Linked by David Adams on Tue 22nd Jun 2010 15:47 UTC, submitted by shaneco
Privacy, Security, Encryption With Windows XP SP2 support ending in three weeks, a new report highlights the security risks that come with running an unsupported service pack.
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phreck
Member since:
2009-08-13

Of course the whole linux thing is not applicable to every established company structure.


Computer magazines? Yeah, ok, whatever.

The thing made of paper or available online that covers topics related to computers and IT. Often contains advertisements. You are posting in one-of-many right now.


I'm not talking about the IT staff, I'm talking about the users.

Reviewing your post, you neither explicitly talked about users, nor explicitly about IT staff.


They need to be retrained.

When one of my most non-nerd friends (i.e. a prototypical end user) switched to a GNOME based Linux OS, transition was easy. Basically, it was a move from [Start-Menu]->[Programs]->[Vendor]->[Vendor's application] to [GNOME-Menu]->[Topic]->[Application]. For most end-users, the differences between OOCalc and Excel are subtle at max. Not to talk about the situation where they are already used to Open Office.

Apart from that, many large enterprise applications are running on multiple operating systems. And a lot of applications are already running on some Unix, IBM, or Linux, and just the terminal-windows run on windows (this is e.g. the case in many german department stores). So, often, windows is just the host.

Users also have to be retrained when switching to yet another anti-value-added version of MS Office. Nobody says they must the damn switch right now. But maybe a tip before the next office revision.

And didn't Lemur2 state
At this point (*) in time,
, which is btw exactly the quote that you are basing your lamentation on, with (*) == upgrading Windows XP to a newer OS? -> Now if you insist that moving users from Windows XP to 7 is less difficult then from Windows XP to some Linux, then I must question your integrity.

Users don't have to know about filesystems, symbolic links, backups, makefiles, package management, et cetera.

So the gross of the (short term) transition cost will be in infrastructure, not users.


or are you one of those IT guys that don't care about your users?

I think you are one of those IT guys who think they are infallable, as in
I'm not talking about the IT staff, I'm talking about the users.




all those access DBs, small VB apps and what have you kicking around any medium/large business

Not any, but some.


(A vm is still a computer, and can catch viruses, have configuration issues, whatever)

That's horrible. I wonder why those so-called "virtual machines" have a big market ... if they still can catch viruses. ... Possibly because they allow for smooth transition? Possibly because they reduce hardware maintaining support (spare parts)? Possibly because hardware is not in danger anymore? Too many reasons to see how any of those is a good one?


IT helpdesk costs would increase because calls to the help desk would increase

Fascinating.


, at least in the short term, as users figure out how to do their jobs. Add in the cost of the time lost due to the retraining, and you have a situation where at best you save enough money to break even.

As you seem to be very informed, you prolly know
* http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html
* http://opensource.org/files/OSS-2010.pdf (very recent report)

Also, may I re-iterate the words "short" and "term" you stated, and express my dissapointment about the missing "long term" perspective in your rather informal reply.


I said it isn't free, and doesn't magically save money.

And nobody claimed the opposite.

Edited 2010-06-24 13:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

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.

Users don't have to know about filesystems, symbolic links, backups, makefiles, package management, et cetera.

So the gross of the (short term) transition cost will be in infrastructure, not users.


What???? They do need to know how to use the damn thing, and if they can't, then no work gets done. My users do need to know about network shares, accessing and mapping printers, remote desktops, using Excel, using Word, Brio, Access, Visual Studio, Dreamweaver, the list of apps that they use is very long, and they would have to be retrained in ALL OF THE EQUIVALENT APPS.

There isn't even a good replacement for Access. If some or all your data is kept in Access/SQL Server DBs, then the cost of converting your data, has to be included, that includes technician time, testing alternatives, and rewriting in house apps.

which is btw exactly the quote that you are basing your lamentation on, with (*) == upgrading Windows XP to a newer OS? -> Now if you insist that moving users from Windows XP to 7 is less difficult then from Windows XP to some Linux, then I must question your integrity.


