Former Microsoft bastion Hamburg’s decision is particularly telling, say observers.
By: Cathrin Schaer | ZDnet.
The trend towards open-source software on government computers is gathering pace in Germany.
In the latest development, during coalition negotiations in the city-state of Hamburg, politicians have declared they are ready to start moving its civil service software away from Microsoft and towards open-source alternatives.
The declaration comes as part of a 200-page coalition agreement between the Social Democratic and Green parties, which will define how Hamburg is run for the next five years.
It was presented on Tuesday but has yet to be signed off. The political parties in charge in Hamburg are the same as those in Munich, who recently agreed to revert back to that city’s own open-source software.
“With this decision, Hamburg joins a growing number of German states and municipalities that have already embarked on this path,” said Peter Ganten, chairman of the Open Source Business Alliance, or OSBA, based in Stuttgart.
He’s referring to similar decisions made in Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia, Bremen, Dortmund, and Munich. But, he adds: “The Hamburg decision is nevertheless remarkable because the city has always been more aggressively oriented towards Microsoft.
“In the future we will aim to have more open-source software in digital management [systems] and we also want to develop our own code, which will remain open,” the head of the local Hamburg-Mitte branch of the Greens, Farid Mueller, wrote on his website. Hamburg wants to be a leading example of digital independence, he stated.
City officials also want to try and gain more insight into proprietary software either through legal means or as part of city council tenders, Mueller added.