German State Ditches Microsoft for Linux in Major IT Overhaul

Schleswig-Holstein, a German state, has announced a significant shift in its IT infrastructure, moving tens of thousands of systems from Microsoft Windows to Linux. This decision follows the state’s earlier move to replace Microsoft Office with the open-source LibreOffice, aiming for completion by 2026. The transition is part of Schleswig-Holstein’s broader strategy to embrace open-source software, including replacing Microsoft Sharepoint and Exchange/Outlook with Nextcloud, Open-Xchange, and Mozilla Thunderbird, alongside developing its own open-source directory service and telephony offering.

The state government cites enhanced IT security, cost efficiencies, and better collaboration between systems as key benefits of this switch. Furthermore, it emphasizes the goal of achieving digital sovereignty, reducing dependency on proprietary software, and keeping data flow under control. The move is also seen as a way to support the local digital economy by reallocating funds from licensing fees to domestic programming services, potentially creating local jobs.

This initiative reflects a growing trend among government entities worldwide to adopt open-source technologies, driven by the desire for more flexibility, cost savings, and independence from proprietary software constraints. However, past attempts by other governments have shown mixed results, highlighting the importance of involving employees in the transition process and ensuring adequate training and support.
Read more at Ars Technica…