Home » German state ditches Microsoft for Linux and LibreOffice

German state ditches Microsoft for Linux and LibreOffice

by Anjali Anjali
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The Document Foundation

Thanks to {hardware} distributors working hand-in-glove with Microsoft, many individuals by no means notice there are options to Windows and Office. 

But that is not the case within the European Union (EU) and China, the place laptop customers know all about Microsoft’s dominance on the desktop — and many do not prefer it. So, when Dirk Schrödter, digitalization minister for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein,  introduced the state authorities would change from proprietary software program “in the direction of free, open-source programs and digitally sovereign IT workplaces for the state administration’s roughly 30,000 staff,” there was trigger for rejoicing amongst Linux desktop followers.

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Specifically, Schleswig-Holstein is dumping Windows and Office for Linux and the favored open-source workplace suite, LibreOffice. The Schleswig-Holstein cupboard made this choice not due to Linux and LibreOffice’s technical superiority, however as a result of it values “digital sovereignty.

In the EU, digital sovereignty means defending residents’ information from being vacuumed up by international firms and enabling European tech firms to compete with their American and Chinese rivals. 

As The Document Foundation, the group backing LibreOffice, put it, “The time period digital sovereignty is essential right here. If a public administration makes use of proprietary, closed software program that may’t be studied or modified, it is vitally troublesome to know what occurs to customers’ information.”


Although Microsoft is attempting to satisfy the EU’s digital sovereignty necessities, European governments aren’t — shall we embrace — all that trusting. Schrödter defined:

“We don’t have any affect on the working processes of such [proprietary] options and the dealing with of knowledge, together with a attainable outflow of knowledge to 3rd nations. As a state, we now have an awesome accountability in the direction of our residents and firms to make sure that their information is stored secure with us, and we should be certain that we’re all the time answerable for the IT options we use and that we will act independently as a state.”

Also: Thinking about switching to Linux? 10 issues you should know

There are different causes the state is parting methods with Office and Windows: To lower your expenses and enhance safety. “The use of open supply software program additionally advantages from improved IT safety, cost-effectiveness, information safety, and seamless collaboration between completely different programs,” Schrödter stated.”

Going ahead, the plan is to switch Microsoft Office with LibreOffice, Windows with a yet-to-be-determined Linux desktop distro, and different Microsoft-specific packages with open-source equivalents. For instance, the plan is to make use of Nextcloud, Open Xchange/Thunderbird, and the Univention Active Directory (AD) connector to switch Sharepoint and Exchange/Outlook.

If a few of this sounds acquainted, congratulations on having an awesome reminiscence. Munich, the capital of Bavaria, Germany, switched from Windows to Linux in 2004. That transfer lasted for a decade earlier than Munich returned to Windows — in no small half as a result of the mayor wished Microsoft to maneuver its headquarters to Munich

Also: 5 methods LibreOffice meets my writing wants higher than Google Docs can

Other nations, notably China, have proverbs that say they’re much extra cussed when shifting gears from Windows to Linux. The previous few Chinese authorities PCs working Windows have been changed by programs principally utilizing Kylin Linux. The newest model of Kylin Linux began life as an Ubuntu Linux clone optimized for the Chinese language. 

In China, as in Europe, a big a part of the motivation for the transfer was in order that the native governments and organizations, slightly than Microsoft, would management their desktop. This will not be why Linux followers wished to see customers abandon Windows, however it is going to do. 

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