Italian Communists choose Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

The Italian Parliament is swapping from Windows to Suse Linux, and expects to save a bundle in the process.

The headline is a bit of a joke, but the news is serious: Novell just announced Europe's largest rollout of Linux desktops with the Italian Parliament. Approximately 3,500 PCs will be migrated to Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop, including those belonging to the 630 members of parliament. Not too shabby.

This makes it the second and largest parliament in Europe to choose open source. The French Parliament, with 577 seats, voted last year to have open source installed on all of its 1145 PCs. France decided on Ubuntu this February, and the migration in the Parliament should be under way.

The size of the Italian migration to open source makes it an important case study, said Pietro Folena, member of the Italian Communist party, who earlier this year proposed the switch. "It will present all public offices with best practices."

See, I told you the Communists were behind the move. And why not? Italy expects to spend 10 percent of what it was spending on Windows. Even a Communist is entitled to save money.

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