Linux Up, Microsoft Down: A German State’s Move 

The German state of Schleswig-Holstein has made a bold move by ditching Windows and switching to Linux. Their choice is making waves in the tech world, making everyone rethink who’s in charge of our data and the tools we use. Get ready, because the battle for digital control is getting more intense!

Photo by Lukas on Unsplash

Schleswig-Holstein, with around 30,000 state employees, is breaking away from using proprietary software. The next significant move is a full transition from Windows to Linux. However, as of now, there is no clarity on which distribution will be chosen.

While collaborating with open-source platforms like Open-Xchange with Thunderbird, Nextcloud, and Univention’s Active Directory Connector, the state administration plans to replace Microsoft services such as Sharepoint, Exchange, and Outlook.

This shows their commitment to open-source solutions, like LibreOffice for office work and Nextcloud for collaboration.

LibreOffice’s tweet on Schleswig-Holstein’s decision prompts a crucial conversation about government spending and data security.

Question! Why should local governments use taxpayers’ money to buy proprietary software from a single vendor? And what happens to citizens’ data? A solution is to move to free software like Linux and LibreOffice – which is what Schleswig-Holstein is doing:

LibreOffice on X (Previously known as twitter)

At the heart of this transition lies the concept of digital sovereignty, a principle that prioritizes the ability of governments and organizations to retain control over their digital infrastructure and safeguard sensitive data from external interference.

Schleswig-Holstein aims to improve IT security, cut costs, and promote smooth collaboration across various systems by adopting open-source software.

One of the key advantages of open-source software lies in its transparent nature, which fosters greater trust and security. With access to the underlying source code, developers and users can scrutinize the software for vulnerabilities, ensuring a higher level of security compared to closed-source alternatives.

The choice to switch to Linux and LibreOffice isn’t just about technical factors; it’s about a bigger strategic vision focused on digital independence.

This transparency also encourages a community-driven approach to software development, where contributors from around the world collaborate to improve and refine the codebase.

“We must ensure that we are always in control of the IT solutions we use and that we can act independently as a state.”

Dirk Schrödter, the state’s digitalization minister

This sentiment encapsulates the essence of digital sovereignty and underscores the imperative for governments to assert their autonomy in the digital sphere.

Additionally, Schleswig-Holstein’s move sends a strong message to other government bodies and organizations facing similar issues. It demonstrates the potential and advantages of adopting open-source software to attain increased autonomy, security, and efficiency in today’s digital era.

From a financial perspective, open-source software offers significant cost-efficiency and accessibility. Since open-source licenses typically come with no upfront costs, users can deploy and scale software without the burden of licensing fees.

Additionally, the absence of vendor lock-in allows organizations to allocate resources more efficiently, promoting innovation and growth without being constrained by proprietary software costs.

The collaborative nature of open-source software fosters innovation and accelerates development cycles. By harnessing the collective expertise of a global community of developers, contributors, and users, open-source projects can evolve rapidly, introducing new features and improvements at a pace unmatched by proprietary software.

This collaborative ethos promotes knowledge sharing, best practices, and continuous innovation, driving the evolution of technology in diverse fields.

As the global landscape of technology continues to evolve, the pursuit of digital sovereignty remains an ongoing endeavor. By prioritizing open-source solutions and asserting control over their digital destinies, governments and organizations can chart a course towards greater autonomy, security, and resilience in an increasingly interconnected world.


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