked for the French police force' does not mean 'therefore, this will work in literally any situation for any organization at any time'.

          The article does have a warning against being locked into proprietary monocultures, which is what I assume you're getting at. But that doesn't help if Munich was [i]already locked into such a monoculture[/i] prior to the attempt to switch, which is what usually gets ignored in these endless Linux-always-good-Microsoft-always-bad dickwaving exercises.

          And Munich probably was already locked into one in just such a manner. If we ignore the clearly-bollocks claims that they couldn't get email working (80% of their estate have been moved to Linux and have been working on it for 5+ years, so we can forget stupid claims like that) and other such rubbish, what you actually have is a bunch of non-Linux compatible systems that Munich is locked into, and a lot of money being spent to try and create Linux-compatible variants, to the point it cost some 80% more than just paying the Windows licenses would have over ten years. And they were still paying for Windows.

          That's how shit like this actually works in the real world. Big software or support contracts signed over multiple-year terms - like, say, a municipal administration would take - often give you a reduced price, but have penalty clauses for early termination. Just as many buildings get built just because cancelling the contracts to build them would be more expensive than just finishing construction, the same applies to government IT contracts. Plenty of those awful uk.gov IT projects that ran for years before being quietly dropped were only kept going because the escape clause was more expensive than the remaining run time on the contract would be.

          Personally, I don't think switching back to Windows is a good idea - that's good money after bad at this point, and is going to cost a second fortune (especially since any sane development company which signed up to write Linux versions of software for Munich will have stipulated similarly lucrative escape clauses to their MS-centric counterparts). But it's clear that Munich should not have attempted to switch to Linux in the first place when it did so, and 'Sabotage by Microsoft fans' is not a convincing explanation as to why they're switching back.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

            >It contained literally nothing which refutes the point that 'this worked for the French police force'

            Actually they only use Linux as a Web browsing kiosk for the front line. Cops to complete forms and send the odd email. They still have 12000 PCs running Windows for their business applications. Google it.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

        The pro-Linux faction didn't do their due diligence and promised things that - for whatever reason - they couldn't actually deliver, so the transition failed.

        WHO says it failed?

        The german report (the part released to the public; created with LibreOffice 4.1 on 2017-10-19; somewhat infected by SJW style of writing) says:

        - They have trouble managing both LiMux and Windows clients (well, why not fix that)

        - Their LibreOffice version is kinda old and not being maintained (well, why not fix that)

        - They fail to properly open MS documents (well, take MS to the cleaners for that instead; open documents and all that)

        How come the solution is to move to Windows 10 and Ms Office?

        Additionally:

        - They are in deep shit due to various unmaintained old applications that they need to access "old data" (this ain't gonna fix that)

        - Lack of IT Governance (well, welcome to State!)

        - No roadmaps for major solutions (by SAP and AKDB)

        - They haven't even managed to make all the applications Unicode compatible yet

        So there are other problems than "Linux".

        1. Gary Bickford

          Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

          Funny you should mention SAP - a global company I used to work for budgeted $200 million and one year to move their US operations to SAP, and planned to move the rest of their operations in Phase 2. Phase 1 took three years and $700 million. They cancelled Phase 2. SAP stock dropped - iIIRC 20% - immediately.

          The point being, if they want to run SAP they _really_ don’t understand their costs. There are even open source competitors for SAP that are more amenable to adjustmentbtontheir way of doing business. The big cost of the SAP catastrophe at my company was due to the requirement to completely revise every aspect of their existing business model to fit the SAP way of doing things. But pointy hair bosses, especially in government, are usually clueless about such things, and the communications difficulties between IT professionals and MBAs or Public Administration degree holders magnify the problem.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

            The big cost of the SAP catastrophe at my company was due to the requirement to completely revise every aspect of their existing business model to fit the SAP way of doing things.

            Well at least they went about it the right way! It was quite common for businesses to try and make the package fit the business and thus largely negating the benefits of using an off-the-shelf package.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

          "WHO says it failed?"

          Having to throw away €100 million spent trying to migrate to Linux sure sounds like a failure to me!

          "They have trouble managing both LiMux and Windows clients (well, why not fix that)"

          They are!

          "They fail to properly open MS documents (well, take MS to the cleaners for that instead; open documents and all that)"

          But that's an Libre Office issue. It's buggy as hell.

          "How come the solution is to move to Windows 10 and Ms Office?"

          Because it works, the required applications exist for it and has a lower TCO. And the users prefer it.

          "So there are other problems than "Linux"."

          Yes, but Linux made things worse and cost them a fortune.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

            "How come the solution is to move to Windows 10 and Ms Office?"

            Because it works, the required applications exist for it and has a lower TCO. And the users prefer it.

            it's getting "shilly" in here. BRRrrrr...

