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New round of criticism for HP's controversial open-source costs report

Jon Gold | Feb. 6, 2013
German city says it's saved plenty of euros by switching to Linux

A report compiled by Microsoft and HP purports to demonstrate that the Munich city government's well-publicized switch to Linux from Windows actually cost more money than it saved has come in for a fresh round of criticism, this time from the city itself. According to a report from The H Online, city officials in Munich have said that the study makes some false assumptions to arrive at the conclusion that the Linux transition cost nearly $82 million, while the equivalent OS and productivity upgrades in a purely Microsoft environment would have cost just under $23 million.

The city's own figures state that the shift -- which began in 2006 -- cost just over $31 million, and that sticking with Microsoft's products would have cost double the company's figure, for a total of $46 million. It estimates that it's saved about $13.5 million by making the switch.

Microsoft's German communications manager, Astrid Aupperle, said last month that the study -- first publicized by German magazine Focus -- was intended for internal use only, according to IDG News Service.

However, the company has since released partial details about the document, including methodology -- and it was this that drew the ire of Munich officials.

Press and Information Office head Stefan Hauf told The H Online that Microsoft's numbers dramatically exaggerate the costs of translating applications into a Linux environment, and ignore the disparate hardware costs between the two ecosystems.

Munich's move to open source saw it develop its own Linux distribution, dubbed LiMux, which is based on Ubuntu but uses KDE's desktop environment.


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