The Catalonian capital is aiming to supplant proprietary software including Outlook, Office and Internet Explorer by the spring of next year

The city of Barcelona has embarked on an ambitious open source effort aimed at reducing its dependence on large proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft, including the replacement of both applications and operating systems.

The city government is investing 70 percent of its software budget into open source this year, with the aim of swapping Microsoft email and productivity tools for open source equivalents by the spring of next year, the end of the current government’s mandate.

Longer-term goals include supplanting Windows with a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu, which is already being trialled on 1,000 desktops under a city government trial, according to Spanish daily El País.

The initial stage targets Microsoft’s Outlook email client and server software, as well as Internet Explorer and Office, which are to be replaced by OpenXchange, Mozilla Firefox and OpenOffice, according to Francesca Bria, Barcelona council’s commissioner for technology and digital innovation.

She said Barcelona is the first European city to join the Free Software Foundation’s Public Money, Public Code initiative, which encourages governments to use open source software.

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