The computers, currently running Windows XP, will gradually be transformed into Ubuntu Linux machines. Around 5,000-8,000 computers are scheduled to make the switch this year, with 12,000-15,000 systems being set as the average transition rhythm for the following year.

According to the Gendarmerie Nationale, the transition should be completed in 2014.

The move towards open source software began three years ago. Back in 2005, Microsoft’s word processing application was dumped in favor of open source alternatives. One year later, the same fate occurred to the Internet Explorer browser, also defeated by the open source alternatives.

The announcement is undoubtedly bad news for Microsoft. First of all, the company loses a large source of income. Second, it’s all about the power of example and no doubt that other governments will at least think about adopting similar solution.

All in all, France is definitely marked as “not-friendly” on Microsoft’s world map.