Norwegian city puts Linux plan on hold

Two years ago the City of Bergen in Norway caught the attention of the IT world when it decided to go for a fully-fledged Linux strategy, with plans to install Suse Linux on all of the client PCs the city provides for. Fifteen thousand civil servants and 36,000 teachers and students were to switch from Microsoft Windows to open-source software.

Although the city will continue to run Linux on its servers, the plan to migrate the clients has now been put on hold.

Director of Competition and development Lars Tveit said the City of Bergen will only use Linux where it makes sense.

"An exaggerated belief in Linux can make you lose your focus and might harm other important tasks," he said.

Microsoft Corp. products will continue to live a healthy life within the city boundaries.

"We use Microsoft and we have no plans to throw it out. It will be too costly to train all our users in a new system" Tveit said.

The thrust of one of the most prolific public Linux cases will now be lost, but Gartner analyst Peter Hidas is not surprised. Gartner has always believed that Linux on the desktop still has far to go, and that it might never take off, he said.

"Bergen's decision comes as no surprise. Linux works best on infrastructure and on database servers where the system runs in the background," Hidas said.

Translated by IDG Norway's Christer Aasen.

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