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Munich, Germany, once an open source champion, begins moving back to Microsoft

After promoting the use of free open source software in recent years, the German city of Munich is reportedly planning to move back to Microsoft solutions, starting with Exchange for email and calendars. According to a report from TechRepublic, the Munich City Council decided to switch from open-source groupware Kolab to Microsoft Exchange this Spring, just after the council also started reconsidering its use of Linux, a custom version of Ubuntu in favor of Windows 10.

While a spokesman for Munich city council didn’t comment on the matter, Günther Meyer, co-chairperson of the Pirate Party in Munich shared that “they have already been working on Exchange for some months. A migration to Outlook will start in the near future.” If this work is being done behind the scene, for now, Matthias Kirschner, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), explained that “it was agreed that the final decision will be made by the city council members after they receive a calculation of the costs.”

The city of Munich spent a lot of time and money to replace Microsoft’s solutions with open source software, favoring the latter wherever possible. It’s not clear why the council is now considering moving back to Microsoft, though a recent study from Accenture revealed various problems affecting employees and IT staff. “The LHM [city of Munich] works with obsolete, partially unsafe, usually extremely cumbersome IT, leading to lots of wasted time and productivity,” the report stated.

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