First of all, we aren't moving users to Windows 7 at this time, don't make assumptions please. Second of all, we have been upgrading the hardware slowly in our department, as they are replaced through normal attrition, so now, we are at the point that when we do go to Windows 7, Our computers are up to the task. We have a hundred users, and we have a hundred computers capable of running Windows 7. Our locally installed apps, are capable of running in Windows 7, and the interface is pretty similar to XP, compared to Gnome or KDE.

It is less work to move from XP to 7, as most apps will work just fine, and the retraining is minimal. It also doesn't hurt that most of them now have Vista or 7 at home at this point.

Trying to make the differences between XP and 7 sound bigger than they are make me doubt YOUR integrity, or your intelligence.

Also, may I re-iterate the words "short" and "term" you stated, and express my dissapointment about the missing "long term" perspective in your rather informal reply.


You want long term, the users themselves may have many years, sometime decades experience with Windows and Office. Only a fool upgrades apps with no business case. Only a fool changes the entire OS and apps for their organization and doesn't take their users into account.

We use Office 2003 here. Before that we used Office XP, and just finished upgrading a few years ago. Our users did not need retraining, as the versions are almost identical from a UI standpoint. Same with most of the other apps we use, we do not buy new versions because they are new, We buy new versions when their is a solid reason too.

"I said it isn't free, and doesn't magically save money.

And nobody claimed the opposite.
"

The parent poster did.

Reply Parent Score: 3

phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

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.

I am a software developer and programmer, not system integrator / -admin / -operator, and we don't have users around. And when you say "our entire staff" then that's not unambiguous: Entire IT staff, or entire company staff, if any?


What???? They do need to know how to use the damn thing, and if they can't, then no work gets done.

It depends. E.g. in small logistics companies, where there exist a few thousand in germany, so small that not even SAP Business one is small enough, you basically have to either use Excell or OOCalc, Softmaker based apps (available for Linux, too), or often enough a custom app written in "portable" Java. And with my open eyes, I've seen often enough the department store and windows-is-just-the-host thingy.

So really, we should both not lump together things. Sorry if I did.

My users do need to know about network shares, accessing and mapping printers, remote desktops, using Excel, using Word, Brio, Access, Visual Studio, Dreamweaver, the list of apps that they use is very long, and they would have to be retrained in ALL OF THE EQUIVALENT APPS.

See above. Sticking with my above example, users in logistics companies have to access network shares, too, they also have to save and copy files and so on. But this works vey similar on most Linux flavours.

And they still don't have to know about the innards of installing file systems, the differences between ReiserFS and XFS. They don't need to know the technique of hooking into network. If it is properly configured (isn't it in your company? [serious question]), they just click their way through.


There isn't even a good replacement for Access.

Possibly because Access isn't really good in itself. And I don't know many companies that use Access. Actually, the last time I've seen Access was in a school 5 years ago, for training Access usage. The school itself didn't use Access for anything, but IBM based Linux machinery.


If some or all your data is kept in Access/SQL Server DBs, then the cost of converting your data, has to be included, that includes technician time, testing alternatives, and rewriting in house apps.

If.


make me doubt YOUR integrity, or your intelligence.

Okay. So we have something in common.


You want long term, the users themselves may have many years, sometime decades experience with Windows and Office. Only a fool upgrades apps with no business case. Only a fool changes the entire OS and apps for their organization and doesn't take their users into account.

Not wrong. So companies have to analyze whether Linux or any other system will improve their volumes.


We buy new versions when their is a solid reason too.

Wait until most companies switched to Office 2007 +, everyone using Office Open XML. Then you are forced to switch (except when there are proper add ons), and you'll see your users complaining about how shitty the new ribbon things are ("shitty" as in "I am not used to it"). Then you'll have to retrain. Combined with having to upgrade from an no longer supported version of Windows to a new one, with large licensing volumes and immense hardware assumptions, the dreaded situation where a non-Windows-OS is worth a look comes nearer.


The parent poster did.

Wrong. He stated "cost-saving", not "liberation of any cost", and linked to some articles, of which none mentioned that a buzz linux installation is completely free.

Edited 2010-06-25 08:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

quasi-edit:

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.

* http://larchivista.blogspot.com/2010/06/nyacartny-open-source.html

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1