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Germany dumps Microsoft for pure Open-Source Software

Initially, the focus is on integrating LibreOffice into the workflow, with its use mandated for communication between ministries and authorities.

The global movement towards eliminating vendor lock-in and promoting open-source software is gaining momentum, with countries like India and Germany leading the charge. This dynamic switch will put India and Germany on the map of change, while other countries are likely to follow the same beginning with China, Russia, and perhaps the United States of America too.

Just months ago, the Indian defense services announced plans to replace Windows with a home-grown Ubuntu-based Linux distro named “Maya” to enhance security and protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

This trend is echoed in Europe, with Germany’s state of Schleswig-Holstein reaffirming its commitment to move away from Microsoft’s proprietary products towards open-source solutions.

The state’s cabinet has approved a plan to transition approximately 30,000 employee PCs to open-source software, aiming for “digitally sovereign IT workplaces.” The first step involves replacing Microsoft Office with LibreOffice, marking the beginning of a comprehensive shift.

While the next major step involves a complete switch from Microsoft Windows to Linux, the specific distribution has yet to be determined.

On the collaboration front, the state administration plans to adopt open-source services like Nextcloud, Open-Xchange, and Univention’s Active Directory Connector to replace Microsoft services such as Sharepoint, Exchange, and Outlook. They also aim to introduce an open-source directory service to replace Microsoft’s Active Directory and ensure compatibility with LibreOffice and Linux.

Initially, the focus is on integrating LibreOffice into the workflow, with its use mandated for communication between ministries and authorities. Exceptions may be granted for technical difficulties or professional circumstances.

To facilitate this transition, a training program has been launched for employees, designed to be user-friendly and regularly updated according to their needs.

The concept of digital sovereignty aims to reduce the influence of non-EU tech giants and empower users to reclaim control over their personal data. Germany’s initiative aligns with this goal, although past challenges, such as the Munich debacle, underscore the complexities involved.

Nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction. While the outcome remains uncertain, Germany’s efforts reflect a commitment to fostering a digital landscape that prioritizes independence and transparency over corporate interests.

Schleswig-Holstein (in German)

Nisha Mehta

Nisha Mehta is a talented Android app developer and an avid enthusiast of all things related to the Android platform. With her expertise in app development, Nisha creates innovative and user-friendly Android applications that cater to a wide range of user needs. She shares her valuable insights, tips, and tricks on Android development, empowering fellow developers and enthusiasts to excel in their craft.

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