Microsoft Suffers First Serious Loss to Linux

Microsoft Suffers First Serious Loss to Linux

Over Microsoft's protests and reported offers of deeper discounts and despite a pilgrimage Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made there to plead the company's case, Microsoft has lost the city of Munich to Linux.

The city fathers decided the other day to rip out their Microsoft infrastructure and replace it with Microsoft's loathed rival, Linux, a decision said to have been highly influenced by the combined forces of IBM Germany and SuSE.

Supposedly however the two are not shoe-ins to capture the bid, which apparently won't be awarded until at least next spring - as in 2004 - though they're certainly making a lot of hoopla about it now. Apparently they're all going to have to figure out how exactly to move 14,000 PCs and 16,000 users off of Windows to Linux and will be doing a migration and implementation analysis.

Despite a lot of talk about dumping Microsoft among political entities far and wide, Munich is the first serious loss Microsoft has sustained, and it's a desktop loss of all things too, presuming of course that the situation's irretrievable. A year's a long time. A lot of arms could be twisted in that amount of time. Administrations change. Munich currently uses a combination of NT and Office, and the alternative was evidently XP and Office or Linux and OpenOffice.

IBM dropped celebratory notes on the press reminding us that it already has Microsoft-replacing Linux contracts with the little town of Schwaebisch Hall and the city of Dortmund and that outside of Germany, which is probably the most Linux leaning of the countries in Europe, it's got 75 government customers, including agencies in France, Spain, the UK, Australia, Mexico, Japan, and the United States, embracing Linux.

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More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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GonziBaba 05/31/03 03:37:00 PM EDT