Barcelona dumping Microsoft in favor of open source software

In a surprise move, authorities in Barcelona, Spain, have announced that they are dumping Microsoft in favor of open source alternatives. The city now plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget to the propagation of open source software in 2018, a move which is slated for completion by spring 2019.

Details of the procedure reveal that Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange Server, and Office will be ditched in favor of Open-Xchange and Libre Office. Similarly, Mozilla Firefox will be the default internet browser. While the default operating system has not been announced yet, it is likely to be Ubuntu as the city council has already been using it for quite some time.

The move appears to have stemmed from the Free Software Foundation Europe organization, which calls upon cities to spend tax money on free open source software accessible to local companies, rather than more expensive licensed proprietary software, such as that developed by Microsoft, among others.

While the transition will certainly cut spending on licensing proprietary software, it is important to note that money will still be exhausted on promulgating the new software city-wide, maintaining it, and training individuals regarding its use. The council has already hired 65 new developers.

Overall, Barcelona's initiative to dump Microsoft in favor of open source software is quite similar to the one made by Munich in 2003. Interestingly, the move was a disaster, and the city decided to officially revert to Microsoft's software early last year.

Source: The Inquirer

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