Bonjour Open Source – Au revoir Microsoft

After this article I picked up on recently about the 30,000+ desktops having moved to Linux in India, we now have the news this morning that the French Paramilitary Police Force will be dumping ALL it’s Microshaft software in favour of Open Source Linux. And they are, somewhat surprisingly in my book, choosing Ubuntu rather than their own – home grown – Mandriva distribution.

Anyway, this is a pretty big story as the lead paragraph states:

PARIS (AFP) – The French paramilitary police force said Wednesday it is ditching Microsoft for the free Linux operating system, becoming one of the biggest administrations in the world to make the break.

See… I told you so 😉

The gendarmerie’s 70,000 desktops currently use Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system. But these will progressively change over to the Linux system distributed by Ubuntu, explained Colonel Nicolas Geraud, deputy director of the gendarmerie’s IT department.

“We will introduce Linux every time we have to replace a desktop computer,” he said, “so this year we expect to change 5,000-8,000 to Ubuntu and then 12,000-15,000 over the next four years so that every desktop uses the Linux operating system by 2013-2014.”

There are three reasons behind the move, Geraud said at the Solution Linux 2008 conference here. The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force’s reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost, he said.

He also added that “the Linux interface is ahead of other operating systems currently on the market for professional use.”

And even more impressively is this comment about the savings they make by using compared to buying MS Office.

The move away from licensed products is saving the gendarmerie about seven million euros (10.3 million dollars) a year for all its PCs.

“In 2004 we had to buy 13,000 licences for office suites for our PCs,” he said, “but in the three years since then we’ve only had to buy a total of 27 licences.”

I thought of making the title of this piece:

French Police Buy 27 MS Office Licenses!

But I wasn’t sure it was catchy enough. lol.

[Update: How about this then?

Hasta La Vista Bebé

Sorry. Couldn’t resist it…]

Vive la France!

(Until the Six Nations Rugby gets underway at least!)

Many thanks to Sophie on the Marketing Mailing List for pointing this out.