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Spanish Extremadura Moving 40,000 Desktops To Linux

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the influx-of-the-tux dept.

EU 137

jrepin writes with this quote from a post at the European Commission's JoinUp site: "The administration of Spain's autonomous region of Extremadura is moving to a complete open source desktop, replacing the current proprietary desktop platform, confirms the region's CIO, Teodomiro Cayetano López. The IT department started a project to install the Debian distribution on all 40,000 desktop PCs. 'The project is really advanced and we hope to start the deployment the next spring, finishing it in December.' The project makes it Europe's second largest open source desktop migration, between the French Gendarmerie (90,000 desktops) and the German city of Munich (14,000 desktops)."

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Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802479)

While it is a pity that Europe is sliding into socio-economic oblivion, it's a great chance for Linux. Never waste a crisis!

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (5, Insightful)

Mannfred (2543170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802547)

As a taxpayer I'd prefer my tax money to go towards supporting lean security-hardened Linux distros (with some genuine potential for overall cost savings) rather than licenses for the latest Microsoft desktop OS, Exchange servers etc. This ought to be good news for taxpayers long-term regardless of how the economy is doing now.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (4, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803293)

No one expected the Spanish Extremadura... to switch to linux desktop.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (2)

a_hanso (1891616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803397)

Better late than never. The invasion of England would have gone very differently had the Spanish Armada not been running Windows.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38804491)

The English Armada https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Armada/ [wikipedia.org] of 1589 seemed to be running Windows as well.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803421)

I actually thought they already had. They've had their own distro for years now.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805583)

Microsoft: Trouble at mill.
Apple: Oh no - what kind of trouble?
Microsoft: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
Apple: Pardon?
Microsoft: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
Apple: I don't understand what you're saying.
Microsoft: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.
Apple: Well what on earth does that mean?
Microsoft: *I* don't know - Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Extremadura.

[JARRING CHORD]

[The door flies open and Cardinal Perenz of Spain enters, flanked by two junior cardinals.

Perenz: NOBODY expects Linux! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and freedom.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and freedom...and an almost fanatical devotion to Stallaman.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38806593)

Sure we did. Hell, Extremadura Linux is the only one Stallman will use, IIRC.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805105)

But is is really that much cheaper?
Ok for licence costs say 250euro per windows license. we save 10 Million euro, sound good.
Now these 40,000 people will need at least 8 hours of training say they average 15 eruo an hour. There is a 4.8 Million dollar expense (5.2 million euro left, well we are still saving money a lot of money).
10% of these peoples PC will need to be upgraded, Yes yes Linux can run better on older hardware however if they are going to upgrade their OS they might as well upgrade their oldest PC's (and if they didn't upgrade they may have gotten an other year or two out of them), just so they can keep the configuration constant across systems and use some of the newer features. 800 euro for a new PC seems fare. That will be a 3.2 Million Euro expense (2 Million Euro saved)
Now lets say every department has 500 employees and every department has one custom legacy app making 80 legacy systems that needs to be upgraded lets say 25,000 euros is the cost of rebuilding the applications 2 Million Euros expense (0 Euro saved)

When you are in a depressed economic times is is sometimes it is better to stick with what you got and don't upgrade and maximize the use of your purchase. Now in the long run Linux may be cheaper (I like Linux I really do) However right now it will be a large project with a lot of risks that could back fire and be much more expensive then planned for only a chance for a small savings.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805799)

If the old OS was XP they would be near a forced upgrade anyways to avoid being caught insecure after XP EOLs in 2014. XP to Windows 7 would require a complete hardware refresh. Windows 7 or Linux, no smart admin will want to wait until the last minute (next year) to deal with whatever transition they are planning.

Also: 5 minutes of browsing on dell.es netted me a mid range machine (core i3, 4g ram, 500g hd) with a 23 inch monitor for 610 Euro and of course that price goes down when start talking bulk purchase (and down even more without the win7 license).

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38806313)

This ought to be good news for taxpayers long-term regardless of how the economy is doing now.

