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supergoo

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 18:09      Profile for supergoo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr. Goo forwarded me some newsletter thing he signed up for...I don't know enough about open-source to judge what's valid and what's hogwash, but this email sounded fishy to me:


From: "Steve Ballmer"
To:
Subject: Customer Focus: Comparing Windows with Linux and UNIX
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 14:12:26 -0700

In the thousands of meetings that Microsoft employees have with customers around the world every day, many of the same questions consistently surface: Does an open source platform really provide a long-term cost advantage compared with Windows? Which platform offers the most secure computing environment? Given the growing concern among customers about intellectual property indemnification, what's the best way to minimize risk? In moving from an expensive UNIX platform, what's the best alternative in terms of migration?

Customers want factual information to help them make the best decisions about these issues. About a year ago, a senior Microsoft team led by General Manager Martin Taylor was created to figure out how we could do a better job helping customers evaluate our products against alternatives such as Linux/open source and proprietary UNIX. This team has worked with a number of top analyst firms that have generated independent, third-party reports on cost of acquisition, total cost of ownership, security and indemnification. Some of the studies were commissioned by Microsoft, while others were initiated and funded by the analysts. In each case, the research methodology, findings and conclusions were the sole domain of the analyst firms. This was essential: we wanted truly independent, factual information.

At the same time, our worldwide sales organization is going even deeper with customers to understand their needs and create a feedback loop with our product development teams that enables us to deliver integrated solutions that support real-world customer scenarios, and comprehensively address issues such as manageability, ease of use and reliability.

I'm writing to you and other business decision makers and IT professionals today to share some of the data around these key issues - and to provide examples of customers who opted to go with the Windows platform rather than Linux or UNIX, and how that's playing out for them in the real world. Much more information on this is at www.microsoft.com/getthefacts.

This email is one in an occasional series of emails from Microsoft executives about technology and public-policy issues important to computer users, our industry, and anyone who cares about the future of high technology. If you would like to receive these emails in the future, please go to http://register.microsoft.com/subscription/subscribeMe.asp?lcid=1033&id=155 to subscribe.

TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP AND ACQUISITION COSTS

In the past few years, you haven't been able to open a computing magazine or visit a technology Web site without running into an article about Linux and open source. Not surprising: who doesn't like the idea of a "free" operating system that just about anyone can tinker with?

But as the Yankee Group commented in an independent, non-sponsored global study of 1,000 IT administrators and executives, Linux, UNIX and Windows TCO Comparison, things aren't always as they seem: "All of the major Linux vendors and distributors (including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell [SUSE and Ximian] and Red Hat) have begun charging hefty premiums for must-have items such as technical service and support, product warranties and licensing indemnification."

Yankee's study concluded that, in large enterprises, a significant Linux deployment or total switch from Windows to Linux would be three to four times more expensive - and take three times as long to deploy - as an upgrade from one version of Windows to a newer release. And nine out of 10 enterprise customers said that such a change wouldn't provide any tangible business gains.

Yankee also noted that, for larger organizations with complex computer networks, it's important to look beyond Linux's initial low investment cost and consider all of the TCO and ROI factors.

This is exactly what one of our large enterprise customers, Equifax, did recently. Equifax, a $1.2 billion U.S.-based enterprise with 4,600 employees in 13 countries, needed more computing power than its mainframe systems could deliver for rapidly searching the company's vast marketing database. They spent several months conducting an internal analysis, which proved that, compared with Linux, Windows would realize a 14% cost savings and shorten their time to market by six months. (Equifax Case Study - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=15528)

Another comprehensive, non-sponsored study by Forrester, entitled The Costs and Risks of Open Source, drew a similar conclusion: "The allure of free software is accelerating the deployment of open source platforms, but open source is not free and may actually increase financial and business risks."

In early 2004, Forrester conducted in-depth discussions with 14 companies that had been running Linux platforms for longer than one year to see what the costs really were. Several key themes emerged:

- Few companies know what they're really spending. Only five of the 14 kept detailed metrics - and each of those five found Linux more expensive (5% to 20%) than their current Microsoft environments.

