Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Debian is a noncommercial version of Linux, though some companies such as Canonical and Progeny have based products on it. Two regional companies, Gonicus and Softcon, will help Munich with the project, called LiMux.
Linux has been most popular on servers, powerful networked machines typically run by computer experts, but the open-source operating system is slowly catching on for desktop use in some areas. European governments are a particularly ripe market.
Munich's contract award is the latest step in its drawn-out migration of personal computers from Windows to Linux, a project whose profile was high enough to attract Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer's personal attention in 2003.
But there still is a way to go: The city said it won't be able to begin the actual transition until the end of the year. And the project had been delayed in 2004 by legal complications.