In Mannheim, a preference for “open” standards–not cost–is driving the German city’s shift to Linux.
The technology decision makers have already moved the majority of Mannheim’s 120 servers to the open-source operating system. Next, they plan to shift its 3,500 desktops to the open-source productivity application OpenOffice.org, running on Linux.
The migration should help the city with its aim of using programs that support open standards, which can be used by any software, whether closed source or open source. Some U.S. states–notably Massachusetts–and local and national governments have been embracing standard file formats such as the OpenDocument format used by OpenOffice, a move that ensures that public documents won’t be beholden to a particular proprietary program.
“We want to decide our IT strategy in Mannheim, and not have Microsoft make the decision for Mannheim,” said Gerd Armbruster, the IT infrastructure manager at the German city.