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The city of Vienna's move to open source is going well but will never embrace every desktop machine.

Vienna's IT director Erwin Gillich told the Reg: "It's all going well. We carried out a study two years ago looking at how many desktop machines we could move to Linux. The percentage is higher now but still not 100 per cent." Gillich said the council would ignore some desktop machines which would be too difficult to move to Linux. Gillich said some applications would not work properly on Linux.

Gillich told us: "SAP's Business Warehouse needs Microsoft Excel to work properly and our electronic filing system is not totally able to run on Linux."

Although the move to the Linux operating system is going slowly, interest in applications, specifically Open Office, is growing faster. Some 2,500 users are now running Open Office against 200 running the Linux operating system.

Vienna's IT department charges users a maintenance or service fee rather than a licence fee. Gillich said charges for Microsoft and Linux were the same because the amount of maintenance required was the same.

Charges vary according to type of machine and could be as high as €1,500 a year. Users moving to Open Office get a €62 discount, and those running it on Linux get an extra €31 discount.

Vienna is using its own version of the Debian distro for the project.

Some more on ZDnet here and lots more detail from Vienna's IT department here.®

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