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French National Police Switch 37,000 Desktop PCs to Linux

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France’s National Gendarmerie — a national law enforcement agency — is now running 37,000 desktop PCs with a custom version of the Linux operating system, and by summer of next year, the agency plans to move all 72,000 of its desktop machines to the open source OS.

Linux is now the primary means of running computer servers inside the data centers that drive the web’s biggest services, from Google to Amazon to Facebook, but it has struggled to replace Microsoft Windows on the desktop. The news from the Gendarmerie could be a sign that this is changing.

The agency claims the total cost of ownership of Linux and open source applications is about 40 percent less than proprietary software from Microsoft, according to an article published on the European Union’s Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations website.

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