Earlier today at the Solutions Linux trade show in Paris, France, the French Gendarmerie has announced that they will gradually switch to Ubuntu Linux over the next 4 years on their 70'000 seats.

The reasons are many:

  • Need for trust of the technology, and Open-Source provides it, thanks to its transparency
  • Adherence to Open Standards
  • Significant savings (license costs and administration)
  • low cost of exit (in case they want to switch to something else in the future)

The OS must be just a commodity. It has to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the desktop and should open the door to new technologies such as Web 2.0 and Software as a Service

Gendarmerie Nationale already has deployed OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Thunderbird on all 70'000 desktop machines. All recent applications must be compatible with Windows and Linux, and Web apps must be tested on IE6 and Firefox 2. Furthermore, "for security reasons, Firefox is the only browser allowed to surf on external sites", said Colonel Nicolas Géraud, vice-Director of IT at Gendarmerie Nationale.