Microsoft Loses Munich Deal to Linux

Microsoft to lose large Windows desktop contract it has with the city of Munich to Linux and open-source software.

Microsoft Corp. is set to lose a large Windows desktop contract it has with the German government to Linux and open-source software.

The city of Munich, the third largest in Germany, has chosen Linux and the free productivity suite for its more than 15,000 desktop systems, replacing Microsoft Windows NT, say sources close to the negotiations.

A spokesman for SuSE declined to comment, while a Microsoft spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

The deal—expected to be announced tomorrow by SuSE, the city of Munich and IBM—will be another big blow for Microsoft, which has actively been lobbying governments around the world not to embrace open source and Linux.

To that end, Microsoft in January announced a new global initiative to provide governments around the world with access to Windows source code under its Government Security Program, designed to "address the unique security requirements of governments and international organizations throughout the world.

"We view governments that utilize our software as trusted partners. The GSP will provide governments with the opportunity to assess the security and integrity of the Microsoft products they deploy…

"We are also providing technical documentation, methods for troubleshooting, access to cryptographic tools subject to export controls, and access to Microsoft expert support technicians who can collaborate with governments on how they use this source code access," Microsofts chief technology officer Craig Mundie said at that time.