Microsoft equips 110,000 PCs in German state

DÃœSSELDORF, Germany -- Even though interest in open source software is high in Germany's public sector, Microsoft Corp. continues to grab contracts with local authorities.

This month the U.S. software giant began installing its new Office 2003 software in 110,000 PCs in North Rhine Westphalia (NRW), Germany's largest and most populated state, Microsoft said in a statement Wednesday.

The decision to install the new Office product makes NRW the only German state operating every computer with uniform software, said Fritz Behrens, state interior minister, in the statement.

Using Extensible Markup Language as Office 2003's document format helps NRW satisfy a requirement to establish a software platform, based on open standards, for seamless communications with all state employees, Wolfgang Branoner, director of public sector sales at Microsoft's German subsidiary, said in the statement.

The NRW contract comes as numerous state and local governments consider dumping Microsoft for open source software products, such as the Linux operating system and OpenOffice, in an effort to reduce their software costs.

News source: Infoworld.com

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