The French paramilitary police force said Wednesday it is ditching Microsoft for the free Linux operating system, becoming one of the biggest administrations in the world to make the break.
The move completes the gendarmerie’s severance from Microsoft which began in 2005 when it moved to open sourcing for office applications such as word processing. It switched to open source Internet browsers in 2006.
Linux is an open-source operating system, which used to be the reserve of computer geeks but is now an easy-to-use system aimed at average users.
The gendarmerie’s 70,000 desktops currently use Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system. But these will progressively change over to the Linux system distributed by Ubuntu, explained Colonel Nicolas Geraud, deputy director of the gendarmerie’s IT department.
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