- Preparation and planning activities took 5% to 25% longer for Linux than Windows.

- Training for IT employees was significantly higher for Linux than for Windows - on average, 15% more expensive. The reasons: training materials were less readily available, and customers spent more on training to compensate for the lack of internal knowledge about Linux.

- All 14 companies said it was difficult finding qualified Linux personnel in the marketplace to support their Linux projects. When they did find third-party help, they had less leverage negotiating hourly rates than with Windows consulting resources.

One of our mid-market customers, Computer Builders Warehouse (CBW), came to a similar conclusion. CBW builds computers to order for education, government, and corporate customers. Several years ago, it deployed Red Hat and Mandrake versions of Linux to support its corporate, retail and e-commerce applications. Challenged with high costs, CBW subsequently migrated to Microsoft Windows Server System, and reduced its total cost of ownership by 25 percent. It also consolidated its server population by 50 percent, reduced maintenance time by 50 percent, and boosted developer productivity by 200 percent. These benefits - totaling $650,000 in savings - are dwarfed by the millions of dollars in new revenue that CBW expects as a result of bringing a key security and monitoring product to market more than two years faster than it could have done using Linux. (CBW Case Study - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=15131)

SECURITY

About three years ago, we made software security a top priority, and since then we've invested heavily in a multi-pronged effort to improve software quality and development processes, and to reduce risks for customers through education and guidance, industry collaboration and enforcement. I think it's fair to say that no other software platform has invested as much in security R&D, process improvements and customer education as we have at Microsoft.

Still, Linux has often been touted as a more secure platform. In part, this is because of the "many eyeballs" maxim of open source software that claims a correlation between the number of developers looking at code and the number of bugs found and resolved. While this has some validity, it is not necessarily the best way to develop secure software. We believe in the effectiveness of a structured software engineering process that includes a deep focus on quality, technology advances, and vigorous testing to make software more secure.

A number of third-party reports have questioned how safe the Linux platform really is. For example, a recent independent study by Forrester, Is Linux More Secure than Windows?, highlighted that the four major Linux distributions have a higher incidence and severity of vulnerabilities, and are slower than Microsoft to provide security updates.

According to Forrester, Microsoft had the lowest elapsed time between disclosure of a vulnerability and the release of a fix. They found that Microsoft addressed all of the 128 publicly disclosed security flaws in Windows over the 12-month period studied, and that its security updates predated major outbreaks by an average of 305 days.

Other independent sources of data show similar conclusions. According to statistics posted on the security Web site Secunia (http://secunia.com/product/2535#statistics_month), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 has averaged 7.4 security advisories per month, compared with 1.7 advisories for Windows Server 2003.

And as Yankee Group noted in its Linux, UNIX and Windows TCO Comparison study, "Linux-specific worms and viruses are every bit as pernicious as their UNIX and Windows counterparts - and in many cases they are much more stealthy."

This was a deciding factor in farmaCity's selection of Windows over Linux. Headquartered in Buenos Aires, farmaCity is a rapidly growing Argentinian drugstore chain with 50 outlets and 1,200 employees. Although farmaCity's growth in recent years was a testament to its success, the company's aging technology infrastructure had become a hindrance to further expansion. After careful analysis, farmaCity concluded that Windows would reduce network administration by 30 percent compared with Linux, and would also simplify identity and desktop management. But the core reason for selecting Microsoft was the increase in network security, complemented by the ability to reduce patch-deployment time by 50 percent while cutting unsolicited e-mail by half. (farmaCity Case Study - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=15269)

INDEMNIFICATION

Increasingly, we're hearing from customers that another factor in their consideration of computing platforms is indemnification. In 2003, we looked at our volume licensing contracts to see what we could do to increase customer satisfaction, and a top issue we heard about was patent indemnification, which then was capped at the amount the customer had paid for the software. So later that year, we lifted that cap for our volume licensing customers, who are most likely to be the target of an intellectual property lawsuit.

