Civil service minister Renaud Dutreil announced in June that France wanted to increase competition and reduce spending on IT by inviting open source software suppliers to bid for government contracts.
It seems that was already happening however, as the Ministry of Equipment’s migration project began in November 2003. The project sees 1,500 office and infrastructure servers running Windows NT being replaced with MandrakeSoft SA’s Mandrakelinux Corporate Servers.
According to Paris, France-based Mandrake, two specific Linux distributions based on Mandrakelinux Corporate Server have been developed to meet the technological and organizational requirements of the Ministry of Equipment, while the Ministry has also joined Mandrake’s Corporate Club for access to technology monitoring, technical support and training services.
The migration is being managed by the Ministry of Equipment’s central administration for IT and is due to continue until the end of 2005. The Ministry has about 100,000 agents located at 160 locations across France responsible for central and local administration, technical services and navigation services. The Ministry is responsible for more than 60,000 workstations as well as 2,000 Windows NT servers, which are nearing end-of-life.