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THE SPANISH CITY OF BARCELONA plans to replace its Microsoft software with open source alternatives including Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange.
Barcelona plans to invest 70 per cent of its annual software budget in open source this year, according to El Pais, with the aim of completing the transformation by spring 2019.
Microsoft’s Outlook and Exchange Server email software is to be replaced by Open-Xchange, Microsoft Office will be ditched in favour of Libre Office, and Mozilla’s Firefox will be made the default browser across systems.
The city council has been piloting the use of Ubuntu Linux desktops for some time and it is likely that this distribution will be chosen as the operating system of choice.
With this move, Barcelona becomes the first city to join an initiative by Free Software Foundation Europe dubbed ‘Public code, public money‘ which calls on public bodies to invest tax revenues in free reusable systems that are open to local businesses rather than proprietary licensed software.
Through the initiative, Barcelona aims to reduce its spend on software licensing and its dependence on the proprietary suppliers that have held contracts with the city authorities for years or in some cases decades.