Today, when a volume licensing customer - a business or organization ranging from as few as five computers to many thousands - licenses a Microsoft product, we provide uncapped protection for legal costs associated with a patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret claim alleging infringement by a Microsoft product. We do this because we are proud to stand behind our products, and because we understand that being on the wrong end of a software patent lawsuit could cost a customer millions of dollars, and massively disrupt their business.

No vendor today stands behind Linux with full IP indemnification. In fact, it is rare for open source software to provide customers with any indemnification at all. We think Microsoft's indemnification already is one of the best offered by the leading players in the industry for volume licensing customers, and we're looking at ways to expand it to an even broader set of our customers. It's definitely something businesses want to think about as they're building or expanding their IT infrastructure.

It was certainly a factor for Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie theatre chain in the world. In 2001, they moved to Red Hat Linux. After evaluating Linux in their business for several months, however, they migrated to the Microsoft platform - not only because of lower TCO, stronger support and services, and greater reliability and manageability, but because they were more fully indemnified on IP. J.E. Henry, CIO of Regal Entertainment, told me that "reduced risk was a decision factor in selecting Windows over Linux. We needed to minimize our exposure to the distraction of potential IP infringement claims, and we had a big enough open source presence to be concerned. With the way that Microsoft stands behind its products, it's one less thing that I have to worry about."

UNIX MIGRATION

One of the hot topics among enterprise IT and business decision makers today is the costs and benefits of migrating enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) from costly, proprietary UNIX environments to Windows or other platforms. ERP integrates various company functions such as human resources, inventories and financials, and links a company to its vendors and customers.

An independent, qualitative survey of organizations that recently completed a migration of their SAP or PeopleSoft ERP system from a UNIX environment to the Microsoft Windows Server platform found a more than 20% reduction in the number of servers required compared with UNIX. The survey, by META Group, found that in one large telecommunications company, consolidation on Windows allowed a greater than 50 percent reduction in the number of required servers.

The survey also found a more than 50 percent improvement in areas such as reliability, accessibility and scalability; significant savings in cost management, IT staffing, performance monitoring and vendor management; and measurable savings in technical support and training. More than half of business function decision makers also saw significant improvements in areas such as consistency, accuracy, reporting enhancement and performance.

"Windows is now a mainstream option for the vast majority of ERP projects," META Group concluded.

A great case study is the Raiffeisen Bank Group, the largest private bank group in Austria with about 2,600 branches. It wanted to reduce costs and provide better customer service by consolidating the number of servers in its branches by 50 percent. Raiffeisen investigated migrating from UNIX to either Linux or Windows. After evaluating the possible solutions, the company found that Windows Server 2003 would provide the most economical solution along with better performance, while giving bank employees an integrated view of customer information that they needed to improve customer service. (Raiffeisen Bank Group Case Study - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=15519)

One of our mid-market customers had a similar experience. Grand Expeditions is a consortium of luxury travel companies that significantly reduced its Web development and hosting costs, and improved site reliability and performance, by moving from a combination of Linux- and UNIX-based servers to Windows Server 2003 and the Windows Server System. The new system was up and running in just 60 days, and is saving Grand Expeditions $200,000 a year. (Grand Expeditions Case Study - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=15397)

IN CLOSING...

There is no question that customers are benefiting today from a healthy, competitive IT industry. Competition requires companies to really focus in on what customers want and need. At the same time, customers have a clearer opportunity than ever before to evaluate choices.

For example, BET.com, the Internet portal created by Viacom subsidiary BET Networks, did an in-depth comparison of Red Hat Linux and Windows Server System. They found that Windows offered 30% lower TCO, was more secure and reliable, and enabled quicker time to market. As BET.com's CTO, Navarrow Wright, said: "When I looked at all the costs - not just the straight price of software - a Windows Server System-based solution made better financial sense than sticking with our Sun and Oracle environment or switching to Linux. We decided to migrate the whole enterprise from various software vendors to standardize all of our software on Microsoft."

