Munich Looks To Switch Back To Windows

The City of Munich, fresh from completing its widely publicised ten-year transition from Windows to Linux, is now to consider switching back again.

The government coalition that took power in Munich in May is now revisiting the so-called “LiMux” plan, which has seen about 80 percent of city workers shift to a custom version of Linux since 2003, Munich’s Second Mayor Josef Schmid told Munich’s largest newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, over the weekend.


He said the change of heart was due to complaints from employees across all government departments. The city is to turn to an independent review panel, Schmid said. “If the experts recommend a return to Microsoft, it cannot be ruled out,” he said.

The turnaround is a sharp change from the city government’s previously enthusiastic approach to LiMux, with Christine Strobl, formerly Munich’s Second Mayor and now Third Mayor, declaring the project’s successful completion only eight months ago, and describing Linux as having become integrated into the “daily routine” of the city’s staff.

The shift coincides with the departure of former mayor Christian Ude, who had been in office since 1993. Ude had originally pitched LiMux not so much as a way of cutting costs as an experiment to reduce the city’s dependence upon Microsoft.

Schmid said the cost issue is now being revisited. “We have the impression that Linux is very expensive,” he reportedly said, citing the custom programming it requires.

New mayor

Incoming mayor Reiter has also criticised LiMux, according to the report, saying the open-source software it uses sometimes lags behind what is available from Microsoft. The Green party’s Sabine Nallinger earlier this year said LiMux is poor at handling data exchange with Microsoft systems.

The new approach comes as Microsoft plans to shift its German headquarters to Munich in 2016. Microsoft told the paper that while it had “eventually accepted” the city’s shift to Linux, it was all the same ready to talk about a return to Windows.

In 2012 Munich said it had saved more than 4 million euros (£3.2m) through LiMux.

Do you know all about 4G and the mobile future? Take our quiz.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

View Comments

  • Munich understood wisely that the forced but volentary integration of the products of google, Apple, IBM, microsoft and more is restricted to the participating organisations. OPEN SOURCE is not participating.

Recent Posts

Microsoft Executive Indicates Departmental Hiring Slowdown

Amid concern at the state of the global economy, a senior Microsoft executive tells staff…

2 days ago

Shareholders Sue Twitter, Elon Musk For Stock ‘Manipulation’

Disgruntled shareholders are now suing both Twitter and Elon Musk, over volatile share price swings…

2 days ago

Google Faces Second UK Probe Over Ad Practices

UK's competition watchdog launches second investigation of Google's ad tech practices, and whether it may…

2 days ago

Elon Musk Raises His Contribution To Twitter Acquisition

But one of Elon Musk's biggest backers on the Twitter board has tendered his resignation…

3 days ago

Broadcom Confirms VMware Acquisition For $61 Billion

Entry into cloud infrastructure software for US chip firm Broadcom after it confirms reports it…

3 days ago