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Paris accelerates move to open source

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The city of Paris is accelerating its move to free and open-source software as part of a strategy to reduce its dependence on suppliers. It plans to replace more of its server software with free and open-source alternatives, and to install open-source applications on desktops, city officials said Thursday.

Earlier this year, volunteers among the city's 46,000 staff were invited to download and install open-source software to their desktops, including the Firefox browser and the Open Office.org productivity suite. Now, the city is planning to migrate all the users of one city department or all of those in one of the city's 20 districts, not just the volunteers, to test a larger migration. The city has 17,000 workstations, up from 12,000 in 2001.

The forced migration of such a large group of desktop users to open-source applications will allow the city authority to evaluate the real cost, in training and other expenses, of a large-scale switch, it said.

Paris is far more advanced in its plans to migrate servers to open-source alternatives. So far, 196 of its 395 servers are running Linux.

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