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20 September 2010, 10:47

Swiss Canton of Solothurn abandons Linux

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As reported in the printed edition of Solothurner Zeitung (German language link) next year the Swiss Canton of Solothurn will abort its Linux migration project and equip all its desktop computers with Windows 7. The Scalix web mail client will be replaced by Outlook. OpenOffice will remain in use on selected computers as a last open source enclave, but Microsoft Office will be reintroduced on the Swiss authority's computers.

The Linux project, which was agreed by Solothurn Cantonal Council in 2001, was criticised (German language link) from the very beginning, especially by the local press. The project suffered from delayed schedules, some users complained about problems with the free software, and the Linux alternative to the Windows-based central database for processing government council decisions, wasn't ready on time.

In summer 2010, Solothurn abandoned its full migration plans and adopted a dual strategy where Microsoft solutions would continue to be used in addition to open source products. This was announced by a Cantonal spokesperson a few days after Kurt Bader, previously the director of the Canton's office for IT and Organisation, had to step down from his post. Bader, who was Solothurn's IT director for eleven years, was one of the initiators of the Linux migration project and, in 2009, received the CH Open Source Awards' Pioneer Award(German language link) for his work.

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