Reports about the city of Munich authorities that are considering the replacement of Linux with Microsoft products mostly comes from one man, the Deputy Mayor of Munich, who is also a long-term self-declared Windows fan.
Munich is the poster child for the adoption of a Linux distribution and the replacement of the old Windows OS. It provided a powerful incentive for other cities to do the same, and it's been a thorn in Microsoft's side for a very long time.
The adoption of open source software in Munich started back in 2004 and it took the local authorities over 10 years to finish the process. It's a big infrastructure, but in the end they managed to do it. As you can imagine, Microsoft was not happy about it. Even the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, tried to stop the switch to Linux, but he was too late to the party.
The more naive users might think that Microsoft stopped there, but it has been lobbying around the clock to counter this blow to their image, especially now that multiple cities are following Munich's example. The new voice of Microsoft might just be the Deputy Mayor of Munich, Josef Schmid, who said a while ago that he was a fan of Microsoft products, or at least this is what the German websites report.
The entire discussion about a return of Windows to Munich was started by the current Deputy Mayor, who is not a supporter of LiMux, the current Linux operating system used throughout the city. He had a number of reasons to exemplify why Linux was bad. He said that people were unhappy with Linux, but he didn't actually provide any kind of proof to this matter. He added that he had to wait for someone to set up an email server on his phone, and that he "thought" that Linux applications were lagging behind similar Microsoft products.
The City Council doesn't agree with what he's saying, and the former LiMux project manager, Peter Hofmann, said basically the same thing.
Now, getting Microsoft products to replace something like the LiMux infrastructure is a difficult thing to do, even if the Mayor had the support of the City Council, which he doesn't. The entire discussion seems to be just a political maneuver to help Microsoft save some face after all the battles that it lost so far.
Microsoft did manage to clean its image as a bully that was keeping everyone down for a profit, but you have to remember that it's still a huge company and that it will retaliate severely when it will feels threatened.
What is certain is the fact that LiMux is not going anywhere, at least not anytime soon. The problem is that this story is now in the open and that a part of the audience will only remember the fact that a city is facing some problems with Linux and that it might not be that great.
It's difficult to anticipate what will happen next, but I'm pretty sure that Microsoft's offensive is not stopping here. It's a company that can still show the world it's doing whatever it must to succeed, no matter the costs.