German state of Schleswig-Holstein ditches Windows, Microsoft Office for Linux and LibreOffice

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s most northern state, is starting its switch from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice, and is planning to move from Windows to Linux on the 30,000 PCs it uses for local government functions.

The announcement (in German) was made yesterday by the state’s Minister-President Daniel Gunther, who has served in that position since 2017. According to a translated version of the announcement, independence was a key motivation for switching to open source software.

This is unlike the reasons that were given by Munich and Lower Saxony which were stayed to be cost savings, and then Microsoft discounted their services. Back when LiMux started, it was mostly seen as a way to save money. Now the focus is far more on data protection, privacy and security. Consider that the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) recently found that the European Commission’s use of Microsoft 365 breaches data protection law for EU institutions and bodies.”


China’s openKylin 1.0 arrives. Our verdict? Not a bad-looking, er, Ubuntu remix: It’s certainly not the country’s ‘first homegrown open source desktop operating system’

Version 1.0 of the openKylin Linux distro for the domestic Chinese market is here – and it works pretty well in English, too.

As The Reg reported last year, openKylin has been in development for some years. The FOSS desk took openKylin 0.7 for a spin soon afterwards. It reached version 0.9.5 at the start of 2023, and now the finished release 1.0 is available, codenamed “Yangtze” after the great river of China, the longest watercourse in Eurasia.

OpenKylin is an Ubuntu remix and it has the UKUI desktop. UKUI is one of the most polished Linux desktops around, and puts most of the more mainstream Western desktops to shame. The desktop looks very similar to the one in Ubuntu Kylin 22.04, but it had no problems with VirtualBox’s 3D acceleration and didn’t default to dark mode as that release did.

There was a decision made quite a few years ago at one of the BRICS summits in Brazil, that the BRICS nations would actually look at doing exactly this. In other words, they were going to each produce their own national operating system. All of those countries did in fact start such initiatives, but for some reason South Africa never did, and South Africa still sits in a very expense strangle-hold by Microsoft. Ironically enough, long before this in the mid-2000’s, South Africa did have it’s own government funded Linux distro that was called Impi Linux. Back then, South Africa had quite a big drive towards open source software, and for it to be a way of boosting local economic investment.


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