Until Microsoft decides to force people to pay them licensing fees for Free and Open Source Software.

Remember this is the year of SOPA and PIPA. "Intellectual Property" is dead. Long live "Intellectual Property".

References:
http://www.yro.slashdot.org/story/11/04/28/039255/bn-responds-to-microsofts-android-suit [slashdot.org]
http://techrights.org/2011/11/12/ [techrights.org]

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (5, Informative)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802779)

They're not moving to Linux though, they are simply moving from a customer Linux distro (called "Linex") to Debian, purely because they were finding maintaining their own distro too much of an overhead.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802787)

"custom Linux distro" not "customer Linux distro".

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803245)

My Linux distro is the customest

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803369)

Actually, only the computers in schools, high-schools and public health services work with Linux (at classrooms we used Linex some years ago, Debian-Edu last years and Debian squeeze this year). But we have many computers at offices working with Windows XP, 9x and W2000. These are the computers that are going to migrate.

The changing name from Linex to Debian is provoked by a political change (progressives lost, conservative won) not for maintaining troubles. The brandname Linex was associated to the progressive party, so the new party doesn't want it around. Linex was Debian with Artwork packages and some selected programs. You can do the same without the Artwork packages.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the rescue (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803465)

Yeah, I was trying to look up that distro under distrowatch, but couldn't find it. Thought it was a localized edition of Linux. At least w/ Debian, they have a rich ecosystem in place. At least, w/ that there won't be a painful migration around.

Makes sense to go to Debian from all those old versions of Windows. Although I wonder - does Debian Linux support a wider variety of hardware than Debian kFreeBSD? That way, one can get the advantages of FreeBSD along w/ the offerings of Debian.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803521)

I don't see "conservatives" using "Debian kFreeBSD", "Debian" is THE OS of Conservativity.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the rescue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803851)

Conservatives are generally fine with products of the free market, including proprietary products. Just that in the case of OSs, all the major companies - Microsoft, Apple & Google tend Liberal, so they just ignore that aspect and use whatever's convenient. Linux and the Unixes have been a variety of things to different people, since you have people on the right like esr to people on the left like rms, and guys like Scott McNealy & others in the center. In the above example, LinEx may have been the OS of choice of the Leftists, but that doesn't make Debian, or any OS the OS of choice for the Rightists.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803409)

Ah, that makes sense now, because I've read about the migration to Linux in Extremadura since few years ago [slashdot.org] and related news even earlier [slashdot.org] .
News on that migration were quite widespread. I'm not spanish nor living there, and still it rings a bell.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802803)

Bring the Occupy movement into the real world. Say no to Proprietary Corporate Software. Bring the business back to the people. All hail to Linux!

Show the world how we can really change it for the better. Down with the corporate Zealots.

We have the power. We only have to take it. Don't wait for your co-worker. Take a stand.

Occupy the desktop!

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803117)

Europe is broke

This is a mistake to make an association between an economic failure (Spain) and the Linux choice.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803257)

Why ?

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (2)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803447)

Have you any idea where Extramadura is?

It is a wild and truly beautiful part of Spain. The variety of Birds that you can see there is... fantastic especially the raptors.
Pretty sparsely populated as well.

In the grand scheme of things and in particular, the Spanish Financial woes, it is about as significant to the Spanish Economy as North Dakota is to the US Economy.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803503)

As a Spaniard I can confirm that the raptors in Extremadura are pulchritudinous.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803635)

I can confirm that, with all those ties and suits and always speaking on TV about how good they are at managing taxpayer's money and how laughable their political adversaries are/have been/would be if it wasn't for them.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803751)

Do chickens have large talons?

