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According to a new report from the Spanish newspaper, El País, the City Council of Barcelona is replacing all the Microsoft products with Linux alternatives. They have already started the pilot test for Linux based operating system, Ubuntu replacing Microsoft’s Windows on over 1000 computers in Barcelona Consistory.

The users of the City of Barcelona will have to use alternatives to Microsoft products like Open-Xchange instead of Microsoft Exchange Server, LibreOffice or OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office, etc. which is a bummer. Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer would also be replaced by other alternative browsers like Mozilla Firefox, etc.

As reported by the newspaper, the City Council wants to avoid paying or spending money on services with licensing cost. That’s where open source software come where anyone can modify the source provided and there is no need to pay anything for the license. The City Council is also committed to investing 70% of the budget in software for open source software.

Open source software is not perfect and is far from being a mainstream OS like Windows. Mainly the users migrating from Windows would have trouble in finding their necessary programs and that can only be achieved with some complications like emulators, again the experience would be far from being perfect.

In comparison to Linux, Windows have a better hardware and software support from both manufacturers and Microsoft. Also, Linux operating system is not as user-friendly as Microsoft Windows, new users who are migrating to Linux would find it difficult to use. With Windows 10, Microsoft is constantly improving the security of the platform and Windows 10 is also the most secure version of Windows ever created by Microsoft.

Switching to an open source platform doesn’t seem like a good idea. What do you think about City Council of Barcelona decision? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Kevin Robinson

    Many have tried and switched back to Windows and Office – The lure it that Linux is cheaper but most have discovered that there is very little cost savings when you factor in support (which they will need) and there will have to be training because people will think it is like windows and it is not and then there is a application problems of #1 not having the applications you need or will not run well. The other factor is everyone used MS office which is the industry standard for business. Maybe in their case Linux makes sense it depends what they are using today for apps etc..

  • I think its the way forward. Most applications required are available on linux nowadays and they will find better stability and better security. Also you find that a lot of applications run cloud based and if not you can wine to run most windows applucations or a rdp server hosting the windows apps required. But i dont think this will be required. This is moving into the future and proving they are not sheep. Nice move.

    • Kevin Robinson

      Munich tried to run Linux and open source applications for 10 years and are switching back to windows, office365. Reason was poorly written applications, slow updates and compatability issues. Google Sheets for example is not Microsoft Excel there was also the support cost of Linux which are needed. Linux can work and so can open office but the industry standard is Microsoft office and as Munich found out trying to communicate with non standard applications has its drawbacks.

      • Rhonald Moses

        Munich is switching back because of MS lobbying and all non technical (lack of application, etc) reasons. Read before commenting.

        • Kevin Robinson

          I did read it there were tons of compatibility issues both with applications and issues and bugs which were not being fixed or had very slow response for requested changes. Yes of course Microsoft wants them to switch Balmer tried to get them to not switch years ago and they still did is anyway now they are switching back and Paying to do it.

        • Kevin Robinson

          By the way you do realize that everyone try to get companies and Governments to switch platforms it is common practice in the industry – There is much more to it then that – Companies switch because they think they will save money and want to be cheap – which on the outside looking in is true because they don’t want to pay the licensing cost of the software. That is a business decision and that is fine. The reality is companies who switch start realize that Linux is not windows – so users have issues trying to use Linux on the desktop because they think it will be like windows (people know windows) and it isn’t so there is training involved and support cost plus there is far less choices from a hardware perspective. Office365 offers a lot more mature services and more robust than Google Docs for example – Google did not even certify or support Google docs for Hipaa for a long time – Microsoft had that 5+ years before Google did. Linux and Google Docs are fine provided you can work with the limitations of what it can do and are willing to live with the compatibility issues and the problems you are going to have sending a Google sheet to an outside customer who then has issues with formatting or someone sends you an excel sheet that has complex formulas and power pivot’s.

        • Kevin Robinson

          ok – just saw an update to that story – there seems to be a lot of political issues and the IT managing the environment seems to less than desirable lets just put it that way.

          Feedback from individual departments was similarly mixed, with a handful of vocal critics of the use of open-source software, such as the city’s human resources department (POR), saying they had a particularly bad experience using LiMux. The department issued a statement saying that since 2006, when the POR started using LiMux and OpenOffice, later switching to LibreOffice, that “the efficiency and productivity of the POR-supported workplaces has decreased noticeably”—referencing crashes, display and printing errors.
          The department also reported difficulties in getting aspects of the proprietary systems still used by the council—the likes of Oracle and SAP—to work with LiMux, citing incompatibilities with the council’s SAP security system, and errors in how PDFs were displayed by the open-source viewing software.
          However, the council continued to work to resolve compatibility issues, and earlier this year the city’s IT chief said there was ‘no compelling technical reason to return to Windows’, pointing out the authority had “solved compatibility and interoperability problems” related to running software on LiMux.

          The departments that had to communicate with external parties a lot had access to a terminal server version of Microsoft Office, so those external documents could be edited in Microsoft Office.

          The second Munich source estimated no more than 60, of the thousands of computer users at the council, have problems exchanging documents with external organizations—with problems generally limited to those who exchange annotated documents with third parties.
          Still, the future use of LibreOffice remains uncertain, with the council voting to trial the use of Microsoft Office 2016 for 6,000 users, with a view to evaluating whether to roll out the Microsoft Office suite across the council—a move estimated to be hugely costly due to the need to convert more than 12,000 LibreOffice templates and macros.

        • none

          I read somewhere that staff was not happy because they could not play games on the work computers.

          • Kevin Robinson

            Hard to say what the real issue were but I have no doubt there were issues with Linux 10 years ago – I am sure there are still issues today – everything always comes down to money everything does

  • cmolinap

    I think that the City of Barcelona is running out of money…the independence has a cost folks!!!!

  • maktaba

    For sure they will regret this decision, and go back to Windows.

  • Zeeshan Hasan

    My company in Bangladesh replaced Windows/MS Office with Ubuntu Linux/LibreOffice in over 1000 desktops 8 years ago with no issues. Retraining time is only about 15-20 minutes for the average user who just needs to learn different menu/wizard for creating graphs/charts in LibreOffice. LibreOffice even imports most MS Office macros. In countries like Bangladesh, it makes sense to save expensive MS software license fees by using free/open-source software.