Amsterdam Mulls the Linux Desktop
Dutch city governments are investigating switching from Windows and Microsoft Office to Linux and OpenOffice.org. (DesktopLinux)Amsterdam has decided to give the Linux desktop and OpenOffice a try. In late December, the citypreviously a Microsoft-only operationannounced plans to spend 300,000 Euros (roughly $400,000) on testing Linux and other open-source software in its housing department and in the Zeeburg borough office in 2007. According to the Dutch newspaper Trouw, Amsterdam, along with nine other Dutch cities, including Haarlem, Groningen, Eindhoven and Nijmegen joined together to sign a "manifesto for open software in government." The cities had several reasons to make this move. These included the need to cut down on IT expenses, more independence from software vendors, and better data interoperability.
In a statement, Amsterdam spokesperson Marjolijn van Goethem said "Earlier this year, a study ordered by the [Amsterdam] City Council showed that an open software strategy leads to more independence from suppliers. In addition, the use of open software can lead to better exchange and storage of information, without unacceptable financial or logistical risks."