            Sorry. Your argument fails right away.

            a) I've NEVER had a problem importing a Micro-shaft "Weird" document in Libre or Open office.

            b) if the formatting changes, it's because of the use of non-standard fonts, etc.

            c) Why not DUMP MICRO-SHAFT ORIFICE and adopt LIBRE as "the standard" instead? [last I checked, Libre has binaries that run on winders for those who *must* use a Micro-shaft OS

            And your attempt to use the same-old-FUD from the early noughties about "total cost of ownership" being LESS with per-seat licensing? *BORING*

            I think a REAL USE CASE from that period of time might shed some REAL light on TCO...

            https://www.cnet.com/news/rockin-on-without-microsoft/

            it was FUD then, and it's still FUD now, that TCO is allegedly LOWER with Micro-shaft "pay to play" licensing. The Ernie Ball story says exactly the opposite: he saved enough money IN THE FIRST YEAR to cover the cost of the 'fines' that resulted from the "surprise!" audit.

            In any case, I would MUCH rather see governments consider open source FIRST, for the explicit purpose of saving money for the taxpayers. Germany could ALSO make the case that open source allows them to NOT rely on some other country for their I.T. support, thereby promoting local (or at least German) businesses...

            And think of this: if governments DEMAND open source, for the purpose of security audits, transparency, and the promotion of PUBLIC projects, that would do FOSS a LOT of good.

            icon, because, FUD that I respond to.

          2. oldcoder

            Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

            "But that's an Libre Office issue. It's buggy as hell."

            No it is a Microsoft issue as they are NOT USING STANDARDS - even the ones they wrote themselves.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

              >No it is a Microsoft issue as they are NOT USING STANDARDS - even the ones they wrote themselves.

              No because the same documents open just fine on other third party office suites. Go look at the Libre Office forums. Bugs galore..

        3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

          @Destroy All Monsters: agree on all points.

          The primary problem before the attempted migration was the usual one: organically grown "structure". IMO it was not a good idea to communicate things in a way that could be (and was) understood as "Linux will be the solution".

          In addition to that... Anybody who had the pleasure to attempt to make any "Windows expert" (user) to learn anything new knows the pain, these being state employees doesn't make it better. Think of the "On Call" articles here, then walk several miles into the general direction of cataclysmic shit-nado.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

      "But I'm guessing that's not the real problem. It's influence. There's obviously a strong pro-Windows faction in Munich and they've been real busy making a nuisance of themselves since the beginning of the migration."

      Well as I pointed out last year when the story broke, they are claiming that they couldn't get email running on Linux, so there's clearly more than just "influence" and "nuisance" at work here. They must have a fully-fledged fifth column and if the truth were ever to come out it could probably result in criminal prosecutions.

      I mean ... jeeez ... couldn't get *email* to work? On Linux? Did they even try?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        @Ken

        "I mean ... jeeez ... couldn't get *email* to work? On Linux? Did they even try?"

        Rumor has it that if you don't appease the systemd gods then "bad things" will happen. Can't we just blame this whole thing on systemd and start a riot to get it removed?

        1. ThePhaedrus

          Re: @Ken

          I think the Munich BOFH has been having a good few chuckles over the last 10 years :-)

          [Just spent the morning browsing http://bofharchive.com on this slow day in the new year].

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

        "they are claiming that they couldn't get email running on Linux"

        Getting "email to work" is somewhat different from getting an enterprise grade email and calendar solution working. And there really isn't a "free" enterprise email and calendar equivalent to Outlook + Exchange.

        1. oldcoder

          Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

          You mean Exchange actually works?

          Last time I had anything to do with it, it couldn't even send a reject message when it runs out of disk space...

          Instead, the system crashed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

            Last time I used exchange, it had a built in bug in the logging that meant when the log filled up, it crashed. That is after a fresh install. It was also limited to 300 users per server. That was quite a while ago though.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Outlook and Exchange

          That's two major products that Redmond never got working.

          Quite different from Sendmail and mutt which never stop working.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

          "Getting "email to work" is somewhat different from getting an enterprise grade email and calendar solution working. And there really isn't a "free" enterprise email and calendar equivalent to Outlook + Exchange."

          Getting so-called 'enterprise' email/groupware to work in a non-Windows environment isn't difficult at all - I've managed a few based on either Zarafa or Atmail. Neither is free, but both are substantially cheaper than Exchange, run on a wider variety of OSes and users like them.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

        "Did they even try?"

        I'm sure they did:

        % cp -R /some-windows-box/MS-Office .

        % ./Outlook

        % core dumped

        Hhhmmmm... It doesn't work.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

      German efficiency isn't looking good in this picture.

      I've worked for one of Germany's largest companies, and the English belief in German efficiency is a total myth. Some very capable engineers, but in all matters of business administration, they were utterly shocking. They have a profound belief in standardisation, as though that has some magical benefits, and when it comes to office politics, they are world leaders. Most German companies I've dealt with have had far too many senior managers, and they operate at a tribal level, with hierarchical loyalties, personal debts and near blood feuds, all over decisions they want to influence. And those politics always play out in significant choices like software used, IT architecture, business locations, etc, completely erasing any potential benefits of standardisation. IME, German senior managers are (in Wylde's words) the ultimate cynics: They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

      In the Munich case, I reckon it will be the same. Some pro-Linux big wig has retired (or been forced to resign with a big payout over some scandal), and the new wielder of IT power is a Microsoft man. Regardless of the cost, the efficiency implications, or the organisational upheaval, he's going to root out every byte of Linux, in favour of Microsoft proprietary solutions. And all the senior IT management will be purged and replaced by those loyal to the new king (purges: another thing Germans are good at).

