Windows Loses Another Customer to Suns JDS

The Allied Irish Bank is undertaking the latest migration, echoing earlier Windows farewells by governments and companies in Europe, Asia and even the United States.

Microsoft is losing another customer to an alternative desktop operating system, with Allied Irish Bank, one of Irelands largest banking and financial services groups, set to transition its branch-dependent applications and migrate about 7,500 desktop users off Windows and onto the Sun Java Desktop System over the next year or so.

Sun Microsystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., will announce the Allied Irish Banks Plc. win Tuesday at the second day of its annual JavaOne Conference in San Francisco.

This latest customer win, which was negotiated in partnership with Suns Irish partner Horizon Open Systems, represents "the largest financial services enterprise deal for the Java Desktop System" since it became available last December, said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of desktop solutions at Sun.

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AIB branch staff in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom will transition to the new desktop system during 2005 as part of the rollout of AIBs new branch banking platform .

"We are very pleased to have AIB as a client and see growing demand in the financial, education and government markets," Sasaki said. "This deal follows recent government agreements with China and the United Kingdom."

Microsoft Corp. has lost other business from European customer recently. Earlier this month, the Norwegian city of Bergen said it plans to move 100 schools and 32,000 users away from its proprietary Unix and Microsoft Windows applications platform to Linux by the end of this year.

The German city of Munich also this month voted resoundingly in favor of its plan to switch to Linux from Microsoft Windows following a closed-door City Council meeting.

The city, which last May decided to develop a detailed conceptual implementation and migration plan for the move, has now started the process of putting the matter out for bids and receiving tenders, a source close to the decision told eWEEK recently.

Next Page: Linux is gaining footholds in U.S. organizations.