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The German city of Munich, which famously adopted Linux and open source across its operations, may be about to reverse that decision.

German newspaper Süddeutsche reports deputy mayor Josef Schmid as saying the city is considering the move because users often complain about the functionality available in open-source applications.

The lack of an integrated contact, calendar and email application is cited as staff's chief gripe. The Süddeutsche story also mentions a need to set up an external email server to allow the City's mobile devices to send and receive messages.

So vociferous are the complaints that the city council will create an expert panel to assess the performance of its chosen software. Schmid is quoted as saying that if the panel recommends a return to Microsoft, he won't oppose that change.

There are no German speakers in Vulture South or Vulture West, the Reg offices working on this story, so we're reliant on machine translation and its nuance-stripping machinations. But even after we stuffed the story through three – Bing, Google and Babel Fish – the meaning came across as reported above.

If Munich decides to revert to commercial software, the open-source movement will lose one of its most visible champions.

Of course, since Munich decided to go with Linux back in 2004 and spend about 10 years installing it, open-source software has had innumerable wins – not least its widespread use in mobile devices, web servers, cloud infrastructure and many other fields.

Losing Munich would therefore be a symbolic loss, but in many ways open-source code and Linux have long since won far more important battles. ®

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