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

cwgmpls (853876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38806013)

North Dakota has the fourth largest oil production of all of the Unites States. It is very large contributer to the U.S. economy.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38806541)

Ok. That shows how much I know from the RH side of the Atlantic.
What I was trying to say, other parts of Spain, for example Galicia, Catalonia, Andalucia etc are all far greater contributors to the Spanish Economy than Extramadura.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803227)

It's only the service nations which are going broke. Those with quasi-socialist governments which own or heavily sponsor manufacturing are doing very well - from Germany to China. Those which have steered to the right, consistently eschewing investment in manufacturing and scaling back the welfare state (which, from an economic PoV, keeps people in sufficient health and education that they can remain productive as long as possible) to create a non-productive underclass, such as Spain and Italy, are pretty much fucked. England and the US had a hope thanks to heavy research, heavy+specialised manufacturing and investment portfolios, but Cameron/Brown and Obama/Bush have been making sure to destroy our remaining self-worth and finish the job Reagan and Thatcher started.

Linux should be supported from a socioeconomic PoV not because its initial licence cost is cheap but because it removes the strangehold of those who would create imaginary property and other artificial scarcities - the worst of which are the trade arranagements which make it artificially cheaper to manufacture in countries half way across the world with barely any human rights and/or protections.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

tao (10867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804125)

How then can you explain Sweden, whose finances have become far more robust (and is doing a fair bit better than the rest of the EU countries) after the liberal/right-wing government took over after years and years of socialist rule?

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805157)

Sweden is a very small country (population-wise), and an oil exporter. This is a simplistic correlation, but perhaps the increasing price of oil in the last decade has increased the financial health of the country.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805755)

You messed up Sweden with Norway. They aren't an union anymore since 1905.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (1)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804257)

It has taken a long time coming. That autonomous region had their own distro (LinEx [http://www.linex.org/joomlaex/]) since 2002 (shut down december 29 2011... moved on to a national initiative, CENATIC [http://www.cenatic.es/]). Apparently they still had lots of computers to migrate.

Re:Europe is broke , Linux to the recue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38804437)

All the following is IMHO, unleated to anyone else...

> While it is a pity that Europe is sliding into socio-economic oblivion, it's a great chance for Linux. Never waste a crisis!

Au contraire, mon ami! (Very a propos, heh?)

I was thinking recently about exactly that: in professional/business/enterprise environments there's a need for increased security and, in extreme cases, one cannot really choose the applications based on familiarity -- but there's instead a set of company-wide standardized applications.

So, it really does not matter if one chooses Windows or Linux in that particular case...

While it might argued someone would rather use Windows at home (if not else, out of lack of information about IT), in a company using Linux (or FreeBSD, or Macs) it's a must. One cannot say Windows is easier because:

a) it's not really easier in reality and
b) if you hire techies who do Linux, they work without any problems and have no need for Windows in any case.

So, it's not a lack of money issue.

Extremadura has done a lot for linux (4, Informative)

emj (15659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802489)

They have hosted codesprints and Debconf 2009 [debconf.org] . So this is really just a continuation of a long time of moving towards Linux. But I do not like the part where he says "Our budget for this is zero euros", that will not go well.

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (2)

crimperman (225941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802503)

I wondered about that too but I guess as the statement was made by the CIO that he's talking about software licence budget rather than overall budget (including staff, equipment etc.)

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803747)

"Because our budget for this plan is of zero euros"

Not arguing against you, but he said "plan". I guess his plan doesn't include "staff, equipment etc". My guess is he said what he said to sound sensational. Unless he truly has volunteers doing all the work.

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (1)

bgat (123664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802511)

Yes, I find that perspective troubling too. Seems like at least PART of the savings coming from reduced licensing costs for non-FOSS software could be used to fund the transition away from same.

The comment suggests to me a lack of clarity in the motivation for the transition. Money shouldn't be the only incentive, of course (I find the other upsides to a FOSS environment to be much more compelling), but anyone who understands the current state of affairs for software licensing would be reasonably expected to acknowledge that in a discussion about moving away from it.

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802619)

Money shouldn't be the only incentive, of course (I find the other upsides to a FOSS environment to be much more compelling), but anyone who understands the current state of affairs for software licensing would be reasonably expected to acknowledge that in a discussion about moving away from it.

