February 27, 2004

Ballmer chuckles over Linux woes

Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft Corp., appears to take delight in the troubles that Munich is having as it switches 14,000 city computers
from Windows to a rival Linux operating system.

The German city, roughly comparable in size to Toronto and just as strapped for cash, decided nine months ago to embrace the open-source software as a
way to lower costs, improve competition in the marketplace and make the city less reliant on the world's largest software company.

It was a high-profile defection for Microsoft, one that prompted Ballmer to cut short a family vacation and pay a visit to the Munich mayor. Ballmer
offered a much better deal, but the municipality had already made up its mind.

Today, Munich's Linux switchover is proving more costly and complex than anticipated, according to news reports out of Germany. You can't blame
Ballmer for feeling a bit of schadenfreude, as the Germans would say.

Link: thestar.com


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