Feeds

German Foreign Office kills desktop Linux, hugs Windows XP

Cites 'efficiency gains' and 'interoperability problems'

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Openistas beware! Politicos at the German Foreign Office are reportedly ditching Linux in favour of returning their desktop PCs to Windows XP-based systems.

According to a report on netzpolitik.org, which was diligently spotted by The H, the German Foreign Office recently decided to dump their Linux-based machines.

That move came despite the office being reassured in two separate appraisals carried out by consulting outfit McKinsey that Linux and open source software formed a perfectly adequate part of the German Foreign Office's IT strategy.

McKinsey did highlight some areas of concern during its first study of the FOSS strategy in 2009, but concluded that it "could generally be considered sound".

Somewhat surprisingly, one problem highlighted by McKinsey was interoperability with some office documents. But it was clearly noted that a simple update on all Linux desktops to the latest versions of OpenOffice could fix that particular issue.

A second study last year by the consultancy group found that a shift to a pure Windows environment on the German Foreign Office's desktop computers would be costly and work-intensive.

But by the end of last year the FO's IT commissioner Dr Michael Groß told ministry staff that a decision had been reached in August 2010 to revert the entire desktop estate back to Windows XP due to "massive user criticism" about "unsolved interoperability problems".

And in case you're wondering why the migration didn't move directly to Microsoft's latest operating system, Groß said that Windows XP, which turns 10 later this year, was the "uniform basis for the actual step towards implementing a new system using Windows 7 and Office 2010".

Questions have been raised in Germany's Bundestag parliament about the sudden switch back to Windows XP.

The German government claimed the OS shake-up wouldn't lead to it having to foot the bill for "indirect costs", and retorted that the migration to "standardised software products" was likely to result in "efficiency gains".

All that despite McKinsey confirming in 2009 that the German Foreign Office had splurged less cash on its individual IT workspaces then any other federal authority in the country while running a Linux desktop shop. Shurely shome mishtake? ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.