Freiburg drops Microsoft

Anne-Julie Maurer

The administration of the southern German town Freiburg (Black Forest) has to save costs. Not only sports clubs, festivities or the local cultural events suffer from financial cuts, but also one of the huge American Corporations: Microsoft. What the stories is all about:

The departments of the city council in Freiburg use some 2000 PCs. Most of them have installed MS office by Microsoft - Word, Excel and Powerpoint. In order to being allowed to use these programs, the city of Freiburg has to pay license fees. And Microsoft, the quasi-monopolist from Redmond, charges quite a lot of these fees. But here comes bad news for Bill Gates: In the near future, the "Microsofties" can count on less money from the beautiful German Town in the Black Forest. For what reason? The city of Freiburg is going to retool most of their PCs so they can use a rival product that is available on the internet on an open-source-basis free of charge: OpenOffice.