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.
Thread beginning with comment 433152
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Bad Aftertaste
by xiaokj on Sun 11th Jul 2010 20:17 UTC
Member since:

I don't like this: Politicians warming up to our ideas only when they are shackled by their exploding budgets instead of us winning by merits alone.

I mean, their budget problem had been institutional for so many years and only now have they decided that they had to change? And only because of that did they want to change? What did they think, that we are cheap imitations or what?

But I should seek solace in the fact that we are gaining ground, and I shall not let my emotions of pride take over strategic wins. May they finally realise that paying the Microsoft tax is not the only way to go.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bad Aftertaste
by pabloski on Sun 11th Jul 2010 20:27 in reply to "Bad Aftertaste"
pabloski Member since:

You're right my friend, but you cannot pretend politicians get excited about how wonderful is linux from a technical point of view.

They only reason about GDP, deficits, bailouts. They need money now, so they have no more dollars to waste on microsoft tax.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Bad Aftertaste
by Kroc on Sun 11th Jul 2010 20:50 in reply to "Bad Aftertaste"
Kroc Member since:

No, this is a management problem, as usual. This call for Linux is coming from people who have known this all along, who have been fighting for Linux all the time and have been ignored by ignorant managers who go with Microsoft every time.

Government technology is not chosen based on merits, it’s based on who gets the say, that’s all.

Reply Parent Score: 14

RE: Bad Aftertaste
by kaiwai on Sun 11th Jul 2010 21:40 in reply to "Bad Aftertaste"
kaiwai Member since:

The interesting part is how they'll deal with the internally written applications, especially those quick and dirty solutions many of the ministries would have deployed and use VB/C# and other horrid solutions. I wonder, however, these will be addressed - will they re-write them to web based applications? licence Mainsoft's software to smooth the transition? the transition away from Windows is more complex than just a replacement for Windows plus a few other bits and bobs - its those little bits here and there that'll really cause problems. Big application suites are pretty easy to replace, it is the small internally written applications and macros that are the pain the ass.

Also another thing that needs to be understood is jumping into the Linux world isn't something you can do half-way; if you jump in you have to jump all the way and for the long term. Transitions from one platform to another cannot be taken lightly and will require re-training, re-writing, forming new relationships with new vendors (both software and hardware). I hope that when these ministries do opt to change their platform at they realise it isn't short term, it cannot happen over night and to look beyond the initial investment at the long term benefits of such a platform change.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste
by Vanders on Sun 11th Jul 2010 22:57 in reply to "RE: Bad Aftertaste"
Vanders Member since:

I imagine the obvious solution would be to validate those applications on Wine. If they fail then you run then on Windows in Virtual Box: the Windows license was a requirement prior to switching to Linux so there is no net loss.

Edited 2010-07-11 22:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste
by cerbie on Mon 12th Jul 2010 04:33 in reply to "RE: Bad Aftertaste"
cerbie Member since:

...but all those costs can be put at the feet of the next set of government officials, in a few years, after the current ones move on, and write books about their exceptional challenges, and how great they were at tackling them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste
by Spudd86 on Mon 12th Jul 2010 15:45 in reply to "RE: Bad Aftertaste"
Spudd86 Member since:

Well for .Net stuff there's Mono, also there's wine or winelib.

Reply Parent Score: 1