If the difference between success and failure in your business, as the economy comes crashing down around you, is money, and you have ID demands, consider this:
With both people and companies having to squeeze a nickel's worth of good out of every penny, how long do you think people will be paying Microsoft for its imperfect operating systems and office suites? Vista Business SP1 'upgrade' has a list price of $199.95. Office 2007 Professional is $329.95. That's $529.90, or as much as a new low-end PC. Or, I could go with Ubuntu Linux for zero money down. if I wanted big business support, I could buy SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 SP 2 from Novell for $50. SLED, like any desktop Linux, includes OpenOffice 2.4 for free.
Which one would you buy when your IT budget is going to be cut to the bone?
It's really sad that corporate IT departments started switching to apps which rely on IE6 functionality and are not able, after, what 2 or 3, years able to get them to work with IE7. So, we can't upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader without losing functionality within the browser. It's just ridiculous that we can't port our applications to new versions of the same commercial software. If only I were in a position to get them to at least look at open-source apps. My request for a wiki info-sharing app has been brushed aside for security questions and, of course, the question of whether or not it will be interoperable with IE6 has come up.
In my last job we switched all public machines to Ubuntu simply because managing Windows on them was getting to be a hassle.
But we couldn't roll it out on the desktops because we were too dependent upon MS Access VBA, and Word Templates.
We were making strides though until the new administration came in and the new I.T. director didn't know Linux so his solution was to replace existing Linux based mail, ldap, etc. servers with Windows servers.
That's about the time I left. Both of we systems guys warned them that the transition to a totally Windows environment would take a minimum of 6 months. It took over a year in reality.
Then of course they wanted to switch the web server from what was a LAMP server to something on Windows and they couldn't port the PHP applications and buying a content management system was prohibitively expensive. So they still use Plone with an Apache proxy on top of it.
Part of the problem is that the person with the authority to decide which OS his organization will buy will also be open to getting 'free gifts' on the side. He'll sell out his people out of his own personal greed.
Which would I choose? Solaris, of course. Tailor made for IT and lower TCO than Linux. No contest.
Why is Solaris lower TCO than Linux?
And, what is a TCO, and do I need one?
TCO probably means True Cost of Ownership.
(I looked it up here.)
Actually, Total Cost of Ownership. Though I can't say I'd really trust any figures on TCO -- once you get past paying for OS, apps software, and support contracts, it's really a question of how much time tech support takes up.
And Solaris really isn't a bad choice either -- it's been open source since 2005 (or at least all the important parts have) so it's all in the family.
Giving up windows and MS Office wouldn't happen in my company anytime soon. What we have done, to save considerable amounts, is to run dummy terminals. They either Linux or Blazer (WNOS - Wyse Operating System), with an ICA connection into a windows server with terminal licensing. Makes admin, troubleshooting and updates a snap, do it once in one place and gets a global change. I think server based computing is the way corporate systems are going, with increases LAN/WAN bandwidth and the increase in green business practices (Thin clients use MUCH less energy, have a longer life [no moving parts, no HDD, no need to upgrade as server is doing the work]).