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: Bad Aftertaste
by kaiwai on Sun 11th Jul 2010 21:40 UTC in reply to "Bad Aftertaste"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

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:
2005-07-06

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[3]: Bad Aftertaste
by kaiwai on Mon 12th Jul 2010 01:58 in reply to "RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

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.


The trouble with that assertion is the fact that Microsoft has many governments on a select licensing scheme where they pay a yearly subscription; so even if they were to move to Linux they would still have to continue paying a subscription even though their primary operating system would be Linux. Ultimately their costs would double thus leaving them worse off if they just kept with Windows in the first place.

As I said, there is always Mainsoft but even then the transition isn't 100% guaranteed just like wine isn't a sure thing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste
by cerbie on Mon 12th Jul 2010 04:33 in reply to "RE: Bad Aftertaste"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

...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[3]: Bad Aftertaste
by kaiwai on Mon 12th Jul 2010 05:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

...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.


It depends on whether you have a screwed up system like the United States where the public service is politicised to high heavens - in most mature OECD countries the public service operates at arms length of politicians with decisions being made independent of their political masters. There is a benefit to the politicians doing it that way though, when something goes wrong they come out scott free because they had no part to play in the fiasco.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Bad Aftertaste
by Spudd86 on Mon 12th Jul 2010 15:45 in reply to "RE: Bad Aftertaste"
Spudd86 Member since:
2010-07-12

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

Reply Parent Score: 1