By implementing Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, Office Professional Edition 2003, Exchange Server 2003, Content Management Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003, BET.com conservatively estimated that its workforce will increase productivity by 25-30%, while saving significantly in licensing and redevelopment costs.

As organizations increasingly rely on IT to perform mission-critical functions, and with complexity a growing challenge, choosing the right computing platform for the long term can make the difference between profit and loss, and between future success and failure. And it's pretty clear that the facts show that Windows provides a lower total cost of ownership than Linux; the number of security vulnerabilities is lower on Windows, and Windows responsiveness on security is better than Linux; and Microsoft provides uncapped IP indemnification of their products, while no such comprehensive offering is available for Linux or open source.

The vision and benefits of an integrated platform are what distinguish Microsoft's approach to software. The Windows platform today offers an unmatched level of value, applications availability, simplicity, security and productivity. For Microsoft, this is truly a cross-company effort that requires the server and client operating systems to seamlessly deliver great usability and manageability features, applications that deliver compelling scenarios, and tools that enable developers and ISVs to easily and quickly build new applications on the platform.

It's important that customers have all the information they need when making critical and expensive IT decisions. If the evidence at our www.microsoft.com/getthefacts Web site doesn't sufficiently convey the benefits and value of the Microsoft platform, we want to hear from you so we can work even harder to get that information to you. If you would like to have a more detailed discussion about your company's IT needs, email Martin Taylor at [email protected]

Steve Ballmer

--------------------
Y los sueños, sueños son.

Posts: 675 | From: Boston 'burbs | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 18:47      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I still haven't read it yet...it's 2146, and I still have work to do...but it made /. today, so I'd say it's real. It's another one of those MS "Halloween" letters, I'd wager, and if you go to /. now, it should still be on the front page - otherwise, look at the 'Older Articles' Slashbox on the right.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 21:58      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, let me attempt to debunk things a bit:
"All of the major Linux vendors and distributors (including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell [SUSE and Ximian] and Red Hat) have begun charging hefty premiums for must-have items such as technical service and support, product warranties and licensing indemnification."
This is news to no one. Tech support & service have been the primary revenue source for Linux distros since the beginning. How much money can you make for selling shiny discs? Microsoft doesn't give support away for free - either you pay a lot of money for the product, and /maybe/ get support, or you pay more for support when the need arises.


Yankee's study concluded that, in large enterprises, a significant Linux deployment or total switch from Windows to Linux would be three to four times more expensive – and take three times as long to deploy – as an upgrade from one version of Windows to a newer release.

Why do I suspect that Yankee's study is one of the ones paid for by Microsoft?

Now, let's address the time factor - of course it's going to take longer to deploy -- the first time. You are replacing the operating system and procedures with something *totally new*. If you expect a magical drop in solution, you are mistaken. If you're running HTML & Perl (or horror of horrors, PHP), you'll probably be able to drop a lot of your code straight into Apache, and with minor tweaks, be good to go. However, if you're running specialized software, and it doesn't exist for *nix, or is a different version, etc., it will certainly take time to deploy. Once you're running under a *nix variant, the transition time to another similar system is a less than, or equal to, the time spent with Windows. Likewise, what do you think the transition time is like for going from Apple to Microsoft? How long did it take for iTunes to be properly ported to Windows (and for that matter, QT was utterly buggy until ~v6 on Windows). For sufficiently different versions of Windows, migration time is long as well. Try running a piece of software written for Windows 95 on Windows XP Professional, without administrative privileges. One of my coworkers probably spent close to 2 weeks getting a piece of software to work on Windows 2000 without admin. privs (and, of course, all the vendor will tell you is "Run it as administrator" - that is *unacceptable*).

W.r.t. money - time is money, so this will be comparable, and I generally doubt their numbers on this. I'd need to see the figures myself before I could make a fair judgement of this.

