The City of Munich, which was to be the first European city to adopt Linux in all its offices, switching from Microsoft Windows operating systems to open source software, might have to reconsider its plans.
Concerns are growing in Europe and the US that software patents could be used to disrupt open source projects.
A controversial new European Directive governs the patenting of computer implemented inventions. And earlier this week, the Open Source Risk Management group, which provides open source consulting and risk mitigation insurance, announced it found that 283 issued-but not yet court-validated software patents could be used in patent claims against Linux.
Munich’s moves are being closely watched elsewhere in Europe. After the city’s initial decision to adopt Linux last year, the city of Paris ordered its own investigation into a switch to open-source. The city of Bergen in Norway recently decided to consolidate older Windows and Unix servers on Novell Inc.’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8. Other recent wins for Linux include the French Ministry of Equipment and Allied Irish Banks.
But the City of Rome, which had announced a gradual swith to Linux in February, intends to go ahead.