[LINK] Linux poised for desktop failure: Gartner
Sat Nov 16 06:02:32 EST 2002
On Sat, Nov 16, 2002 at 01:58:46PM +1100, Malcolm Miles wrote:
> >> things seem OK as they are, so why re-write?
> > - because eventually the code will break, i.e. to become "future-proof".
> Then they will worry about that when they do break. Nobody is going to
> spend money now if they can defer it until next financial year.
> Short-sighted maybe, but that's how our business runs.
it's both short-sighted and insane. the time to fix a problem like that
is before it becomes a problem, not during/after a round of upgrades.
successful businesses make medium to long term plans.
> Many apps have lived through Windows 3.1, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and
> XP without breaking. Why deliberately break them by moving to a new
> o/s platform?
many apps haven't survived that transition. more die with each OS
> > - to avoid paying the ever-increasing microsoft tax.
> We pay little Microsoft "tax". Our PCs come with an OEM copy of the
> o/s (yes, the cost of the o/s is bundled in, but this is hidden in the
> leasing cost) and we haven't upgraded Office for some years. We could
> move to OpenOffice or StarOffice without having to change our o/s
as soon as you switch to XP (if you do) or other software with MS's
latest license agreement, you'll be paying regular license fees just to
keep on using what you've already bought.
microsoft doesn't want to sell their software to you any more. they
want you to rent it. they're not doing this because it's good for you.
they're doing this because it's good for them. they can make more money
by getting you to pay for the same thing over and over again.
> > - to get better reliability and security.
> Our business users don't seem to have any concerns with the existing
> reliability or security.
they're happy with having to reboot all the time? and happy with being
vulnerable to every virus that comes along?
these things aren't just inconveniences, they have dollar costs too -
potentially huge costs when more and more viruses are written to send
whatever random documents they can find to random email addresses.
> > - to have options open up that are currently closed to them.
> Like what? It would need to be something that would save them millions
> of dollars to justify the rewrite of all our applications and
> retraining of all our support people.
like not having your data trapped in proprietary file formats. like
mobile computing and the ability to login at any workstation and have
what you need right there. like being able to use email or the web
without fearing that that a virus will wipe everything out.
> >> In the short term, and that is all business is focussed on these
> >> days, there is no cost in being trappped by one vendor.
> >in the short term, there's no cost involved in ignoring the small
> >leak in the head gasket of your car....but if you ignore it, the end
> >result will be catastropic damage that costs many times more to
> >repair than it would have to fix it before it became a serious
> Software doesn't work like that. A bug doesn't become more serious
> over time. If the bug starts costing the business money then it will
> be fixed in the cheapest way possible.
you missed the point of the analogy.
at some time, you will want to upgrade to a future version of windows.
for the sake of the example, lets call that Windows XP 2003. you are
upgrading because you want/need the new features of the new version
and/or because the new desktop machines or the new application you
bought require that particular version of the OS. the trouble is that
this new OS is incompatible with VB 3, so all your old apps will break.
this is what i meant when i said that it's already broke, they just
don't realise it yet.
now when does it make sense to start planning and implementing the
inevitable rewrite? before they've broken completely, or after?
> >i'm not trying to say "this is what you must do". i'm just pointing
> >out that it's not as difficult as you think it is and that there are
> >some significant benefits to be gained.
> >with a will to convert, a way will be found (and it'll be easier and
> >cheaper and faster than you think)...without that will, it is
> >basically impossible.
> You need more than a will to convert, you need a quantifiable business
> benefit to convert, one that is realised in the very short term and
> with no significant impact on the business during the conversion.
there are none so blind as those who will not see.
there are business benefits, you just don't want to see them.
> At this point in time I can't see how converting our thousands of
> desktops to Linux and rewriting all our applications would meet that
like i said, if there's no will then it's basically impossible.
if you're happy with windows, then that's fine by me - no skin off my
nose. i do object, however, to your generic claim that linux desktop
software isn't capable of replacing windows. it is perfectly capable of
doing that, linux is even capable (with e.g. Crossover Office) of
running most or all current windows office applications, you're just not
> I would love to see some case studies of large corporates with 10,000
> PCs or more that have recently converted over to Linux.
you can find many relevant case studies just by googling for them. for
includes a 5000 user case study. also links to several related articles.
published 1999, so it's getting dated now but still worth reading.
here's an interesting looking book on the subject from a business IT
consultant's perspective. i've never seen it before, but it looks like
it would be an interesting read.
_The Unix Guide To Defenestration_ by Paul Murphy.
craig sanders <email@example.com>
Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
-- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch
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