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Munich's $40M Linux Migration Job To Be Opened Up For Bid

The city of Munich in Germany will officially kick off its much-publicized Linux migration project on July 1 but it remains unclear which vendors will nail the $40 million contract, a spokesman said.

Novell-owned and Nuremberg-based SUSE Linux and IBM completed the "conception" phase of the planned migration but the actual work " including the product selection and services contracts " will be officially opened up for bid, said Juergen Buehl, a spokesman for the city of Munich. The so-called LiMux project, worth about 34 million Euros, is being presented to the Munich City Council on Wednesday for approval. Work will commence on October 1 and is expected to be completed by December 2006, the spokesman said in an e-mail to CRN.

The project entails the migration of 14,000 desktop and notebook computers from Microsoft Windows and Office software to Linux and OpenOffice. The deal " announced last May -- was a big embarrassment for Microsoft, coming even after CEO Steve Ballmer flew to Germany in a last-ditch effort to rescue the account. While public sector contracts are required to be open for bid, Buehl would not comment on published reports that the city had run into significant technical troubles during the pilot phase.

The spokesman said vendor selection is still up in the air. "This has not been decided yet. So it is, project will be opened up for bid to all companies," Buehl said in his e-mail.

"Thereafter it will be decided in accordance with the general terms and conditions applicable to contracts."

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