True to an extent. I find FOSS particularly convenient and in the long term, fully open almost alwys winds up as the pragmatic choice as well. For me as an individual, that is easy to evaluate.

For a large business or organisation, probably the easiest way to get an overall number is by the cost.

It is, of course difficult to do. How do you factor in the short-term cost of lost productivity as users retrain? How much does it cost to have the exchange server down (again--is it that bad or just impossible to find good admins???)? How much will it cost in lost productivity as one has to mess around with DOCX versus ODT in the short term? What about in the long term (if you have 40,000 desktops, you are large enough for people to play by your rules). What about the long term advantage of hiving found that bugs that you find (and perhaps fix) get merged in upstream?

Hard to put an excact figure on.

Of course since it is a government organisation, there are yet more benefits. Even if it costs the same, the money spent on licenses which would otherwise disappear will be more likely spent locally on people to make the syatem work benefiting the local economy.

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804103)

Not long ago I finished a project in a EU member state govt agency. That DOCX is already a major PITA for the IT support. And the way they work, mostly they don't need any Windows exclusive features.

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805413)

If you have a non-redundant mail infrastructure (exchange or unix-based), then mail is not that important for you. And while there are networks where the migration to OSS desktops (not necessarily linux-based) can be done without much hassle, in many organizations it is next to impossible without redefining the entire IT structure. The Microsoft stack has its problems (as every other solution), but one of the big advantages is centralized management. Need to give access to a given terminal to a guy, but only 9-5 this week, and the guy can only run X apps and cannot save to the computer or an external device? No problem. Someone from accounting is working with the auditor team, and needs to be able to log in to their wokstations, but keeping the same privileges as in accounting? No problem. Don't want people in customer support changing the desktop background or browser settings? No problem. The company was sold and the new owner needs to grant access to their employees to the aquired company, but not the other way around? Yeah, "no problem".

Touting OSS as the magic bullet for everything is not a good idea. With OSS servers will still need maintenance, and sometimes maybe they will hang too. Desktops will need maintenance, and it's not at all that simple. And users will still complain.

Re:Extremadura has done a lot for linux (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803365)

But I do not like the part where he says "Our budget for this is zero euros", that will not go well.

Maybe what he meant was that they got no explicit budget that says migration to Linux. There might be several options for "funding" though - College/Uni students making code "contributions" for credits(or even part of mandatory coursework), budget for upgrading Windows machines and cuts in other services. That might be just plain accountingspeak that means that on balance the budget for Linux migration is actually 0. Without an inquiry, there is no way of verifying.

Nobody expects... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802515)

Nobody expects the Spanish Extremadura!

Re:Nobody expects... (1)

pezezin (1200013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803451)

Well, I certainly do, if only because I have been living here my whole live :P

Re:Nobody expects... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38804505)

^^Very funny!

Undercosting much? (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802519)

"And of course, it needs to be free. Because our budget for this plan is of zero euros."

Yep.

Can't see this blowing up in anyones face. (See: the ongoing ordeal and budget overruns of the Munich conversion)

Re:Undercosting much? (4, Informative)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802545)

"And of course, it needs to be free. Because our budget for this plan is of zero euros."

Yep.

Can't see this blowing up in anyones face. (See: the ongoing ordeal and budget overruns of the Munich conversion)

Um, last time I checked (which was a couple of weeks ago) the Munich project was going extremely well.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802709)

Yeah now - but look at the original time and budget estimates.

Re:Undercosting much? (3, Informative)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802767)

It's been nine years and more money than budgeted and they've converted 65% of the computers. The idea of converting to Linux is still so strange and uncommon that an autonomous region of Spain considering the same move nine years later is Slashdot-worthy news. It sounds to me like a huge failure.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802823)

oh don't be such a party pooper.

Re:Undercosting much? (3, Insightful)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802943)

oh don't be such a party pooper.

