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Hungarian city of Miskolc migrates to Ubuntu

Once again the UK’s public sector looks like being left behind as news arrives from OSOR that the administration of Miskolc, Hungary’s fourth largest city, is moving to Ubuntu to become less dependent on a single proprietary vendor and to reduce costs. Sixty per cent of the city’s staff already use the open source OpenOffice and LibreOffice productivity suites.

Over the next few years most departments and staff will be moved to LibreOffice running on Ubuntu Linux. After that, the city plans to migrate other public institutions to open source.

Ubuntu logo

Last year, the city decided to move all of its staff to LibreOffice. The administration in Miskolc is currently using both OpenOffice and a proprietary office suite, resulting in a confusing mix of documents created in open and proprietary formats. The council is set to convert about 600,000 electronic documents to the ODF open document standard. This way the city will avoid further compatibility problems and hopefully encourage other institutions to move to using open formats.

According to IT consultant Peter Szakal, users took two weeks to become familiar with the open source office applications. “Users hesitated at first, primarily because the programs look a little different. However, they soon got accustomed to the tools and with that their reservations vanished.”