[mild editorializing]

Few companies know what they're really spending. Only five of the 14 kept detailed metrics – and each of those five found Linux more expensive (5% to 20%) than their current Microsoft environments.

i.e. We've been spending money like water while using Windows, as we've never had to justify it before, but now that we made a big switch, the CIO & CFO have been keeping a close eye on things, and pointed out that we're spending a lot of money. I guess the PFY and I will have to cut back our lunch and dinner breaks in the pub.


Preparation and planning activities took 5% to 25% longer for Linux than Windows.

Yeah, thinking about a big switch, and doing things properly takes some work.


Training for IT employees was significantly higher for Linux than for Windows – on average, 15% more expensive. The reasons: training materials were less readily available, and customers spent more on training to compensate for the lack of internal knowledge about Linux.

In unrelated news, the department of transportation for [pick some city here] discovered that their migration to hydrogen powered buses, which greatly reduced fuel expenses, pollution, and related taxes, cost taxpayers a sizable sum of money in their maintenance division. James Schwalb, chief mechanic said, "Well, our guys have been working on gas and diesel engines for ages - some of them have been here for 30 years or more. We've had to call in outside contractors to fix some problems we can't deal with, and had to go to a week-long training course in [insert bigger city name here]. The system is quite a bit different to what we're accustomed to, but the performance and value are great."

All 14 companies said it was difficult finding qualified Linux personnel in the marketplace to support their Linux projects. When they did find third-party help, they had less leverage negotiating hourly rates than with Windows consulting resources.
Oh yeah, *nix admins take home some respectable dosh. *nix consultants...ka-ching! However, if you only need a handful, as compared to bringing them in by the wheelbarrow, the difference it can make for your department is great. Which is better, brute force problem solving, or intelligent planning and implementation? Oh yeah, and the Windows consultants are more willing to negotiate, because they fear they will be undercut by an outsourced support line, or a megalithic support group. (Don't even get me started about Mac consultants - the last 2 I've had in have been close to useless. If you're going to be the best help for your clients, you can't live the "9 is fine" lifestyle, or else, you'll get beat down by a Panther. [Oh, and one consultant kept saying things like "Well, this is different from 10.2...."])

[/mild editorializing]

According to Forrester, Microsoft had the lowest elapsed time between disclosure of a vulnerability and the release of a fix. They found that Microsoft addressed all of the 128 publicly disclosed security flaws in Windows over the 12-month period studied, and that its security updates predated major outbreaks by an average of 305 days.
I call bullshit on this one. I believe this might have been the report that declared automated pwning via trojans, bots, and worms to not count, and only went after instances of cracking.

128 *publicly disclosed security flaws*. Those are mostly flaws that Microsoft has made public, and this usually happens after they've written a patch. The open source world, believe it or not, believes in being open about things, and often makes its flaws known as soon as they're found. In doing so, it anticipates the "large number of eyeballs" to focus on the bug at hand, to find the best possible solution, and look for related issues.

Here comes the important part. The patches will be made available for their respective distributions, and people will be alerted en masse to the problem, and are expected to patch their systems. Now, given the better paid, experienced sysadmins, systems get patched quickly, and any newly recommended security recommendations are taken into consideration (they will be analyzed, such that they are only used if appropriate, and correct). The wonderful, Microsoft patches, though, will come out a couple of weeks before serious exploits start to be spread about. Now, do the pay-negotiable-work-in-armies-Windows-sysadmins apply these patches soon? No. Why? Well, for one thing, a lot of these patches have a tendency to break Windows, or other software (MS products inclusive). End users just don't care about this, either. The good Windows sysadmins roll out the patches as quickly as they can, hopefully after having tested them, and cross their fingers after this. In some mission critical environments, institutions are not allowed to install patches, lest they interfere with the primary software on the systems.

