Former Munich Mayor Warns Against Negative Effects Of City’s Re-Migration To Microsoft 12/06/2018 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The former mayor of Munich, Christian Ude (Social Democratic Party), clashed with the new head of IT of the Bavarian capital over the city’s re-migration from Linux to Microsoft at an event organised by the Green Party yesterday. Speaking (in white shirt) is Thomas Boenig, to his right (in jacket) is Christian Ude. During Ude’s term of office Munich’s city parliament in 2004 decided to migrate from Microsoft’s operating system and Office software to Linux, an open source software. Hailed by the free and open source community as a revolution, once Ude retired in 2014, his successor reverted the already completed migration, a decision which will cost the city’s taxpayers at least 89 million euros over 6 years. Ude, speaking at the Green Party event, acknowledged the decision in 2003 was triggered by the fact that Microsoft stopped support for software licensed before the end of existing licence contracts, had been a political one in some part. Today, Ude underlined, the need to migrate away from proprietary software of a big US company to open source software is only greater than before. “How can you get more dependent on a US company if you know its dependence to current US politics and how they are used by US politics,” Ude said. “I think these questions have never been as disquieting and gloomy in post-War history than it has in these recent weeks.” Munich’s new head of IT, Thomas Boenig, while acknowledging more software products from Germany or Europe would be highly welcome, argued that a change to an open source operating system alone was not making the administration more secure. Other parts of the infrastructure like browsers or email might as well offer points for attacks. He also said that the city needing a hybrid environment is prone to cause complexity and thereby insecurity, he said. Ude, for his part, said the migration to Linux had not been demanding for the public servants, and had been completed during his term. Boenig rejected concerns from the Federal Office of Information Security and tests by data protection authorities showing that Windows 10 even for systems disconnected from online services still leaks data to the US company. Boenig’s main argument against the Linux in the city administration was lack of support from other cities and federal states. “Munich cannot do this alone, it is not our job to develop software,” he said. The city had been “isolated,” Boenig added in defending the upcoming re-migration. But there are a number of cities and state administrations considering to switch to free and open source software. The city of Barcelona in January announced it is preparing for migration, joining the Free Software Foundation Europe’s initiative Public Money, Public Code. The German city of Dortmund in April decided to evaluate a migration to free and open source software. And the Green Party in Munich promised should they become part of a coalition government in the upcoming local elections, they would with regard to the re-migration to Microsoft try to “make the best of a bad job.” Image Credits: Monika Ermert Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Former Munich Mayor Warns Against Negative Effects Of City’s Re-Migration To Microsoft" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.