The French government is saying no to Microsoft (see “French parliament dumping Windows for Linux” By Christophe Guillemin, Special to CNET News.com). While institutions such as the Minstry of Agriculture have already adopted Linux servers and the gendarmerie uses OpenOffice and FireFox, the decision by the French National Assembly is the first case of a French public institution switching its PCs to Linux.
Munich, Germany, started saying no to Microsoft back in 2003 and has finally implemented this plan (see “Munich fires up Linux at last” by Richard Thurston, Special to CNET News.com). Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer interrupted his ski vacation to stop by the Mayor’s office in Munich and stop the migration, but the city is moving forward with Linux PCs (using Debian). Mannheim, Germany, is also saying no, migrating 3,500 desktops to OpenOffice running on Linux (see “One city’s move to open source” by Ingrid Marson,
Special to CNET News.com).
In Bergen, Norway, the planned desktop Linux migration will not happen for at least two years (see “Pioneering desktop Linux project put on ice” By Graeme Wearden, Special to CNET News.com). However, the city is jumping headlong into Web services with an e-government portal to give citizens better access to services — running, of course, on Linux servers.
In Kerala, India’s most literate state, children in 12,500 high schools will switch from Windows training to Linux training (see “Kerala logs Microsoft out” by M Sarita Varma, The Financial Express).
Venezuela has decided that there oughta be a law: starting in January (2006), their new free software law, directive 3.390, comes into effect, which mandates all government agencies to migrate to free software over a two year period (see “Free software liberates Venezuela” By David Sugar, Free Software Magazine).
In plenty of other countries and cities, mandated or not, Linux desktop PCs are decisively replacing PCs. Government contracts are typically profitable for companies like Microsoft — these moves may kick off a trend that will hurt the company.