And as Yankee Group noted in its Linux, UNIX and Windows TCO Comparison study, "Linux-specific worms and viruses are every bit as pernicious as their UNIX and Windows counterparts – and in many cases they are much more stealthy."
And yet, few people get these "pernicious" virii. Could it be due to the caliber of the sysadmins?

Increasingly, we're hearing from customers that another factor in their consideration of computing platforms is indemnification. In 2003, we looked at our volume licensing contracts to see what we could do to increase customer satisfaction, and a top issue we heard about was patent indemnification, which then was capped at the amount the customer had paid for the software. So later that year, we lifted that cap for our volume licensing customers, who are most likely to be the target of an intellectual property lawsuit.
i.e. We funded the biggest FUD campaign to date by bankrolling the SCO lawsuits. After scaring the sh*t out of many companies with the prospect of being sued for using Linux, we are now offering our customers protection against similar lawsuits.


An independent, qualitative survey of organizations that recently completed a migration of their SAP or PeopleSoft ERP system from a UNIX environment to the Microsoft Windows Server platform found a more than 20% reduction in the number of servers required compared with UNIX. The survey, by META Group, found that in one large telecommunications company, consolidation on Windows allowed a greater than 50 percent reduction in the number of required servers.

That's pretty funny. Largely due to our use of Windows, and the services we run, we've *increased* the number of servers we have, and isolated the functionality as much as possible. Why? Well, if we need to install one of the frequently released security patches, as cited above, we often have to reboot. Would sir like to lose his DHCP, DNS, webpages, and file & printer services all in one shot? Additionally, the more software you install on Windows, the greater the chance one piece of software will step on another. *nix is generally safer from this, as the applications play nice, often link against common libraries (rather than rebundling them), and don't interfere with core system settings. Oh yeah, and barring kernel changes, or significant hardware changes (that the computer cannot safely allow), reboots are unnecessary, so services will not be excessively affected by software patching.

There is no question that customers are benefiting today from a healthy, competitive IT industry. Competition requires companies to really focus in on what customers want and need. At the same time, customers have a clearer opportunity than ever before to evaluate choices.
i.e. Hey, the DOJ called us a monopoly - there's choice now...score! Still, we think we're the best, so please send the dump trucks full of gold over to the McDuck vault at once, after reading our shiny brochures touting lower TCO. Thanks, you're a pal!

As BET.com's CTO, Navarrow Wright, said: "When I looked at all the costs – not just the straight price of software – a Windows Server System-based solution made better financial sense than sticking with our Sun and Oracle environment or switching to Linux. We decided to migrate the whole enterprise from various software vendors to standardize all of our software on Microsoft."
Wow, I wonder how that works out. The company could migrate from one *nix environment, to another one, which as I said earlier, is not that difficult. Furthermore, Oracle provides a decent bit of Linux support. Instead of making an economical migration, to a system with a lower TCO (after all, the Solaris sysadmins shouldn't require too much training to go to another *nix), they went out and moved to a totally different system, and hired cheaper, less competent sysadmins. Makes perfect sense.

...BET.com conservatively estimated that its workforce will increase productivity by 25-30%, while saving significantly in licensing and redevelopment costs.
Yes, that's right kids, listen up. BET.com decided that moving to a similarly designed operating system involving *no license* fees (excepting support costs) was /more expensive/ than moving to a completely different operating system, in which they would have to migrate to new software, or at least implement third-party middleware. "conservatively estimated" sounds like one of those terms found in the "revised" documents uncovered awhile ago, in which quotes from executives couldn't be backed, and so different versions had to be used. It also sounds like one of the 82.5% of statistics that are randomly generated.

The vision and benefits of an integrated platform are what distinguish Microsoft's approach to software.
Indeed. Such visions dictate that core functions on your consolidated servers will be halted for a bit as you reboot your machine for a quickly released Internet Explorer patch.

And now, let me use a relevant closing from Andy Tanenbaum:
If you have made it this far, thank you for your time.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 22:15      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep, that's a pretty good summary dman.

