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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Until they need support
by Phloptical on Sun 11th Jul 2010 20:35 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

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.

Yes, flamebait I know, and I'm sorry for that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Until they need support
by t3RRa on Sun 11th Jul 2010 20:39 in reply to "Until they need support"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

Do you mean if they use Microsoft OS they do not need any technicians or they are free from any problems? Come on. Get real. For any OS they need some technical support anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Until they need support
by kaiwai on Sun 11th Jul 2010 21:20 in reply to "Until they need support"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

Yes, flamebait I know, and I'm sorry for that.


You do realise that there are these amazing organisations like Red Hat and Novell who offer enterprise support and consultation? yes, amazing and these upstarts have been around for quite some time!

Excuse my sarcasm but nothing irritates the crap out of me more than people who make the logic fail that you did - and the price for large enterprise customers is very low when compared to what Microsoft provides. Cost isn't the only consideration though, the lack of vendor lock in also adds savings that cannot be calculated via the usual accounting methods - as the old adage goes, accountants can tell you the cost of something but not the value.

Reply Parent Score: 12

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Excuse my sarcasm but nothing irritates the crap out of me more than people who make the logic fail that you did - and the price for large enterprise customers is very low when compared to what Microsoft provides.


On-site Linux support costs more and that is a factor that needs to be taken into account.


Cost isn't the only consideration though, the lack of vendor lock in also adds savings that cannot be calculated via the usual accounting methods - as the old adage goes, accountants can tell you the cost of something but not the value.


Switching to Linux doesn't come with a lock-in? What about dependence on Oracle for OpenOffice? There is also a lock-in to a smaller business software library.

I think a case can be made for installing OO on XP boxes instead of upgrading an older version of Office but completely switching to Linux is likely to incur costs rather than savings.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Until they need support
by Phloptical on Tue 13th Jul 2010 23:55 in reply to "RE: Until they need support"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

You seem to think that the enterprise, as a whole, actually gives a rats arse about vendor lock in. Most of them actually WANT vendor lock in. In fact, lots of companies pay good money to make sure they are, in fact "locked in". For example, how many times have you heard people talk about "We're a VM Ware Shop" "We're a CISCO shop" "We're a Lotus/Domino shop" "We're an SAP Shop"? "We're a Solidworks shop" What do you think that is? Lock In.

My "fail logic"? lol Really? Give me a break. If you've ever worked in a corporate IT environment, you'd know that ideology has no place in it because those who sign paychecks and sit on Mahogany Row, #1 don't care, #2 think IT is a waste of resources, anyway (until something goes down) and #3 just want to read emails, surf the web, look at powerpoint presentations, and excel spreadsheets. They could care less that their IT directors are sticking it to the man, keeping it real, and giving a propietary software company the finger just for the sake of doing so. We have to daily remind our top brass why they can't run Outlook and have to deal with Lotus Notes everyday. Now we'd have to add, "What's this Ubuntu, why can't I have Windows on my laptop?" My entire department would be fired the same day if I give the chief-muckity-muck friggin Red Hat on his laptop, and expect him to use it.

A small global company like mine couldn't deal with the transition to Open Office. And believe me, if there's anyone in my organization who wants it to happen more, it's me. I would love to spend my time planning for a global transition to Open Office for the next 5 months, but the fallout would never end.

Anyway, the road to the Linux OS has to begin at home, and not in the workplace. Then you'll get your adoption.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Until they need support
by phoenix on Mon 12th Jul 2010 02:01 in reply to "Until they need support"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

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.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE: Until they need support
by l3v1 on Mon 12th Jul 2010 09:46 in reply to "Until they need support"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

going to spend on an army of uber-geeks to support the desktops


First, you sound like MS apps & sw wouldn't require an army of support staff to operate. Second, which sounds better: paying more for one company, or paying less [or nothing] for another company and spend a bit more on support staff - which means more jobs and in the long run lower dependence on a single company. From a politics point of view the second sounds like a winner.

Reply Parent Score: 3