Bergen has become the latest city to rethink its plan to move to open source software.
Two years ago, Norway's second-largest city hit the headlines when it announced it would move all its 15,000 civil servants and 36,000 teachers and students to Linux, moving away from Microsoft's proprietary software.
But while the city currently runs Linux on its servers, the plan to migrate PCs to Linux has been put on hold. Director of Competition and development Lars Tveit said the city will only use Linux where it makes sense. "An exaggerated belief in Linux can make you lose your focus and might harm other important tasks," he said.
Instead, the city will stick with Microsoft. "We use Microsoft and we have no plans to throw it out. It will be too costly to train all our users in a new system," Tveit said.
Gartner analyst Peter Hidas was not surprised by the announcement. Gartner has always believed that Linux on the desktop still has far to go, and that it might never take off, he said. "Bergen’s decision comes as no surprise. Linux works best on infrastructure and on database servers where the system runs in the background," Hidas said.
Bergen joins other high-profile European city Munich in announcing its intention to move to Linux and later backing down. In August 2004, the City of Munich cancelled its bidding process for Linux, citing patent concerns.
Two years later, it claimed to be back on track, despite a senior official saying the project had ground to a halt.
Last month, US state Massachussetts backed away from plans to introduce open source software, citing problems with screen magnifiers for visually impaired users.
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