Open Source Desktop Rollout in France

I like reading stories about successful open source desktop rollouts no matter where they are … but reading about the possibility of over 72,000 Ubuntu desktops being used in France is a thing to think about!

As I’ve gone further and further down the Linux rat hole (said lovingly of course), I’m coming around to the idea that large-scale Linux deployments are not just feasible, but in many cases desirable for a great many companies, institutions, and governmental bodies. The savings in licenses alone would be huge and the possibility to more easily move from version to version could be a huge win in IT staff productivity.

While many might balk at the idea of re-training an entire workforce to use an open source desktop, I have to think the training would be no more severe than what is coming down the pipe with Windows 8/8.1. Training is painful regardless of why or how you are going to do it.

If a movement gets going, it might even force the hand of governmental bodies to start thinking about interoperability instead of putting out an Excel spreadsheet so that we can finish off our manure management plan for another three years. Is there a good reason this is a spreadsheet instead of a web app? I don’t know, all I know is that Excel of Mac can’t work with it … so I see the only purpose of this spreadsheet as being a way to prop up Microsoft.

THAT is frustrating for me. I don’t have any thing against a specific computing platform and I want people to be able to choose whichever they like.

I DO have a problem with the government supplying needed materials in a format that will only work with a single computing platform. Even worse, another expensive software package on top of that computing platform. Why!?

I like this rollout in France and I hope we see more of it in the future. A lot of good could be done if we would divert resources from license management to actual development.