The GP has a point. The Linux desktop went nowhere. 40K desktops in Spain, 14K in Munich and 90K by the French police are by themselves respectable numbers. But when you take the perspective that:

  • -- these are the 3 biggest deployments of (desktop) Linux within the whole European Union public services,
  • -- AFAIK the only 3 very large ones,
  • -- in 2012

  one needs to reckon that, yes, we may all use Linux at home and some even at work (I do) but the Linux desktop never made it anywhere close mass market presence.

If I want to buy a high-quality laptop withOUT paying for an OS license that I am not going to use, the situation is as dire today as it was 10 years ago.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803325)

There are news that Hungarian public administration is moving away from Windows desktops as well. (Also because of licensing costs; there's a general asterity going on.)

Re:Undercosting much? (3, Informative)

gerddie (173963) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803773)

Not in Europe, but The Worlds Largest Linux Desktop Deployment: 500,000 Seats and Counting [linuxfoundation.org] in Brazil should count for something.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805769)

List of Linux adopters [wikipedia.org] . It has some interesting ones which I hadn't heard of, e.g. 180,000 Ubuntu desktops deployed in Macedonian schools.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803817)

Really?

http://www.system76.com/ [system76.com]

http://www.ohava.com/ [ohava.com]

https://www.thinkpenguin.com/ [thinkpenguin.com]

http://www.blackstonesystems.net/ [blackstonesystems.net]

Yup it's dire... Nobody at all is selling desktops or laptops with linux preinstalled.

Did you even look?

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804123)

Really.

System76 is US based. Ditto for Ohava.com. Ditto for ThinkPenguin. I could not look at BlackStoneSystems. I am on a RHEL machine, and their website requires a newer flash than the one I have. Regarding living in Europe and ordering a laptop from the US:

  1. I don't know about you, but I would prefer buying my laptops from a shop I could return something if necessary.
  2. I also would rather NOT pay import taxes on my laptop...

(Ok, I didn't flat out state that I live in Europe, but then, why do you just assume I am US based :-P)

I have no doubt that someone with more time could find a seller in Germany or France serving continental Europe. But my point is this: if you just walk into a large 'general' computer shop all laptops you'll find will be running Windows7 or OSX. Ditto for any 'regular' computer seller on the web. Hence I call buying a laptop with Linux pre-installed a 'dire proposition'.

That I have to go to a small specialist shop to skip paying for the OS license I'll ditch, was exactly my point. FWIW Often the economy of scale, and faster turn-over of larger brands will mean that I can buy a better spec'ed laptop WITH Windows and still pay less than what I would by buying from a smaller 'linux' focused shop. (Which of the shops you linked to has anything like an ultra-book in the pipeline?) Which -again- is my whole point, Linux laptops is a tiny niche and getting one is particularly cumbersome (relative to the 'trouble' I would have buying something with Windows7 or from Apple).

Did you even look?

I did look at the local Lenovo.com shop and some other places some months ago, and there was nothing I could buy without Windows.

Re:Undercosting much? (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804303)

The Linux desktop went nowhere. 40K desktops in Spain, 14K in Munich and 90K by the French police are by themselves respectable numbers.

By that logic, the Apple desktop also "went nowhere", since there were no mass migrations of government departments to Apple computers. Or maybe there is another explanation? Maybe governments are very conservative in their IT procurement, and by default choose Microsoft, often without even bothering to consider other options? For obvious reasons, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of Linux desktop users, but according to Microsoft, Linux has a greater desktop share than the Mac. Here's are some interesting comments from a report from 2010: Debunking the 1% Myth [oreilly.com]

If we do the math we find that due to netbooks alone Linux captured nearly 6% of the desktop market in 2009. In order to reach a total number we need to add larger laptops and desktops both from companies like Dell, HP (their business line) as well as smaller boutique vendors.

Additional confirmation of the growth in Linux desktop market share last year came from an unlikely source: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Using a slide to visualize OS market share Ballmer had Linux desktop market share as a slightly larger slice of the pie than MacOS. Nobody considers Apple insignificant on the desktop and neither is Linux. Here is, in part, what Mr. Ballmer had to say about Linux on the desktop and the competition for Windows:

Linux, you could see on the slide, and Apple has certainly increased its share somewhat.