      But the German public sector does have one thing in comm on with the British public sector: The costs don't matter, because the money comes for free. It's only taxpayers money, and they don't deserve to keep hold of it.

    4. JLV Silver badge

      Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

      +1, but for all their failures, and there seems to be many, Munich was also a trailblazer in getting Linux/FOSS on the government IT maps. I can't recall any really high profile government outfits before they got started.

      Yes, they seem to have massively effed up, for whatever reason. Having worked with public sector clients, the reasons a public sector IT project fails, even with well-intentioned vendors and consultants, are legion.

      But, when Munich started doing it, others started to think about doing Linux as well. And succeeding. And even for Windows diehards, savvy ones may very well have leveraged this to get cost concessions out of MS.

      So, a useful trailblazer, but lucky that people 10 years ago didn't see the future where they've ended up.

      As others have stated, many other organizations have succeeded with FOSS since. MS may be overjoyed to quote Munich as a cautionary tale, but the secret's is still out that MS is not the only alternative.

  8. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Brown envelops for city officials or free holidays in Seattle?"

    Hmmm ...

    Watch out, the MS crowd will come for you.

    ---

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2017/11/24/munich_will_spend_about_50_million_euros_on_windows_migration/

    Re: €49.3m for Windows 10

    Hello:

    Hmmm ...

    "Whether it's true or just political bollocks is another matter entirely, but since I dont know anyone ..."

    Do you really *have* to know anyone at the München council to at least have a very strong suspicion that this is just a lot of pork* and not Linux related?

    * Pork

    Cheers,

    19 thumbs up & 13 thumbs down

    ---

    Like I said: this is all about pork, a big barrel of it.

    And it will get even bigger as time goes by.

    The problem is that I see this infection spreading all over: there's far too much cash involved for it not to.

  9. jake Silver badge

    Tee Hee.

    And the soap opera continues.

    ::stocks up on popcorn & beer::

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Just remind the germans of...

    the Lockheed Starfighter and what a few [cough, cough] contributions did back in the 1960's.

    Even probably the most experienced test pilot (Eric Brown) in the world found the Starfighter (After the mods needed to make it suitable for the task in hand) a heavy workload plane to fly. Many Geman Pilots died trying to fly the thing.

    Then given the moves that Spain made (because they were broke) does make the Munich decision all the more sad. Perhaps there is indeed an Enemy Within?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Just remind the germans of...

      Microsoft and the US Opioid Crisis have much in common.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just remind the germans of...

        "Microsoft and the US Opioid Crisis have much in common."

        It's worth paying for the real thing?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        At Destroy All Monsters, Re: MS vs opioids.

        I object! As a complete & utter crack addict I'll have nothing to do with MS!

  11. casperghst42

    I read somewhere the migration to Windows is mainly driven by Office. If that has changed I do not know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm, I wonder if they've been sent a lot of really important documents over the last few years that couldn't be read correctly by Libreoffice. Not to say that would be organised and the documents specifically crafted to ensure they were incompatible at all.

      The day OOXML was allowed as a (double) standard rather than a single well documented open standard ensured that compatibilities would be difficult to eliminate.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Driven by something, read around the web various reports have a different angle on this from the reg.

      It is reported that over 4000 windows hosts of various kinds remained after 10 years because their role couldn't be properly replaced due to software not being available.

      The data centre downstairs from where I am sitting there is netware running still, because there is no economical replacement.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        It is reported that over 4000 windows hosts of various kinds remained after 10 years because their role couldn't be properly replaced due to software not being available.

        It does make you wonder, if having decided to spend €100M on IT, they didn't ask the question what if we spend this money on renewing our legacy software, by placing contracts with Munich based developers...

  12. BobChip
    Unhappy

    Brown envelopes?

    While I am sure there is (probably won't ever be) no incontrovertible evidence to support this claim, it is equally clear that software performance and systems compatibility are a smokescreen for something else. And Occams Razor suggests that brown paper probably comes into the picture somewhere.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    Makes one regret the roaring 30s when German Juche was the Leitwort

    Now Rest-Germans don't even have the courage to trust in their own skills.

    Yet another symptom of Late Merkel Age Collapse.

  14. Ben1892

    For local government it's the niche apps with very few ( and normally small) players in the market place that only will code for Windows, the office productivity tools and the OS is the easy bit. But, when you get to the software that manages street lights, trading standards, social care, schools, fire and rescue, road maintenance, planning, bin collection, taxation + business rates, etc. is where you fall over on the only supported OS being Windows ( making something like WINE not an option as it will not be supported by the provider)

    I've not read or heard about Valencia migrating 120,000 devices to Linux from Windows in a year, but if they did, then all they were being used for was to send email and create documents.

    /edit just read and it was migrating from Office to LibreOffice, this is not an apples and apples comparison with an OS change

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Isn't migrating the software to multi-platform then migrating the OS usually considered the best way to do it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but it looks like they'll spend a 100 million Euros, doubtlessly minimum. For that kind of money you higher local devs to write code for that. In fact, you develop a lot of your own tech and the code to go with it, maybe spinning off new businesses and create a real tech hub in Munich.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Update cycle...