One thing I'd throw in is that Linux is still a much stronger server solution than a desktop one. Let's say that I'm looking for a Windows desktop replacement that is updated reasonably frequently, doesn't involve a whole heap of source code compilation, has a well known company associated with it to make PHB's feel better, and is low or no cost. There's really nothing out there Linux-wise to fit this niche that I can see. Red Hat used to fill it, but Fedora has been problematic enough to put people off. Mandrake has traditionally been pretty looking, but flaky under the covers. Debian has slooww release cycles, and doesn't have that "company name" thing going for it. Gentoo and Slackware seems to require a whole lot of building from source rather than being focussed on building and distributing binaries. SuSE only seem to release comparatively expensive distros. I think that's the big ones pretty much covered.

To my mind, there's a hole in the Linux lineup here. Perhaps one of the Debian forks could step up to the plate here, I don't know.

--------------------
6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 22:34      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by csk:
Yep, that's a pretty good summary dman.
Thanks [Smile] .

One thing I'd throw in is that Linux is still a much stronger server solution than a desktop one.[snip]

Agreed. I think mdk is the best chance right now for it, with something like Xandros (never used it, but read good reviews) as second runner up. I rather dislike Lindows^H^H^H^Hdash (or whatever they're calling themselves this week) on priniciple, because of their software model (click-to-run), mangling of the OS (users work as root), and reasons I can't even dream up yet (most revolving around Michael Robertson). Mind you, they're actually based on Debian - proof that a great system can be crufted into something dreadful (albeit with an installer that is an order of magnitude or two easier to use, from what I read).

To my mind, there's a hole in the Linux lineup here. Perhaps one of the Debian forks could step up to the plate here, I don't know.
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/
That's rumored to be the up and coming thing for the Linux desktop. It's Debian based, but with a more user-manageable package system (i.e. still root-run, I assume, but I mean, 2500 packages are not shown to John Q. Public), and reasonable configuration. I think I'm going to set it up on a machine, just to play with it. Before that, though, I'm going to spend a bit of time playing with the new NetBSD box I just set up. /me wonders if the BSD chicks will come back?

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 22:41      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmm.....

So, when evaluating the shift from Windoze to Linux, you count the cost of throwing away all of your old apps, and re-training all your staff in the new technology.

When evaluating the shift from Unix to Windoze, we just look at the 20% reduction in number of servers when replacing (presumably old and 'past-it') Unix servers with (presumably new and powerful) windoze boxes.

Does this mean all my old Unix apps will work on Windows?

Will all my Unix sysadmins be able to switch over to Windoze without any training?

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2004 22:49      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
/me wonders if the BSD chicks will come back?

I was doing some googling once (how unusual [Wink] ), and the most famous of the BSD chicks[1] is/was actually a /. poster. Too short and scrawny for my tastes, though [Wink] (although that red latex suit was something else)

[1] Is "chicks" an acceptable term these days? It's probably not 100% politically correct, but surely it shouldn't be offensive...

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
macmcseboy

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Icon 4 posted October 28, 2004 23:09      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
/me Ph34rs Dman....

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Live long and prosper.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2004 05:10      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have been using Ubuntu Linux for a couple of months now. So far it is one of the easiest distros for the desktop. I am going to start testing a couple of server typed apps soon and see how convoluted the install/config/maintenance is.

And as far as the TCO between Windows and Linux. I think it comes down to there is a time and a place for everything. I still love that Redmond propoganda though. Maybe I should get rid of my Linux servers and go to Server 2K3. Oh wait, they can't run those services without me re-writing all the code. [Razz]

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2465 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mac D
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2004 05:39      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think we are forgeting about someone

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There's nothing wrong with me, This is how I'm supposed to be.

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Spiderman

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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2004 08:05      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:

http://www.ubuntulinux.org/
That's rumored to be the up and coming thing for the Linux desktop. It's Debian based, but with a more user-manageable package system (i.e. still root-run, I assume, but I mean, 2500 packages are not shown to John Q. Public), and reasonable configuration. I think I'm going to set it up on a machine, just to play with it. Before that, though, I'm going to spend a bit of time playing with the new NetBSD box I just set up. /me wonders if the BSD chicks will come back?

