Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost German state that has planned to switch to open-source solutions in its administration and schools.
And, it is not about a couple of systems; as per the report by The Document Foundation, all 25,000 PCs associated with administration and school will be moving from Windows to Linux.
Not just limited to that, the switch also involves replacing Microsoft Office with LibreOffice.
The digital minister, Jan Philipp Albrecht, shared more details in an interview with a local news outlet.
Focusing on LibreOffice Transition
The plan to rely more on an open-source solution is a massive step to promote FOSS.
And, considering the transition to LibreOffice by giving up Microsoft’s Office, the German state will end up integrating the use of FOSS for most of their work.
LibreOffice has been a great free and open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. Even though it is still a hit-and-miss for some scenarios, many users haven’t even given it a try, fearing it would break their workflow with documents/sheets.
But, now that it will be used in schools and government administration, more users will get to experience what it offers and how it can replace Microsoft Office.
Switching to Open Source Tools
They are ready to adopt open-source tools and solutions for everything viable. For instance, they have plans to power up their cloud infrastructure.
And, this is not an entirely new preference for them. The digital minister also shared details on how they scaled up their video-conferencing network using a Jitsi-based open-source system.
In case you did not know, Jitsi is one of the most popular open-source video conferencing tools.
Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye) Microsoft!
Microsoft is undoubtedly a dominant force globally for its software products, including the Office suite and Windows itself.
Privacy enthusiasts and FOSS appreciators have been using Linux and other products to fight back against a monopoly and make open-source solutions a viable alternative for a long time.
However, with an open-source model being chosen as a priority by governments, it should considerably influence the people in power to embrace open-source.
Many users get the freedom and do not have to depend on vendor specific products like Microsoft’s.
Some of the readers might remember the Munich debacle. German city Munich switched to their custom distribution LiMux from Windows for several years. It successfully saved them millions of Euro. However, they went back with Windows and their decision coincided with the opening of Microsoft’s regional headquarters in Munich. This gave a wave of allegations, despite the then Mayor Dieter Reiter denying any such coincident.
Only time will tell when the switch happens and if they stick with Linux. A successful transition may influence other government bodies to take a similar decision.