French police bid adieu to Microsoft software

The Gendarmerie Nationale is dumping Microsoft in the move towards open source software which first began in 2005.

At that time, the only applications transferred to open source were word processing applications. This was followed by the move to open source Internet browsers the following year.

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With the transfer to Linux from Windows, the agency will become one of the largest administrators in the world to make the switch. It is no doubt a blow for Microsoft, who controls an overwhelming majority of the IT deployments worldwide.

Gendarmerie Nationale's computers currently run on the Windows XP operating system. They will gradually be transferred to Ubuntu Linux. This year, approximately 5,000-8,000 computers will be switched.

From then on, the agency expects to transition 12,000-15,000 systems per year to Linux so that all will be running on the OS by 2014, according to deputy director Colonel Nicolas Geraud.

He told Agence France Presse that the moved seemed logical considering its previous moves to open source applications. It expects to save about €7 million per year by making the switch.

Other French governmental bodies have already switched to Ubuntu: the National Assembly transitioned all 1,200 PCs to the OS last year.

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