Général Brachet, in charge of IT for Gendarmerie Nationale, said that the agency will deploy Firefox and Thunderbird to 70,000 and 45,000 seats respectively.
"The most important things about Firefox are its compliance with W3C standards and its availability on several platforms, i.e. Microsoft, Linux and Mac," he said.
"Every gendarme will have four tools at his disposal: an [office] suite for writing documents and doing procedural work, a browser to access the information systems, a mail client to communicate and an antivirus package.
"Our first goal is to migrate all the upper layers of the workstation to open source software to be independent of the operating system."
Brachet suggested that other large users should seize the initiative to move towards Linux.
"It is a great pleasure to see this important project being finally revealed to the general public, and to see Gendarmerie Nationale understand the importance of open source software and web standards," he said.
"If I had a wish for 2006, it would be to see large users do the same and tell publicly that they use open source projects. It would be a way to give back to these projects something they really need: visibility."
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