In November last year, the French parliament announced that starting with June 2007, they will use Linux desktops and servers.
Recently, they announced the name of the Linux distribution which will be used, and that is, ladies and gentlemen, Ubuntu Linux. This is a big step for everybody and the switch will provide substantial savings to the tax-payers.
Linagora and Unilog, two big French free software distribution companies, were chosen for this big switch. They will provide the members of the French parliament and their assistants 1.154 new computers running Ubuntu Linux, starting with June this year.
Currently, Linux is present on a number of French ministries and government bureaus, but only as servers. The French Senate and also the National Assembly will be the first to use Ubuntu based desktop PCs.
Among the free software which will be used, they announced that OpenOffice.org will be used for day-to-day documents and the popular Mozilla Firefox as web browser.
Some of you may ask: why the change? The answer is very simple: the French parliament, which is composed of an upper chamber (the Senate) and a lower chamber (National Assembly), believes it can save money if they will use open source software, despite the fact that this whole switch will require the retraining of all employees.
So, au revoir (goodbye in French) Microsoft!
For those of you that don't know yet, Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support.