Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Jul 2010 19:43 UTC
Microsoft U.K. government staff suggested replacing Microsoft Corp. operating systems on computers with free alternatives in response to a call for ideas for Prime Minister David Cameron's cost-cutting drive.
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RE: Until they need support
by phoenix on Mon 12th Jul 2010 02:01 UTC in reply to "Until they need support"
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What they're going to save on installing a free OS, is what they're going to spend on an army of uber-geeks to support the desktops once a problem arises. I don't mean to sound like I'm against Linux as a Desktop OS, but many enterprise customers want to pay for support contracts, and the thought of free equates to "cheap quality" and "you're on your own" when it comes to support.

Only if they treat a Linux station like a Windows station, meaning a fat-client with a local harddrive and local Linux install. In that situation, you're no better off than using Windows.

However, if you move to a diskless client setup, where every filesystem is an NFS mount from a central server, then Linux really shines compared to Windows. You only need 1 OS install. You only have to manage 1 set of software. You can upgrade 200 workstation in 20 minutes. Your desktop computer becomes a $200 appliance that can be swapped out in under 5 minutes.

Then, you only need a handful of IT people to manage the servers.

Our IT department has 13 members (1 helpdesk, 1 distance learning programmer, 1 programmer, 1 network tech, 1 electrician, 1 hardware tech, 2 elem techs, 4 secondary techs, 1 video conferencing tech) and 2 managers. We look after 50 remote sites, over 5000 Linux desktops, and a very very small number of Windows stations. Actually, it's basically just the helpdesk team that looks after those, since it's only the server you have to worry about, there are no moving parts in the desktop.

IOW, if you look at what Linux (or BSD or anything non-Windows) can do in a networked environment and don't treat them like standard fat clients, then you can do some amazing things and save *A LOT* of time and money.

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