[...]

I think depending on how you look at it, Apple has probably increased its market share over the last year or so by a point or more. And a point of market share on a number that's about 300 million is interesting. It's an interesting amount of market share, while not necessarily being as dramatic as people would think, but we're very focused in on both Apple as a competitor, and Linux as a competitor."

Does anyone believe that Microsoft would see Linux as a serious competitor is Linux had captured just 1% of the market? That doesn't seem very likely, does it? All the figures I have quoted so far represent sales of systems preloaded with a given operating system: Windows, MacOS or Linux. They do not represent actual usage. If you go down to the local brick and mortar computer shop or big box retailer, buy a system with Windows, wipe the hard drive and install Linux that still counts as a Windows system, not a Linux system.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804801)

The Linux desktop went nowhere. 40K desktops in Spain, 14K in Munich and 90K by the French police are by themselves respectable numbers.

By that logic, the Apple desktop also "went nowhere", since there were no mass migrations of government departments to Apple computers. Or maybe there is another explanation? Maybe governments are very conservative in their IT procurement, and by default choose Microsoft, often without even bothering to consider other options? For obvious reasons, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of Linux desktop users, but according to Microsoft, Linux has a greater desktop share than the Mac. Here's are some interesting comments from a report from 2010: Debunking the 1% Myth [oreilly.com]

Apple tries to occupy a very different market. Linux has been pushed as the 'ideal' public service desktop for years and years and years.

FWIW I very, very much doubt Apple has less of a desktop/laptop presence than Linux. This is probably MS trying to downplay the importance of Apple in their (MS) home market.

Judging from all my acquaintances, I can tell you that: (about 10 years ago) when I started my PhD many of my colleagues used Linux at home. With the years, each and every one of them migrated to Apple. Many of the colleagues I had after my PhD, (people that work all day on Linux desktops) migrated from Linux to Apple 'at home' in recent years. The amount of people I know personally that runs Linux at home has only been shrinking.

The text you quoted talked about 'netbooks' running Linux. Suuure. How many *new* netbooks running Linux have you seen for sale in the last 2 years?

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805711)

Apple tries to occupy a very different market.

Apple would love to occupy the corporate and public sector desktop market. It would mean vast amounts of guaranteed income every year.

Linux has been pushed as the 'ideal' public service desktop for years and years and years.

Really? I see the opposite - most Linux vendors have pretty much ignored the desktop and focused on niche areas like embedded systems, servers, HPC, etc. IBM said chasing Windows on the desktop was a deadend [channelregister.co.uk] , and Red Hat famously pulled away from focusing on the desktop years ago. Ubuntu seems to have been the only one that has maintained a desktop focus, and they have an estimated 13 million or so users.

Judging from all my acquaintances

Anecdotal evidence and a biased sample - your colleagues are probably in the top 1% of global income, and the kind of people who don't mind spending large amounts of cash on their personal computers.

How many *new* netbooks running Linux have you seen for sale in the last 2 years?

The netbook market fell for various reasons. The market changed - people adopted tablets, and full-featured laptops became smaller, faster, and cheaper than they were. MS began selling XP again and put pressure on netbook manufacturers to adopt it. Netbooks also, oddly, became more expensive as they became more like laptops in response to the increased hardware requirements. The choice of Linux distros was often odd as well - instead of partnering with, say, Ubuntu, many of the netbook makers chose to pre-install random Chinese distributions. The rise of smart phones also played a huge part - why carry a larger netbook around with you, when you can do email, facebook, web browsing etc. sufficiently well from your phone, that fits in your pocket and weighs a hundred grams?

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804529)

The Linux desktop went nowhere.

Good thing I don't make my choice of OS based on a worldwide popularity contest then.

Re:Undercosting much? (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803011)

"huge failure" - You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

Every single installed copy of windows could break tomorrow, and never ever be repaired...

... and I could still get my Email, search Google, push Git changes to my website, get paid online, make fun of people using Facebook, browse damn near all of the Internet, including my bank's site, so I can pay my bills online.

