With the official launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has made its biggest move yet to win over Linux users, and it’s paying off with the announcement that the city of Munich has been won over by its new flagship product. For over 20 years, the city government had run its own Linux operating system on all its computers, but now plans to switch to Windows 10 in order to make using them simpler for its employees and citizens alike. But some fear that this move could be the end of an open source era.
Why (And How) Did They Do It?
It’s the end of an era for Linux. The open source operating system that has been the pioneer for so many years is no longer the choice for one of the world’s most influential tech companies. Munich, home to some of the largest technology fairs in Europe, has decided to switch from Linux to Windows 10. This is a major blow to the open source community.
Linux was created by Linus Torvalds as a collaborative project and then released to developers. It was made available for free without any restrictions on use, distribution or modification and has always relied on a volunteer workforce of programmers.
This all changed when it came time to make the transition from kernel 2.6 to 3.0. It was at this point that Microsoft threatened the project with patent infringement lawsuits if they didn’t agree to distribute their products (Windows) with the Linux operating system.
Faced with these legal threats, Torvalds decided to terminate his involvement with Linux and stop using email. Meanwhile, Richard Stallman – founder of GNU which produces various programs like Emacs and GCC- had started developing his own free version of Unix called GNU/Linux; however, he refused to consider naming it anything but GNU because he felt Linux sounded too much like Linus. As such, GNU/Linux lost its association with Torvalds’ creation and gradually gained traction among other programmers who wanted nothing more than to do things their way.
Where Did It All Go Wrong?
It’s the end of an era. The city of Munich, one of the world’s leading advocates for open source software, has confirmed that it will be switching from Linux to Windows 10. This is a huge blow to the open source community, and it begs the question: where did it all go wrong? Is Microsoft getting better at winning over open source enthusiasts, or have they simply cornered the market on interoperability? Have they managed to convince governments like Munich that their proprietary software is better than anything else out there?
Or are we just seeing this happen because more people are moving over to Microsoft Office 365 than ever before? Whatever the reason may be, many members of the open source community are feeling as though their voices have been silenced by this latest development.
But maybe not all hope is lost. We’re still committed to running a secure and reliable system for our citizens, says Matthias Kirschner, president of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). No one could guarantee us with 100% certainty that our new IT infrastructure would be safe. Indeed, FSFE thinks that by 2020 Munich will return to using open source software – if not sooner.
What’s Happening Now?
It was recently announced that the city of Munich, a pioneer in the use of open source software, will be switching from Linux to Windows 10. This news comes as a shock to the open source community, as Munich has been a major advocate for open source software for many years. While the reasons for the switch have not been fully disclosed, it is believed that Microsoft’s recent investment in the city’s digital infrastructure may have played a role.
This news marks the end of an era for open source software, and it will be interesting to see how other cities respond in the wake of this decision. For example, Vancouver, Canada which also runs on Linux (and also received $2 million in funding from Microsoft) may soon make its own switch to Windows 10. The loss of one of the world’s leading advocates for open source software is certainly a significant event, but whether or not this signifies the death knell for open source software remains to be seen.
Munich’s move away from open source operating systems is a sign of the times. The city has been a pioneer in using Linux, but the rise of Windows 10 and other proprietary software has made it difficult to keep up. For many organizations, the cost and complexity of open source software has become too much to justify.
With Microsoft now offering a competitive alternative with Windows 10, it’s likely that we’ll see more cities and businesses making the switch in the years to come. But for those who have relied on free and open-source software for decades, this may be a step back into the 1990s.’
Some believe there are still benefits to sticking with these types of platforms, including lower costs and greater flexibility. Others argue that it’s time for the open-source community to get serious about being truly innovative, or risk getting left behind as others embrace change. What do you think? Is it time for the open-source community to get serious about innovation, or should they stick with what they know best? Share your thoughts below!