The city of Munich said Wednesday that it would switch 14,000 computers from the Windows operating system to rival Linux. The decision, which was made despite the personal efforts by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, means companies offering Linux have a chance at a deal worth tens of millions of euros.
Microsoft had fought hard to keep the business, but in the end Munich preferred vendor neutral software. Besides the open source operating system, Munich also plans to move from Microsoft's Office productivity software to open source OpenOffice.
"This strategic decision makes Munich less dependent on one IT supplier and sets a trend towards more competition," Munich mayor Christian Ude said in a statement.
Microsoft officials weren't immediately available for comment.
Munich chose Linux despite Microsoft offering discounts and the personal lobbying of Ballmer. The company has publicly identified Linux as one of its biggest competitive threats.
Linux is found on 15 percent of all computers sold in Western Europe. In Germany, the government is installing Linux throughout certain ministries and public institutions. Munich is one of the country's largest cities and the home of many of the nation's largest corporations.
This story courtesy of TechWeb.