16 September 2003 Widespread reports that Ford Motor Company plans to dump Microsoft and switch to Linux are untrue, the company has said today.
The company issued a statement following reports in several UK national newspapers and on some web sites earlier this week that a major migration is planned, including a shift at the desk-top level.
The Business (formerly Sunday Business) said that Ford was switching away from Microsoft software and would run its sales, human resources, customer relations and “the rest of its infrastructure operations” on Linux.
That news was also carried in a number of other newspapers, including Scotland on Sunday, owned by the same proprietor. In addition, the story was picked up on Monday by a number of popular web sites, including The Register and The Inquirer.
The Business added weight to its story by quoting Richard Seibt, the CEO of Linux distributor SuSE, as saying that the move was “highly significant”. When the City of Munich — tiny in comparison to Ford — announced plans to switch to Linux earlier this year, the story reverberated around the world.
In its statement, Ford said that, like many companies, it is reviewing the use of Linux for certain enterprise applications, but that it had no plans to review or end its use of Microsoft software on the desktop. “The story is not true,” said an official.
“Like many companies, Ford Motor Company is reviewing the use of Linux, primarily in the applications space. Ford presently has an enterprise agreement with Microsoft across a wide range of collaborative technologies. It is not contemplated that Linux will replace Microsoft Office in the foreseeable future,” he added.
Ford has a global licence for Microsoft Windows and Office on all its desktops, but uses a wide variety of server operating systems, including Red Hat and SuSE distributions of Linux.