    I think the key issue is the following, from the article:

    Munich officials in 2003 voted to migrate to an in-house custom version of Ubuntu Linux called LiMux

    How often does anyone think this "in-house custom version" has been updated?

    What version of Libre-Office can it support?

    What hardware can it support?

    Does it have good integration for phones / laptops / desktops etc?

    Is it, basically, 15 years old and stuck that way?

    Given this experience, what to do?

    i. Choose one of 100 flavours of Linux and hope that it works in 15 years, or

    ii. Choose Windows and go with the flow?

    You can see the thinking here.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Linux

      "in-house" "custom" of course it's difficult to support

      I have used Linux as my desktop when working for myself. I found LibreOffice and it's derivatives to be a pig and switched to WPS (Kingsoft) Suite which works close to seamlessly with MS docx's. That's just a by the way, not really relevant to this case.

      I can't understand why someone thought it a good idea to develop their own bespoke Linux build. Why not buy from someone who will support/update. In Germany, SUSE SLED would seem the natural choice. Similarly with the office suite, Softmaker maybe?

      They would have current supported versions, someone outside the Munich Council IT team to blame for issues (yes, I've worked in public sector) and some cost savings to show against MS licenses. That's not maybe the open software big win but it would work sooner and save money.

      1. fung0

        Re: "in-house" "custom" of course it's difficult to support

        I had not heard of WPS Office, but your mention motivated me to read all the reviews I could find (inevitably glowing but superficial), scan the WPS site, and browse the WPS PDF manuals and help site. WPS looks like a nice but rather lightweight alternative. I'd certainly stick with LibreOffice for heavy lifting... I've never found it to be "a pig" in any way, and never had any trouble reading Microsoft's idiotic 'x' formats. It's also free and open, and defaults to free and open file formats... features that should be mandatory for government use.

        As for the 'bespoke' Linux... we don't really have any details. It could be as trivial as having created a few GUI customizations, or a selection of default apps. Not necessarily something onerous to support, and possibly no different from what most companies might do to customize Windows.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: "in-house" "custom" of course it's difficult to support

        > Similarly with the office suite, Softmaker maybe?

        Neither WPS nor Softmaker were options at the time. Those two also _only_ work with Microsoft formats. The decision was made to use an open standard, and Microsoft was not, and still isn't.

    2. elgarak1

      Re: Update cycle...

      "Choose one of 100 flavours of Linux and hope that it works in 15 years"

      Given what happens with Windows 10 currently, the same problem exists on Windows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Update cycle...

        "Given what happens with Windows 10 currently, the same problem exists on Windows."

        No it doesn't. Windows 10 Enterprise is configurable to only four branches, Semi-Annual Channel, Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), Long Term Service Branch and Windows Insider.

      2. oldcoder

        Re: Update cycle...

        Except that with Windows it happens every other month.

    3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Update cycle...

      > How often does anyone think this "in-house custom version" has been updated?

      Limux is based on Ubuntu. It is relatively easy to make a custom version that continues to take updates from the base version. In fact _most_ distros do this. They choose a major distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu, .. and then add their own customisations. Custom software and configurations is held in the local repository while updates are taken from the upstream host.

  16. Velv Silver badge

    “the risk posed to digital independence by being locked into a single proprietary architecture”

    Er, HELLO!

    The point of the article is about how much it is going to cost to switch from one to another, they are already locked into LibreOffice, etc and are paying the price to switch to an alternative. You may think because it’s a free world, open source, and not Microsoft that LibreOffice is the perfect digital independence option, but it is just as constrained as every other offering.

    You back a horse. You might not have to pay to ride the horse, but you’re certainly going to have to pay to get off the horse.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Is it really LibreOffice's fault that MS Office costs money?

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Big Brother

        @Dan 55

        Is it really Microsoft's fault that Libre Office is at least as functional as MS office and Free?

        Well, actually, it is. It's Microsoft's fault that MS Office is no better than it is and is a major "cash cow". If they made all their software virus proof, genuinely open file format and reasonably priced, I suspect that their financial state would be less rosy!

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      "they are already locked into LibreOffice, etc and are paying the price to switch to an alternative."

      Don't be dense. The cost is for buying a new thing. Lock in generally refers to the difficulty in moving away from one to another, not the cost of that. For example, proprietary formats such as MS Office that you cannot read on other packages.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "For example, proprietary formats such as MS Office that you cannot read on other packages."

        Where, at least in the past*, that included older versions of the same MS Office application.

        *I wouldn't know if that still applies. I haven't needed to use it for years but still find the LibreOffice opens any MS documents I get.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @Vev

      "You may think because it’s a free world, open source, and not Microsoft that LibreOffice is the perfect digital independence option, but it is just as constrained as every other offering."

      Except of course that it's not.

      First off LibreOffice fully supports the MS Office file format thanks to the power of open standards (see this link. So there's no limitation there, you could even use both products side by side if you wanted to.

