A French ministry decided to replace 1,500 Windows NT systems with systems running Mandrake Linux. Currently the French Ministry of Equipment and Transport has switched more than 100 computers to MandrakeLinux, and they plan to replace the rest on a monthly basis until the project is completed. Dell provides the necessary hardware for this migration.
This ministry maintains airports, roads, seaports and other infrastructure and they have about 100,000 agents throughout the country. Their IT infrastructure includes 60,000 workstations and 2,000 Windows NT servers.
According to Mandrake the project migrates 1,500 office and infrastructure servers. Mandrake also provides training and support for these systems.
Europe has become a battleground between Microsoft and Linux distributors, as several governments have opted to replace Microsoft products with open-source software to reduce licensing fees. The city of Munich, for example, has begun an open-source rollout, and governments in the United Kingdom and the city of Paris are considering Linux. Also, earlier this week, Dell unveiled its first line of desktops equipped with Linux for the European market.
The number of organizations replacing Windows NT servers is expected to increase significantly, since Microsoft is no longer committed to issuing critical security fixes for the aged operating system. The software maker isn't ending patch development, but is only providing it to corporate customers that sign a custom-support agreement.
In response to Microsoft's plans, high-tech researcher Gartner Inc. last week recommended that organizations migrate off of NT, with priority assigned to people whose jobs carry a higher risk of legal or financial losses.