Tech

Microsoft: Federal government wants more open source instead of Windows

The federal government sees the dependency on large international corporations in the IT landscape as a risk and therefore wants to focus more on open source alternatives. The business magazine reports Handelsblatt, When the Greens asked, the government replied that "that dependencies on technology providers that lead to critical pain points should be reduced", These include the US company Microsoft, which can use Windows, Office 365 and Azure to provide a large proportion of government IT infrastructure. According to an investigation by Pricewaterhousecoopers Pwc, 96 percent of all authorities are (PDF) dependent on Microsoft products. This investigation has probably made the government think.

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Once again, the majority of the criticisms that still arise due to the use of extended support for the old Windows 7 are criticized. German authorities pay 800,000 euros for 33,000 jobs. Authorities must therefore work on switching to Windows 10 or another operating system. The green politician Konstantin von Notz would seem to prefer the second, because the IT landscape should "finally more diverse" become. For the most part, this means services that are based on the open source approach. In addition to the switch to Linux as the operating system, other services would then have to be converted – for example with an alternative to Exchange as a mail server, to Office 365 as an office application and to Active Directory as rights management.

Switching over could be difficult, but worthwhile

Both administrators for authorities and users have to be trained and familiarized with the changeover. Although many open source alternatives to Windows, Office and other Microsoft products are functionally very similar, they sometimes require rethinking and are not necessarily so extensive in their functions, which in turn would require additional services.

On the other hand, free open source products could save a lot of money in some places. The obvious advantage: saving license costs for proprietary Microsoft services. The Azure cloud solution is also scalable and agile, but a lot of money must also be budgeted for the resources used. Concerns about the location of personal data are also often raised.

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