The German state of Schleswig-Holstein has decided that it’s done with closed, proprietary Windows and is moving to open-source Linux/GNU by the end of the year 2026.
The first step will be in the form of migrating around 25,000 computers to The Document Foundation’s LibreOffice from Microsoft’s Office suite of applications and then eventually moving all these devices over to Linux by dumping Windows entirely. These 25,000 computers are going to be “used by civil servants and employees (including teachers)” essentially implying that a large part of the state-run administration and the education sector will be embracing the open-source way.
In an interview with c’t magazine (Heise) last month, Jan Philipp Albrecht,who is the minister holding the post for digitization of Schleswig-Holstein, shared more details relating to this move. He stated (translation by Google Translate) that one of the main reasons for moving away from proprietary solutions was the cost of licensing itself. Additionally, a move to open-source can also bring in more flexibility.
Firstly, financially, because license fees have continued to rise over the past few years. Second, with regard to our goals for the digitization of administration. Open source simply offers us more flexibility. At the same time, all the advantages that open source always has apply: sovereignty, data security and data protection.
LibreOffice has also been integrating well with the current infrastructure, says Jan Philipp Albrecht. He also stated that the government has future plans to move most of this offline work to the web using software based on Dataport’s dPhoenixSuite.
For those that can remember, LiMux was also a similar thing that happened when Munich decided to embrace the open-source path of Linux by ditching Windows. However, that venture failed and the Munich government was back to using Windows once again around 2015.