      Another issue is that you can continue to use a supported version of LibreOffice no matter what, no extra costs involved. With Microsoft this means that you'll have to pay a considerable amount of money on an annual basis. I say considerable because you're basically buying into the product over and over again where a lot of other software vendors opt into other methods... Either you buy the software and then get free updates until the next version, which you can buy at a discount. Or you buy the software and then are entitled to an x amount of support, and after that period you'll have to renew your support period. However, also at a fraction of the costs of the original product. It's Microsoft which wants to have it all.

      Also don't buy into the doctrine too much. They make it sound as if it would be an immense amount of work to convert the used templates but somehow I seriously doubt that. Although it's true that Microsoft has a bit of an advantage with VBA (in my opinion anyway) it's really not that difficult to port stuff to LibreOffice which supports not one but several coding standards: LibreOffice basic (somewhat comparable to VBA), Java (through BeanShell, I'm a huge fan of this one!), JavaScript and Python.

      It's not Libre but MS which is constraining here.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "they are already locked into LibreOffice"

      Not really. They always had to use MS Office via VDI When they needed a product that actually worked.

      1. oldcoder

        You mean "that actually works sometimes".

        The other times, Windows is just a brick.

    5. fung0

      Velv: "..., they are already locked into LibreOffice, etc and are paying the price to switch to an alternative... You may think because it’s a free world, open source, and not Microsoft that LibreOffice is the perfect digital independence option, but it is just as constrained as every other offering."

      LibreOffice is open source and defaults to open and profusely-documented file formats. That means that even if it ceases to exist as a software package, documents remain accessible. This is the opposite of 'lock-in,' and clearly makes LibreOffice far less constrained than any commercial offering. (Especially MS Office, which Microsoft regularly 'games' for no other reason than to increase lock-in... for instance, by the creation of the needless, non-standard and incredibly obscure 'x' file formats.)

    6. Velv Silver badge

      I suspect some of the commentards missed the point.

      Even if you were switching between two products that support an Open Document Format you incur costs to switch, it’s not free and open. You need to train users, you need to train support staff, and you need to deploy the software. Digital independence does not exist unless you tell staff they can choose their own software as long as it writes open document format, and they’re supporting themselves. And no enterprise, business or authority would consider that a viable option yet.

  17. Jove Bronze badge

    No doubt down to the usual causes of similar unreasonable decisions.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The city already paid to convert files from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice

    I guess for something like EUR 2 million. But hey, that included the .bat!

  19. Thoguht Silver badge

    Speaking as a LibreOffice user, I can confidently say that it's a pain. It's years behind MS Office in terms of functionality. Calc is particularly bad, because you're always having to write macros to make it do things that Excel can do out of the box, like auto-scaling charts or creating sparklines. And then every major Calc release changes the screen metrics in some subtle way that means you have to go around resizing columns and charts and repositioning form controls. Plus the horizontal scrolling was severely broken on some video cards for ages. And will someone please FIX THE GODDAMN KERNING?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      For $100M, I think those could be fixed. Or probably $100K.

    2. fung0

      Spreadsheets...

      This is a fair criticism. Spreadsheet power users still have good reason to stick with Excel... unfortunately. However, LibreOffice is probably well ahead of PowerPoint for presentations, and close to par for word processing (though it could be a bit snappier with very long documents). LibreOffice also gets the nod for flexibility (fully configurable toolbars, programmable in numerous scripting languages).

      Also, you have to weigh the drawbacks of LibreOffice against the very real and ever-mounting drawbacks of MS Office. Installation of Office is malware-like and impossible to troubleshoot, with hundreds of Registry keys and intentionally mysterious system ties, and increasingly intrusive activation technologies. The user interface has become a disaster, emphasizing white space, ugly fonts and non-configurable Ribbons.

      Finally, you have to weigh the importance of free and open source software. MS products contain an unknown but clearly non-zero amount of spyware and backdoors (if only for DRM purposes). They use proprietary formats, which Microsoft can and does alter on a whim. They're closed source, offering no opportunity for customization or vetting by the user base, making them less secure.

      If I were running a government department... I'd put 90% of users on Linux+LibreOffice, and 99% of those users would never know the difference. I'd maintain a few cubicles with MS Office, for advanced spreadsheets and such, just down the hall from the two or three Macs that die-hard desktop publishing or graphics wonks would insist upon. Aside from the immediate savings on MS licenses (which might, admittedly, be offset by purchase of a commercially-supported Linux distro), I'd have a far more manageable system, a far more future-proof system, and a far more secure system - at equivalent, or probably lower, cost.

    3. DoctorMO

      If you have Macro money, it might be time to get some C++ money and investing LibreOffice directly. (replace money with time if you're on your tod). They have a virtual machine brick you can download to get started with development which is quite handy.

      One of the things that Microsoft Office does well is split users who are programming solutions from other users who could make use of those solutions. Everyone gets a nice easy to use VBA ghetto and no one need worry about collaborating on fixing a problem forever for everyone.

  20. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The article mentions the cost of retraining the users, but if they stuck with Libreoffice on Windows there would be no requirement to retrain them and this could save a lot of money. Sure the OS is different but this isn't 2003 and people are used to using different operating systems on their devices now, they might have Windows 10 on their PC, iOS on their phone and Android on their tablet and they can manage to use them all without being retrained.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's obvious.

    None of the employees games would run on Linux :-)

    1. fung0

      Re: It's obvious.

