What you need to know

  • CERN is switching away from Microsoft software.
  • The change is in response to CERN losing its status as an academic institution.
  • CERN has a Microsoft Alternative project which includes open software.

CERN, also known as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is switching away from Microsoft software in response to high licensing fees (via PCMag). CERN lost its status as an academic institution in the eyes of Microsoft and as a result would have to pay licensing fees that were 10 times higher than its previous contract with Microsoft.

In anticipation of the switch, CERN created the Microsoft Alternative (MALt) project. This project focuses on "delivering the same service to every category of CERN personnel" as outlined on CERN's website. The project relies on open software that allows CERN to continue their work without relying on Microsoft.

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CERN has been using Microsoft services for decades, so this shows a large shift in its workflow. The first services that MALt will pilot are an email service and an alternative solution to Skype. Comprehensive replacements like this will take years to thoroughly test and implement.

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