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French National Law Enforcement Switches to Linux

France’s National Law Enforcement is now running 37,000 desktops PC’s with a custom version of Linux. Plan to move all 72,000 PC to be completed by summer of next year.

The change was made gradual by moving first to open source applications such as Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird. This allowed employees to keep using Window while learning the new operating system.
The agency claims the use of Linux is 40% less than the Windows platform. This is one of the largest deployments of Linux to the desktop.

The migration started in 2004 when the agency provided all its users with internet access and in order to save money, switched from MSOffice to OpenOffice. It then rolled out Firefox and Thunderbird in 2006. Then in 2008, it switched the initial 5000 users to the Linux based operating system.