      No longer true. I've played a number of my Steam games on Linux, very happily. The main games still missing on Linux are the dreary triple-A Electronic Arts/Ubisoft monstrosities, which I gave up on years ago.

  22. steelpillow Silver badge
    Devil

    How fake is your news?

    "Now the councillors have decided that Munich will switch some 29,000 PCs to Windows 10 and phase out Linux by early 2023."

    That may be the view of one Councillor, but another says that they voted for no such thing - see https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2423164/munich-officials-are-sick-of-linux-and-want-windows-back

    "it appears that the story has had a touch of the Chinese Whispers about it, coupled with some subjective translation from German to English."

    Given that Microsoft sales droids are desperately cosying right in there as fast as they can, who do you believe - them or the frighteningly unaffordable cost estimates?

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: How fake is your news?

      good enquirer article steelpillow . quite illuminating.

      also , if theyve had linux since around 2003 - surely it worked?

    2. Norman Nescio

      Re: How fake is your news?

      The article you link to "Munich Linux councillor: 'We didn't propose a switch back to Windows'" is dated 28 August 2015. Things have moved on a bit since then, as the Inquirer duly reports on 16 October 2017: "Munich takes further steps to ditch Linux and go back to Windows"

      There doesn't seem to have been any further reporting on that topic by The Inquirer since then, as this search shows.

      In contrast, El Reg reported on a subsequent Munich council vote:

      13 Nov 2017 - Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

      24 Nov 2017 - Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

      04 Jan 2017 - And we return to Munich's migration back to Windo- it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: How fake is your news?

        @Norman N.

        As much as 2017 has been an absolutely *fascinating* year I have *absolutely* no intentions of repeating it. I *really* hope that was just a typo.

        1. James O'Shea

          Re: How fake is your news?

          "As much as 2017 has been an absolutely *fascinating* year I have *absolutely* no intentions of repeating it."

          too late.

          http://www.gocomics.com/overthehedge/2018/01/03

          We're doomed. Doomed, i tell you.

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: How fake is your news?

        24 Nov 2017 - Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

        04 Jan 2017 - And we return to Munich's migration back to Windo- it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

        Holy cow! The estimate has doubled in only two months?

        At this rate, by the time they fully switch by 2023, Munich will be a wholly owned Microsoft subsidiary!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How fake is your news?

          that's the plan

  23. Gary Bickford

    Alternative: spend $10 million to PAY GERMAN SW ENGINEERS TO FIX ISSUES

    Imagine if the city fathers actually contributed money and/or software engineer hours to fixing every issue they have with the open source products they are using! That could make a huge difference n those projects, provide employment for local people instead of sending money to the US, and give them exactly the software they need, at 1/10 the cost!

  24. sisk Silver badge

    I got stuck on "maintaining a bank of Windows computers as a backup". If you started switching over to Linux and LibreOffice 15 years ago surely by now you would be well past the need to have Windows backups. Unless, of course, the entire process was handled very poorly indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " Unless, of course, the entire process was handled very poorly indeed."

      Or unless the Linux solution was incapable of meeting user and business needs and they had to run Windows when they needed something that actually worked...

      1. oldcoder

        That describes the Windows trap quite well.

        Proprietary solutions always seem to cost more than they are worth.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For €94m Munich can keep Linux and buy HMS Ocean and have some spare change.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ~"For €94m Munich can keep Linux and buy HMS Ocean and have some spare change."

      According to Munich Council IT dept. over 12 years the desktop migration alone cost €17 million and they have spent a further €82 million on trying get their stack to work with Linux. And that doesn't include the costs of running a zoo, lost productivity, etc. Moving back to Windows will cost less in the long term.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > And that doesn't include the costs ..

        Those figures also don't show the _savings_ that were made: the saving in licence costs and the saving in hardware costs.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just some facts about Linux adoption.....

    So these personal facts about Linux adoption may not scale to enterprise size....

    UPSIDE

    - User of RedHat v5.2 (1999) all the way to Fedora 26 (2018)

    - Used RH and Fedora for desktops, laptops and servers 1999-2018

    - Used StarOffice, OpenOffice and LibreOffice for RTF, DOC, PPT, XLS, DOCX, XLSX, ODT, ODS

    mostly for relatively simple instances -- with no problems at all

    - Used Netscape, Firefox and Chrome (currently) with very few problems

    - Never had any problems with printers or scanners (HP, currently Canon)

    - Developed windowed applications using Python/tkinter and applications using Python/Glade

    -- all with no problems at all (prefer Glade...simpler coding)

    - All of the above has been used on native machines and also via ssh/X remotely -- all with no

    problems at all

    DOWNSIDE

    - Testing. Not all Fedora releases have worked well on my multiple machines. Currently F26

    is solid on a variety of AMD and Intel machines. (But only with kernels 4.9, 4.10, 4.11)

    - Support. SInce Fedora is "free", I'm mostly on my own when it comes to debugging any

    problems which come up.

    - WiFi. Broadcom has been a problem. Qualcom and Intel have always been trouble-free.

    *

    I'm not a professional admin or a professional programmer. As you can see from the above, Linux has been a perfectly acceptable environment for the people who use the machines and the network....at very low acquisition cost (both for the OS and for the applications in use).

