Walter Raizner, the country general manager for IBM Germany, said that the German public sector is embracing open standards-based software such as Linux. "Worldwide, more than 75 IBM government customersincluding agencies in France, Spain, UK, Australia, Mexico, the United States and Japanhave now embraced open computing and Linux to save costs, consolidate workloads, increase efficiency and enact e-government transformation. "With Munichs decision, one thing is clearits open season for open computing. Linux represents freedom and flexibility. This is essential in e-governmentthey need more flexibility to serve their constituencies better and faster, and freedom of choice to do it at less cost to the public. Munich is leading the way," he said.Microsoft is always willing to discuss with governments or organizations how it can help bring the value of Microsoft products and services to the benefit of government agencies, consumers and businesses alike, he said. In a counter-move, Microsoft on Wednesday also announced that the town of Frankfurt am Main and Microsoft Deutschland GmbH have signed a basic agreement for long-term cooperation in the IT field. Under the agreement, Microsoft grants local municipalities inexpensive and flexible terms for purchasing and using Microsoft products. "The advantages for Frankfurt are, in particular, the reduction of expenditure and costs for software license management. "The agreement also secures guaranteed prices for the contract duration, fixed annual installments as well as a set price per PC for the town over several yearsa move which simplifies budget planning," the company said in a statement.
Hans-Juergen Croissant, a spokesman for Microsoft in Germany, said on Wednesday that "with respect to the Munich administration, we will continue to work closely with them to explore additional programs and offerings that best meet the needs of Munichs citizens and businesses."