Munich and Hamburg resume the initiative to migrate to Linux

Several years ago in the city of Munich (around 2006 and 2013) raised a software replacement process, in which they planned to displace the use of proprietary software for free analogs.

This movement resulted in a switch to Linux of about 93% from all workstations (using the Ubuntu-based LiMux distribution). But this movement was frustrated to be completed in 2017, due to a change in the composition of the city council.

As the new mayor stopped the movement towards open source software together with the support of the main parties at the time and in parallel with Microsoft's decision to transfer its German headquarters to Munich.

The result was a declaration of a development plan by the end of 2020 in which the integration of a new client software for government agencies based on the Windows platform was proposed.

But this has also been frustrated as now Munich is reviving again a project to implement Linux and open source software.

The return of the King

And is that the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the European Green Party, which until the next elections in 2026, took leadership positions in the municipalities Munich and Hamburg, published a coalition agreement which determines the reduction of dependence on Microsoft products and the return of the initiative to transfer IT infrastructure from government institutions to Linux.

The parties prepared and agreed, but have not yet signed, a document 200 pages outlining the strategy for managing Hamburg in the next five years.

In the IT field, the document defines that to avoid dependence on individual providers, given technological and financial capabilities, emphasis will be placed on open standards and applications under open licenses.

Moreover, the document defines the principle of "public money, a public code", which implies that a code developed with taxpayers' money for software products must be open, with the exception of components that include confidential and personal data.

The agreement in Hamburg is remarkable because before the administration of this city always focused more aggressively on the use of Microsoft products.

According to the head of the Hamburg-Mitte branch of the Green Party, the city wants to become an example of digital independence and it will expand the use of open source software in digital control systems, and also intends to create its own code that remains open.

En particular, a project was launched to create a Phoenix open cloud office suite, which is planned to be used in the local parliament. The project was entrusted to the non-profit organization Dataport, which develops IT systems for government agencies.

Phoenix will evolve as a modular product that can be deployed in both leased cloud environments and on your computer. From the ready-to-use modules and since April used in pilot mode, tools for videoconferencing and messaging are mentioned.

The provision of modules with a word processor, an accounting system and a calendar planner is delayed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic.

General plans include collaboration modules, joint repository with version control and file sharing service, office suite, communication services, modules with applications.

The appearance of the interface of Phoenix, with the exception of the name change and a number of little things, It is identical to the interface of the Nextcloud platform with OnlyOffice integration.

Nextcloud developers reported last year on the implementation of this platform in government agencies in France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Notably, in an interview with the German edition of Heise Online, a Microsoft spokesperson said that the company sees nothing wrong with the desire to expand the use of open source software in government agencies and does not regard this step as a attack on himself.


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