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It's cloudy, rainy, sunny, hummid, dry, cold and hot. Next we will talk possibility that sun might raise from east and go down on west. Shocking isn't it.
Windows XP is a 9 year old OS, and compared to todays latest OS's even with the security mechanisms added into SP2 or SP3, it isn't nearly as secure as Windows 7.
At this point of time, businesses which require good security should probably upgrade their systems anyway.
Easier said than done, especially if they rely on older proprietary software that is no longer being maintained at all and don't have the hardware to run a virtualized XP instance very well. Compatibility mode doesn't always work either. I agree that upgrading would be best, however company managers have this problematic tendency to wait on upgrades until they absolutely need to. Of course, this usually results in higher costs for the upgrade in the end, but most of them don't seemed to have learned this. Add an ever tightening budget into the mix and... well, you get the idea.
I don't really think the real risk, when it comes to XP security, has ever come from the corporate world though. The good majority (though not all) of businesses have staff that properly lock their computers down. The real security risk when it comes to XP has, and will continue to be, the pirated copies of XP that cannot receive security updates (idiotic decision from Microsoft on that one). It is those copies of XP, often run by home users and installed for them by wannabe geeks who think they're awesome because they can use p2p, that have caused the real malware problem for XP. They run the malware, it spreads to those non-pirated home users that don't know how or are afraid of updating, and it spirals out of control from there. This situation could result in any proprietary os if the vendor withholds security updates from pirated copies. Fortunately, Microsoft seems to have learned their lesson, as they've stated that they won't withhold essential security updates from any copies of Windows be they genuine or not. That, plus most home users buying a new PC every few years and thus upgrading to a new version of Windows, should at least lessen the security risk for those running a properly maintained XP system.
Not an argument / False argument.
Either you pay for training on how to use the ever changing appearances of microsoft products. Or you pay for training on how to use a certain linux flavour. So what?
Next: You can get commercial grade linuxes at no monetary cost. What you save there you can invest at another point, e.g. commercial linux support (just look at some computer magazines, where a lot of consulting and support is offered), or training. Or some pinches of beer the day after upgrade.
"Linux is not a magic elixir that magically saves money, it has costs associated with it, it just moves them from the OS and hardware(somewhat) side of the equation and moves them to the support and staff side."
It is indeed new to me that windows servers run out of the box, without the need for maintaining and support, and staff and upgrades. Edited 2010-06-24 08:36 UTC
Of course the whole linux thing is not applicable to every established company structure.
First off, I did talk about users, when I said "What about the massive costs of retraining your entire staff on how to use their computers"
Is your staff not your users? They are the ones who have to use the computers to do their work. Sorry if that was not clear, but it seems clear to me.
One thing that struggles me is that archivists over the world who used to use MS Office or other closed products (or still do) have severe problems conserving data over the longer term, for several reasons, including licensing issues, software no longer being available, data not importable into current versions, etc.
And when I think about how many companies archive their business data and fall into the trap of using proprietary formats, ...
And OOXML won't come to the rescue here, as it is impossible to implement for most software vendors, proprietary or not.
Ubuntu is only the tip of the iceberg (as seen by windows usrs) of available commercial distros.
A tabular overview for SUSE: http://support.novell.com/lifecycle/lcSearchResults.jsp?sl=suse
They offer 10 years of so called self-support as of product release. And here is what "self support" means:
And there exist more commercial distros. Edited 2010-06-25 09:15 UTC
Sidenote: For a more founded analysis, here are some links:
* http://opensource.org/files/OSS-2010.pdf (very recent report)
Using one of your own articles:
"There is not much more room for Linux, as it already occupies a hefty share of the operating systems running in our data centers."
Hmm... that is pretty interesting. Does this mean Virgin America are not, in fact, replacing all their desktops with Linux?
Servers are great, but servers are comparatively easy to manage because (A) only administrators have access to them and (B) there are fewer of them than clients.
It is very hard to manage 10,000 Linux desktops centrally vs. the same number of Windows ones.
NIS is not a substitute for Active Directory.
If I wanted to ban a certain executable across the entire network, it takes a few clicks. Restrict access to apparently silly things, like the clock, so they can't accidentally break tokens and certs that require proper time? Done. Set a company-wide desktop image? Homepage? Ban access to USB drives right now because of some specific threat (knowing I'll also need to allow it again later). Require IPSec encrypted communications between certain hosts, auto-issuing the certificates so the user never knows the difference? Install and remove software on all my desktops remotely, at-once? Enforce particular firewall rules? Adjust password complexity, expiration and retention requirements for every one and every device? Set auditing rules across the whole organization for regulatory compliance?
I like Linux as much as the average person that works with it every single day, but replacing Windows on the desktop isn't going to happen for a while yet in the corporate world just on management costs alone, not even addressing compatibility with existing software.
Google, despite being large, is ideally suited for things like dumping Windows. Their entire staff (including non-technical roles) will be in the top 1% of computer users. They always needed to test compatibility with a zillion devices and operating systems, and have hired people from many tech companies with long habits and skills with certain platforms, both of which would make it unlikely to have standardized on any one client OS (despite the cost advantages that other businesses get from doing that). They probably don't rely on much proprietary software that they didn't write themselves. They also likely have always viewed MS as a competitor rather than a vendor, and intentionally avoided reliance on MS products or services. With all that, they still aren't standardizing on some version of Linux instead, because they aren't standardizing. They forgo the benefits of that, but they also know what they are doing in the context of their requirements. Not everyone has the same ones. Edited 2010-06-23 18:10 UTC
All reasons why I think embedded Linux in technologies such as Splashtop and HyperSpace could show some real potential in the near future. Projects requiring "heavy lifting" and that tend to be client-side anyways can be handled by an existing OS, and a good amount of office communications can stay within the embedded OS-- a vertiable sandbox, as it were. I've worked in an office environment; I actually used Windows 2000 at the time and it suited most of my needs. There aren't many offices that really need the latest Windows anyways.
Have you already tried Puppet ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppet_%28tool%29 ) or any of those: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_open_source_configuratio... ?
The Windows XP SP2 support doesn't end. In fact, there is a service pack available for it.
Why would someone run SP2 anyway?
I'm actually surprised that Microsoft didn't force the upgrade to SP3, by shortening the support period for SP2.