When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

German state decides to move away from Microsoft to Linux and LibreOffice

The LibreOffice logo on a green background

In a significant shift towards open-source software, the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein has announced its decision to move 30,000 government computers away from Microsoft Windows and Office 365 to using Linux and LibreOffice (as well as other open-source software). This follows a successful pilot project in the region and follows the recent announcement that the European Commission's use of Microsoft 365 breaches data protection law.

We first heard about the state's plan to switch to Linux several years ago, it said at the time that it wanted to transition over by 2027 - a date we are quickly approaching.

The main benefits that the local government sees from making this change is to reduce the licensing costs associated with Microsoft's suite of products, committing to data sovereignty by not transferring personal data outside the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), and by supporting the Open Document Format (ODF), it will continue to maintain compatibility with other platforms and applications.

The region's homepage contains the full announcement (in German), however the Minister-President had the following to say:

Independent, sustainable, secure: Schleswig-Holstein will be a digital pioneer region and the first German state to introduce a digitally sovereign IT workplace in its state administration. With a cabinet decision to introduce the open-source software LibreOffice as the standard office solution across the board, the government has given the go-ahead for the first step towards complete digital sovereignty in the state, with further steps to follow.

This announcement has the potential to set a precedent for other governing bodies to switch away from Microsoft's suite, and it's likely that all eyes will be on the transition to see how smooth it is. While LibreOffice utilises a familiar design and interface to long-time users of Microsoft's products, there will still be some differences that will require training and education of users of these computers either within the administrative functions, or in public spaces such as libraries.

Currently, there are a few Microsoft products for which the local government cannot find an open-source alternative such as Microsoft Active Directory, as such it is looking to conceive and develop an open source based directory service which will replace this in the future.

Source: The Document Foundation

Report a problem with article
Alpha Skip-Ahead graphic
Next Article

New Xbox Alpha Skip-Ahead update brings more controller improvements

A late prototype of the Windows 10 stock wallpaper found in a leaked Windows 11 build
Previous Article

Windows 10 will have separate prices for extended security updates for regular users

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

19 Comments - Add comment