5 June 2002 The German ministry of the interior has signed a deal with IBM for the systems giant to provide it with Linux-based operating systems, support and applications software.
The deal initially covers the sale of IBM systems, including eServer hardware running SuSE Linux to federal, state and local government, but calls for IBM to create “innovative and reusable IT solutions for the federal administration”. IBM will also create an open-source portal for the German government.
Minister of the Interior Otto Schily says his goals include “raising the level of IT security by avoiding monocultures” – an indication that other Linux vendors may benefit from this and future deals. The agreement will help federal, state and local governments, he adds, by allowing them to acquire open source products “quickly, easily and without complication”.
The deal is bad news for Microsoft, which has seen several European governments including the UK’s and Sweden’s look at Linux as an alternative to Windows operating systems and software. The company claims that Germany has ignored studies that show Microsoft software is technically superior to and cheaper than Linux.