While the UK government appears content to sign over the public sector infrastructure to Microsoft, Germany is taking a very different tack by committing to Linux and open source software.
Germany’s Ministry of the Interior confirmed that it has signed an agreement with IBM to switch public administration computers to Linux machines.The contract also means public institutions on a federal, state and local level can get big discounts when buying IBM hardware and software running Linux.
The German government said the deal was part of its plans to raise the level of IT infrastructure security in both the public and private sector, but there was clearly an element of wanting to break free from Windows.
"Linux offers the best potential as an alternative to Windows for server operating systems to reach more heterogeneity in the area of software,” said Otto Schily, German minister for the Interior, adding that the Linux move reduces dependency on any single software vendor.
He said: “The fact that we have an alternative to Windows with Linux gives us more independence as a large software customer and is a major contribution to the economic use of IT in the administration."