French Parliament switching to Linux

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The French parliament is now going to dump Windows in favour of open-source. More specifically, Linux. The planned switch date is June 2007, with over 1000 parliament workers switching.

No word yet on what Linux distribution they're going to use, or what email client -- one thing is for sure: they're going to use Firefox as their web browser. At the moment, a number of the computers run Linux, using Apache as their web server, and a content-management system being run with Mambo.

"The study showed that open-source software will from now on offer functionality adapted to the needs of MPs," the parliament said. They also went on to say, "[it] will allow us to make substantial savings despite the associated migration and training costs."

Switching to Linux is a first for the French public institution.

Previously, Munich started using Linux, which may have influenced the French parliament. And before that, Mannheim switched to Linux.

Perhaps these cities are being foolish. After all, the cost of the operating system is minimal, when you compare the costs of training the staff to work with a new operating system. Or maybe they have found something in Linux that Windows doesn't have to offer.

Only time will tell.