French national police announced that they have moved 43,000 desktops to linux (customised Ubuntu called GentBuntu).
In 2014, they plan run all of their 72,000 desktops on Linux operating system.
French national police is an example that migrations of such scale are possible and can be a success if they are planned properly.
They prepared and properly started migration. First they replaced propriety software on windows with Mozilla Firefox browser , OpenOffice and Mozilla Thunderbird. When staff got used to new software they deployed Linux desktops to 5000 computers. Then they deployed on a massive scale – 35,000 computers.
What is interesting about this migration is that it started in 2004 and it will be completed in 2014 – 10 years for 72,000 computers. French Police claim 40% lower TCO between 2008 and 2014, but they didn’t mention any savings for the long run.
You can read French Gendarmerie nationale presentation here
Linux is becoming more and more poplar among government across the world. They all see benefit in lower TCO, Open standards and access to open source.
If French national police switch to linux is a success you can expect more news like this real soon. Example of government using linux on desktop is French national police, City of Munich, The regional government of Extremadura – Spain, Government in Brazil and more, while Linux on the servers is present in almost every government.