[Discussioni] Fwd: [FSFE PR][EN] Munich sticks with Free Software

Francesco Potortý pot a potorti.it
Mer 22 Ott 2014 14:24:33 CEST

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Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:39:15 +0200
From: press a fsfeurope.org
Subject: [FSFE PR][EN] Munich sticks with Free Software
To: press-release a fsfeurope.org
Reply-to: press a fsfeurope.org, pr a fsfeurope.org
Organization: Free Software Foundation Europe

 = Munich sticks with Free Software =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2014/news-20141016-01.en.html ]

On Tuesday, Munich's first mayor finally reacted to an inquiry by the
Green Party (in German)[1] related to rumours regarding a possible
switch back to a Windows-based desktop environment. The answer to the
inquiry shows that there is no factual basis for the claims made by
first mayor and second mayor. An evaluation of the IT infrastructure and
- -processes is underway. FSFE calls on the city council to include vendor
independence as well as interoperability as factors in the
investigation, since they were central reasons for Munich to switch to
Free Software in the first place.

In recent months, statements by the new mayors Reiter and Schmid have
stirred up confusion regarding the future IT strategy of Munich.
Contrary to third mayor Christine Strobl, the first and second mayor
indicated a possible end of the exemplary usage of Free Software within
the city. Despite some effort on the side of the FSFE, facts were hard
to obtain. The answer to the inquiry now sheds some light on the issue.

 == No factual basis for criticism ==

In this manner, the employee-survey “Great Place to Work” from late
2013, used by Reiter and Schmid in their criticisms towards the Free
Software used in the city, included various facets of the IT structure
not related to software, ranging from hardware to support and
telecommuting. It does not, however, offer any information on a possible
relation of the employees' problems with Free Software. This information
is currently unavailable, as Reiter says within the answer.

The mayor furthermore admits that the often-cited waiting time needed to
obtain official work mobile phone has “no relation” to the “operating
system LiMux”, but was instead caused by the fact that he was the first
to demand the implementation of iOS in the city's IT infrastructure.

Regarding the missing unified mail and calendar application criticised
by Schmid, it became clear that the implementation of the corresponding
Free Software solution Kolab is currently in the works. It was only
initiated in early 2014 and is expected to be used starting in 2015.

 == Broad support for Free Software in Munich ==

The city's IT department, the city council[2], as well as third mayor
Christine Strobl, support the current IT strategy and thus distance
themselves from the criticisms of the first and second mayor. Strobl
emphasises that "upon careful checking" she still considers the switch
to Free Software as the right thing to do.

She has a sound economic basis for this view: Due to reduced licensing
expenditures alone, the city was able to save 11 million Euro. The
hardware cost alone of switching to Windows 7 would amount to 3,15
million Euro, with Windows 8 being even more expensive according to the
IT-administration. A switch would incur additional costs, and mean the
loss of the achievements in the support of open standards.

 == Include vendor independence and interoperability ==

The document states that a working group will evaluate the IT-structures
and -processes within the city and will give advice on their
improvement. The criteria for this evaluation are formulated in a very
broad way, which makes it difficult to comment on them at this point.
One thing is clear: the evaluation needs to take vendor independence and
interoperability into account instead of limiting its perspective on
cost and user satisfaction, since the former have been central arguments
for the switch in the first place. This enables that the city to control
their own data and ensures the non-discriminative access to the cities
IT services.

    “Other European Countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy, and
    Sweden have made Free Software and Open Standards a central part of
    their IT strategies for the public sector in the past years. In
    Germany, the public sector is lagging behind. Germany's federal and
    state governments finally need to take coherent action so that
    public institutions here, too, can enjoy the benefits of Free
    Software” says Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software
    Foundation Europe.

 1. http://www.ris-muenchen.de/RII2/RII/DOK/ANTRAG/3456728.pdf
 2. http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Linux-in-Muenchen-Stadtrat-verteidigt-LiMux-gegen-Buergermeister-2262506.html

  == About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
  of the FSFE.


  == Press contact ==

  Matthias Kirschner <press at fsfeurope.org>
  Free Software Foundation Europe
  Sch÷nhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin
  Phone: +49-30-275 95 290 
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