The poster child for the use of Linux by government authorities, the City of Munich, might stick to its commitment to the operating system after all.
There had been ructions in Munich over whether its move to Linux had been such a good idea and if it had saved as much as it thought it had.
Most media have reported that a final call was made to halt the LiMux and switch back to Microsoft software, but the Free Software Foundation Europe says this is fake news.
What happened was that the opposing parties were overruled, but the decision was amended such that a strategy document must specify which LiMux-applications will no longer be needed. This was not killing off the project but postponing it until more facts were known such as the extent in which prior investments must be written off, and a rough calculation of the overall costs of the desired unification.
The FSFE said that so far mayor Dieter Reiter was forced to postpone the final decision, and this was possible through the unwavering pressure created by joint efforts between The Document Foundation, KDE, OSBA, and the FSFE together with all the individuals who wrote to city council members and took the issue to the media.
Although the mandate hints that the existing vendor-neutral approach is to be replaced with a proprietary solution, it leaves the door open.
Some politicians said they’d never received this much input from the public before, and the Free Software Foundation Europe says the city’s issues were caused “from organisational problems, including lack of clear structures and responsibilities,” which should not be attributed to the Linux operating system.
“LiMux as such is still one of the best examples of how to create a vendor-neutral administration based on Free Software,” the FSFE said.
Big Blue said that it has established an internet of things (iOt) centre in Munich.
The centre will be the HQ for its Watson iOt unit and is intended to bring 1,000 IBM developers, consultants researchers and designers to work on cognitive computing and the internet of things.
IBM said it is its biggest investment in Europe for over 20 years.
The company said the centre will offer Watson APIs and services on its iOt Cloud Platform.
The idea is that academics, customers, startups and silicon and device vendors to direct access its cloud based services. It expects automotive, electronics, healthcare, insurance and industrial manufacturers to take advantage of the centre.
IBM believes that although the internet of things will become the biggest data mountain on the planet, 90 percent of that data just hangs around, unused.
Software giant Microsoft has gone to Munich with a piece of paper claiming that the city wasted a fortune dumping its software in favour of Linux. However, the company refused to tell the world what it has on its piece of paper so you will just have to take its word for it.
Microsoft and its chum HP insist that the German city of Munich had its numbers wrong when it calculated switching from Windows to Linux saved the city millions.
Munich apparently annoyed Microsoft by telling the world that it saved more than $14.3 million so far. Beancounters at Vole carried out one of its special Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) studies and it worked out that Munich would have saved $57.23 million if it had stuck with Microsoft.
According to the German weekly Focus, which got its paws on the figures, Microsoft claims that if Munich had stayed with Windows XP combined with Office 2003 instead of choosing Linux combined with OpenOffice.org, it would have saved money.
Microsoft claims that the city’s own calculations did not consider all migration costs and compared the migration to a 10-year-old Linux version with a migration to a newer version of Windows, probably Windows 7. But if the city had stuck with Windows, no new software would have been necessary.
The report pointed out that a quarter of the desktops are still running Windows because not all applications can be migrated to Linux.
The report was leaked to the press by an HP employee but HP and Microsoft are now unwilling to disseminate it more broadly.
Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum, told IT World that he could not understand Microsoft’s reasoning either. He said it would be tricky to see how a Windows deployment would be cheaper than a Linux alternative.
He suspects that the reason Microsoft is not releasing the report is because it suspected that there are some mistakes in it.
Of course, Microsoft could be going back to the good old days when it used to print bogus reports about the total cost of ownership of Linux with made up figures for marketing purposes.
The poster child for the government adoption of Linux, the City of Munich, is reporting that it has saved more than a third of its IT budget in making the move.
According to Golem magazine, which we get for the advanced pottery projects, the city experienced the minimum disruption in shifting to things more open saucy.
The city said that it saved 4 million euro in licensing costs.
In calculating the costs saved, Munich’s mayor Christian Ude took into account the fact he did not have to pay 15,000 Microsoft Office licences and 7,500 Microsoft Windows licences. He also factored in the fact that he did not need to buy 7,500 new computers to meet the system requirements of current versions of Windows. Linux runs happily on ancient machines.
Also in the bill were training costs and costs of migration. If he had approved an upgrade to Windows it would have cost €15.52 million and the renewal of licences every three to four years would again be more than €2.8 million euro.
He did not factor in a cunning plan to increase the budget to €2.08 million euro, which is intended to optimise the requirements and test management.