    *

    I simply don't believe that a professional, enterprise-sized organisation CAN'T adopt Linux successfully. Of course, such an organisation may not WANT TO adopt Linux....likely for reasons other than functionality.

    1. fnusnu

      Re: Just some facts about Linux adoption.....

      "I simply don't believe that a professional, enterprise-sized organisation CAN'T adopt Linux successfully. Of course, such an organisation may not WANT TO adopt Linux....likely for reasons other than functionality."

      When you have as many niche (Windows only) applications as a local council you really can't. As Munich found out...

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Just some facts about Linux adoption.....

        When you have as many niche (Windows only) applications as a local council

        You may have some niche, platform-specific, applications - and not just for Windows - but very few people will actually be using them as local users. There will be widely-used applications - fleet management, for example - but you would expect those to be running on servers, not on desktops, and you would be asking serious questions of their developers if the client interface was not a web browser by now.

        And councils already have a massive issue dealing with legacy document formats: they still have a mountain of stuff on paper. If they can integrate that into their workflow, the issues about electronic document incompatibilities are really just fluff.

  27. Alistair Silver badge

    Windows vs linux in munich

    I'll note that there is clearly at least one windows sales droid in the AC category on this thread. Nothing new on that front, but he *really really really* needs to find something other than "IT DOESNT WORK" to leverage as a rant.

    I'll add a mgration to linux:

    IBM: all GDF GSD and management moved to linux. Lotus notes sucks in both windows and linux, although I'll note that the memory constraints aren't as bad in the 64bit linux version. Most technical types got a minimal windows VM for things like ooooh..... Visio. And client windows tools that they had to use. (KVM based since IBM used RH linux, and quite effective too)

    I'll concede that there has been *ONE* point made that i can agree with - getting a mail client that integrates well with a *shared* calendaring system (.....no, more than one shared calendaring system, Evolution /Ical works well if you use google calendar) is rather a pain, and the single application that I cannot effectively replace is MS Visio - yes, I've tried just about all of the various linux based replacements, ***except*** for one that has an outright $$$ cost - and now that I'm considering going freelance I might actually cough out the $$$ for that.

    The back and forths in this thread alone are pretty clear - bias is a problem for a lot of folks. I'm *still* running fedora on my laptop -- after about 13 years of my 19 in place. I've a windows vm for outlook and visio, and have a common file system between host and guest so I can pop things back and forth between OS'es. Libre office opens 100% of the MS office docs I get (as of LO 4.4 something back on Fedora 17 or 18) -- yes there are excel docs where I have to tweak complex vlookup formula, but they work once you find the appropriate forum note on the Libre/Open office fora out there. I can save the stuff I produce in LO in MS doc formats when needed and the end users on MSO *do not* see any issues with the results -- again the exception is complex vlookups in excel/calc - and again there are workarounds to handle it. Major advantage on the linux LO side is that the PDF print option is free. Apparently my company has to *pay* for the print to PDF on MSO on windows. I don't know why....

    What we have in house on the systems side is that there has been a huge push over the last 11 years to move to linux. As such we've seen a reduction of about 35% of deployed "windows only" apps on the server side and a huge move to linux based java apps. DB's are *sigh* still almost all oracle - but we've now got *exa* all over the damn place.

    The perennial rant about TCO of linux *MUST BE HIGHER* than windows as applies to *servers* I can honestly, without reservation, and given time with documentary proof, say $$BULL$HIT$$. It is absolutely lower. The issue, where TCO can be argued, has more to do with the fact that you cannot have someone who grew up on MS windows, took MCSE's to get into the business, and has never spent time on linux or worked with it, running the setup of your migration to linux. ONLY if you add in the overall retraining of your MCSEs to RHCE for example do the costs start to level out.

    At the *desktop* end of things, outside of web browser, email client, office suite, one might start to find that your operating and licensing costs will take your TCO up. Mostly due to proprietary software licensing costs. The quick and dirty solution to windows only apps is citrix and vdi - admittedly there are proprietary windows desktop apps that don't support VDI *happily* but then I worked with a VDI team that both knew what they were doing and had the balls to tackle the problems. *WHY* an entity as large as the city of Munich does not have this in hand at this time I have no idea. The only sense that can be made of it is that there was leverage against the move at the *lowest* and the *highest* levels both refusal to modify behaviour at the lowest level and brown envelope lubrication at the highest level.

    Personally, I'm a "right tool for the job at hand" kinda person. I've yet to find a reason *NOT* to use linux on the desktop for work based applications. SWMBO plays EA things. As such, she gets Win7. Me? I fiddle with it and get things working in wine.

  28. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Look at it another way

    that's still less than 1 F-35B

  29. Speltier

    MS.. LibreOffice

    I run both. Office is substantially better. One issue I have is that converting LibreOffice docs to Word tries to send me off into a remote server for conversion, and I can't do that with a confidential document. Queue a flurry of cutting and pasting. (no, Office 360 is not on the table, that is a gaping security hole)

    So all new docs are Office, still have old stuff in LibreO from back in the day when corporate idiots thought they would save money by not renewing Office licenses, and a tiny number in (gasp) LaTex and (double gasp) LWP. Out of curiosity I keep a daily log though in a truly gigantic LibreO now massing several thousand headings and several hundred pages, it has only crashed a couple of times.

