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Berlin opposes the use of open-source in the public sector

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

The municipality of Berlin rejected the proposal put forward by the Green Party that called for the migration of software used in public sector computers to open-source.

During the project presentation session the city authorities reiterated their preference for the shared use of open source and proprietary systems, for economic and performance reasons.

This decision is contrary to the will of the German government, which supports the adoption of open source systems for the entire public sector in the country as one of the fundamental measures to reduce costs.

Olaf Reimann, spokesman for the Green Party in the Berlin chamber, says city representatives «don’t understand» the benefits of migrating to open-source as a vehicle for «minimizing costs, dependence on Microsoft and as a way of creating new small and medium-sized IT companies in the region».

The same politician relied on data from a recent study to say that if Berlin adopted systems open-source, would cut information technology costs in half – which currently stand at 250 million euros a year.

The analysis mentioned by Olaf Reimann also shows the benefits that migration would bring to the local economy, let alone by reducing the current dependence on Microsoft licenses.

The same official substantiated this point by advancing the Munich example. Last year this city started to migrate from Windows and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. This change is being applied to a computer park of 14 thousand pieces of equipment under the LiMux project (see TeK interview).

In 2002, the German government and the IBM branch in the country signed an agreement that allowed the public sector to purchase computers with pre-installed Linux at lower prices.

Related News:

2004-11-02 – British Government approves use of open source in the public sector

2004-08-07 – City of Munich postpones migration to Linux