I first came in contact with ubuntu at a linux usergroup meeting that I attended. I have since done some experimentation, and thus far, I've been quite impressed. A rather simple installation process, and a nicely configured system in the end. It installs a default set of apps...firefox, xchat, gimp, basic media player etc etc. But far from approaching the bloat found in say, Redhat distros.

It defaults to Gnome (I'm not remembering which version atm but I think it may be 2.8?) and though I don't like Gnome per se, the system feels very consistent overall.

I believe that the distribution shows quite a bit of promise and I'd love to see it gain popularity.

Great rebuttal btw [Smile]

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Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

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Stereo

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Icon 12 posted October 29, 2004 08:16      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MacD: Are we? Xserve is *nix, remember?

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2004 08:19      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you want a Linux distro that a Windows user can install almost completely painfree and make almost everything work out of the box with little to no problems, try

http://www.xandros.com/ -- there's a free version, and a paid version. It's the BEST Linux distro I've seen thus far for people who don't already know linux.

And it's based off of debian. [Big Grin]

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2004 15:10      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Linux is not my area of expertise, but coincidentally one of the blogs I read has a little article on getting Linux running on an old laptop. The distro she found simplest for a newbie was Slax, which sounds like a good way of playing around with it, if you don't want to commit yourself to creating partitions etc for a proper install.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2004 17:13      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, well, well,

Mr Ballmer spouts B$ shocker and claims changing from M$ to (a n other OS) might be expensive...

Whoo hoo. Let's all get wobbly - "I'm scared (must buy XP and pray for longhorn salvation ASAP)"

What a surprise...

All the above rebuttals get my approval on that one...

Serenak

P.S. Heavy duty and long time Mac user looking for "serious" helpers in setting up a FreeBSD/KDE box on old x86 hardware (got it up and running from distro CD, how to update KDE?) See my new thread ...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2004 05:57      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by macmcseboy:
/me Ph34rs Dman....

I for one welcome our Free Software evangelist overlord!

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Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
MacGenius
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 10:00      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Well, let me attempt to [snip]

And now, let me use a relevant closing from Andy Tanenbaum:
If you have made it this far, thank you for your time.

I'M NOT READING THAT LONG BULLSHIT
Posts: 264 | From: Mars | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 10:48      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by macmcseboy:
/me Ph34rs Dman....

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup. [Wink]
Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
GMx

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 10:55      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MacGenius:
I'M NOT READING THAT LONG BULLSHIT

Too much for your beady little brain to comprehend? [Razz]
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csk

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 11:09      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MacGenius:
I'M NOT READING THAT LONG BULLSHIT

Then why even mention it? Unless you're attention-whoring, of course.

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6 weeks to go!

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MacGenius
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 12:20      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, it was just a lame attempt to troll back at dman. I'll do better next time and throw a few obscene words into the mix... [Wink]
Posts: 264 | From: Mars | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 12:30      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<stern-daddy-voice>
Don't make me come back there !
</stern-daddy-voice>

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 12:37      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There was nothing in the Dragons post that was even remotely trollish. This is not surprising as he does not play those games. No obscene language either, and for similar reasons this is not surprising.

However posts like these last two make it hard to resist the conclusion that you Mac "Genius" are a 100% gold plated and copper bottomed prat.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 13:01      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MacGenius:
No, it was just a lame attempt to troll back at dman. I'll do better next time and throw a few obscene words into the mix... [Wink]

Dman? Trolling? Substantiate this accusation please. As an old-timer, I have yet to see the dragon do anything that even remotely qualifies as trollish.
Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2004 13:03      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OTOH, I have yet to see a non-troll post by Mac Genius [Roll Eyes]

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(!) (T) = 8-D

Posts: 5471 | From: One of the drones from sector 7G | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged


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