    Given my druthers, I'd use Dog's language: SGML. None of this new fangled WYSIWYG JIT like text baloney for the slack jawed drooling omega minus masses, give me the hard core hairy chested metal. But the powers that be won't pay the 4 or 5 digit license fee...

  30. Flatpackhamster

    I know why this has happened.

    A new person has just joined high up in the council. On day 1 they're sat in front of their machine and they say "Wo ist Word? Wo ist Outlook?" Then someone has tried to explain it to them and they haven't understood. Then the head of IT has been told to come and explain it and the new person STILL hasn't understood. And they hate the non Windows look, even if it works well and is cheaper, because it isn't exactly the same as they've always had.

    No amount of "But this program does exactly the same job" will work with people like that.

  31. Blotto Bronze badge

    Seduced by office 365

    It’s happening to public sector everywhere, they are hugely swayed by office 365, believing it’s the cure for all their IT woes.

    I don’t know how it’s being sold but public sector are throwing everything at it. Maybe it’s becsuse they think they can ditch their Data Centres and save a fortune but don’t realise there’s other stuff they still need their Data Centres for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seduced by office 365

      Hello:

      "It’s happening to public sector everywhere, they are hugely swayed by office 365, believing ... "

      Hmmm ...

      Believing?

      I work for the public sector in a country (will remain unnamed) which, in the last presidential election two years ago, experienced a drastic change towards *free market / business friendly* neocon oriented politics and economic policies.

      Not the USA but the amount of damage being done in on par of what is being done there.

      First thing they did was go from a quite reliable reliable fast and economic in-house developed email system used across a number of ministries to this office365 abomination managed by external contractors which is rumored to cost a fortune per seat.

      Believing?

      Sure ...

      In what?

      In the power of pork.

      That's is just what being *business friendly* is all about.

      Anon for obvious reasons.

  32. davcefai

    There is also a non-technical reason for this retrogressive step. One that I have experienced myself.

    Some people consider themselves too important to use "free" (=, in their minds, "cheap") software.

    Because of this what was going to be a well managed transition from MS Office to OpenOffice, with Sun's assistance, ended up in disaster. Incidentally, unless things have changed a lot since I retired, it is NOT feasible to run MS Office and Open or Libre Office together for any long time.

  33. codejunky Silver badge

    ha

    "Those supporting the anti-Linux cause claim Windows 10 will solve perceived compatibility issues with applications and hardware drivers."

    I am guessing by people who have never used it? I am specifically ragging on windows 10 here as its automatic updates have caused a number of concerning issues I have encountered (not my machine. I do have win7 for games) my favourites being-

    >Printer visible but not accessible. Resolved by reverting to pre-update, uninstall printer, update, reinstall printer.

    >Network inaccessible. For a week talking someone through resetting the network stack through command line.

    I am not particularly ragging on windows, just windows 10. I have upgraded a few people to linux mint since windows 8 but windows 10 seemed to be the last straw for some people.

  34. briesmith

    Acceptance is Hard

    It is clear from comments here and elsewhere that there is massive reluctance to ever admit the sheer quality of Microsoft office tools.

    They simply work very well, on their own and together. Windows is a much better, smoother experience than Android or any version of Linux and Office 365 is a much better, smoother experience than any of its competitors.

    Some of the other MS products - SharePoint for example - are very poor and sometimes MS gets Nokiad as with the current internal competition between OneDrive Enterprise (SharePoint) and OneDrive (Personal) teams. And leaving WORD, for what must be getting on for 20 years now, with no reliable document preview function is unforgivable. But, on the whole, their stuff works and works reliably with a consistency of look and feel that open source software ensembles can never match.

    That's why users like the Microsoft experience, an experience they continue to prefer even though it is further and further away from their smartphone experience. They seem very happy to work in two, distinct worlds. As long as none of them is Linux.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Political waste of tax payer money

    It's absurd and disgraceful for Munich to revert to such a defective O/S as Windoze in any iteration. They are fleecing the public IMNHO.

  36. Richard Altmann

    Coincidence?

    ... that in Oct. 2016 Microsoft opened their German Headquarters in Munich?

  37. NormVan

    Stupid or Corrupt

    I'm a full stack developer with 30 tears experience in both Windows and Linux. Linux is stable with an expanding app base. Win10 is a decent into chaos.

    LibreOffice started as the Sun office suite in the eighties. It's good production software.

    The people making this decision are either Corrupt or Stupid

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Stupid or Corrupt

      > LibreOffice started as the Sun office suite in the eighties

      And, before Sun bought it, it was StarOffice from Star Division. Star Division had developed a GUI framework called StarView, for MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, Mac and others, that it was trying to sell. StarView, and the demo version (which I had obtained), included example programs among which were a word processor and a spreadsheet. Star decided that it was going to make more money from selling software, such as StarOffice which had been developed from the examples, than it was from StarView.

      Sun bought Star Division because it was cheaper to buy this and distribute StarOffice to all its employees than it was to buy licences for MS Office.

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