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30,000 German Government PCs to Switch to LibreOffice

Schleswig-Holstein Government agencies to adopt Linux and LibreOffice to move away from vendor lock-in.

The government of Schleswig-Holstein, a region in northern Germany, has approved the migration from Windows to Linux and from MS Office to LibreOffice on 30,000 computers across various government agencies. This transition includes the use of Nextcloud, Open Xchange, and Thunderbird to replace Microsoft Sharepoint, Microsoft Exchange/Outlook, and Active Directory.

The primary reason for replacing Windows with Linux is to eliminate dependence on a single vendor, with the government citing the move towards digital sovereignty, increased security, privacy concerns, and the ability to control work processes as key factors. By utilizing open-source software, the government aims to avoid vendor lock-in, participate in development, and address emerging problems more effectively.

The transition to open-source software will also enable the investment of budget funds in open product development and job creation within the region, rather than spending on licence fees. The implementation team has considered the challenges faced by other government agencies during their transition to Linux, such as the city of Munich, and will work to avoid similar pitfalls.

The migration process will be carried out gradually, with the first stage focusing on replacing MS Office with LibreOffice. This approach allows for a smoother transition and helps address compatibility issues with previously used proprietary formats.

The official report does not mention which Linux Distribution is involved while migrating to LibreOffice. However, I assume it could be Debian Linux or something similar.

That said, there could be many challenges in terms of document management ahead, such as OCR, scanning, document format supports, PDF issues and so on. I hope, these will be resolved since The Document Foundation, the organization behind LibreOffice, is involved in this migration.

From the Open-source standpoint, this is bound to improve the quality of LibreOffice in the near future, and it would be a great case study if successful.

Via the TDF blog

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