Yeah, so all the important shit runs Linux... o_O "huge failure" Think about how much your world would change if all the Linux installs in the world stopped working tomorrow and never came back. My phone stops working, along with nearly the entire Internet, not to mention crap-loads of the embedded devices.

I'm not saying that things don't depend on Windows or OSX or BSD, but seriously, "huge failure"? I hope you never learn the meaning (and I fear the real issue is that it may be too late for you to learn anything at all).

Re:Undercosting much? (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804039)

It's been nine years and more money than budgeted and they've converted 65% of the computers.

On the bright side: they have migrated 100% of systems to Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, and ODF.

more money than budgeted

Yes, but this would almost certainly have also been the case if they were migrating all their systems to a more recent release of Windows. They were running enterprise wide NT4. The comparison point should not be against the pre-existing TCO, but against the alternative cost of migrating to a more recent Windows. "We do not have a goal to compare total cost of ownership. Microsoft stopped supporting NT 4.0, so we must migrate." limux project leader. [cnet.com] How much do you think a government migration of 15,000 NT4 desktops, plus Office and other software to a recent release of Windows would cost? Due to increased hardware requirements of new Windows, such a migration would also certainly require new PCs, which would further increase costs. Maybe the cost of migration would be the same, less, or more, but in the long term freeing themselves of costly vendor lock-in and the Microsoft upgrade treadmill should result in substantial cost savings

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805161)

But it is Linux. So it has to be a success.
Because the Operating System is by far the cause or solution to all of lifes problems.

Re:Undercosting much? (1)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38804645)

Also, the region (I was born there) has plenty of experience on rolling out Linux on institutions through LinEx [wikipedia.org] first (schools), then Debian itself (on the health system's IT infrastructure) later on. They were far from smooth at the time as mistakes were made, particularly when it came to re-educate and retrain staff. The region's government staff desktops is the last, and biggest, migration to make.

Re:Undercosting much? (3, Informative)

Aloriel (934343) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802557)

Don't be an idiot, Extremadura developed and deployed Linex, massively deployed in every single public (high)school in Extremadura; they know how to do it and what it costs.

Be nice if this actually happened (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802565)

OK, so I understand from other posts that Extremadura has historically done a good job of supporting Linux. Whatever. I still can't shake the feeling - particularly given past experience with other big migration projects - that this is a ploy to get a better price from Microsoft.

Re:Be nice if this actually happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803051)

Extremadura simply cannot afford to renew hardware running Windows XP or worse. Even if Win 7 was for free their hardware is not able to cope with Win 7. Besides - Linux is better anyway. Running Debian and Debian Edu is a natural choice . Better and cheaper - Why buy Microsoft Office when you can install LibreOffice for free?

Greetings
Jim Oksvold

Re:Be nice if this actually happened (4, Interesting)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803145)

They have no MS licences, they currently run Linux (their own custom Distro) and are migrating to standard Debian

Perhaps it is a Ploy to get a better price from Apple/Oracle etc ..who they also don't use ...?

Re:Be nice if this actually happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803419)

Not likely in any form - They will simply install Debian Linux and live with it - They still do not have the money. They even sacked the few developers of Linex to save money - I will assume they have licenses for 40000 computers used by the administration - Most computers are delivered with Windows pre-installed So far the Schools and Health sector used Linux but only 1% of the Administration have used Linux so far. Now the administration will get Debian Linux to replace Windows as well - No need to worry - This will happen - The only road ahead unless they have money to burn - And Extremadura does not print it's own money :-)

Greetings
Jim Oksvold

With EU financial troubles, .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802575)

how soon before more cities, and states move this direction? As that happens, it will gut America's massive MS exports.

Re:With EU financial troubles, .... (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802747)

You say that like it's a bad thing!

Re:With EU financial troubles, .... (1)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802889)

> You say that like it's a bad thing!

to all readers that think the author is MS bashing for MS bashing's sake (or an appeal to the /. groupthink), read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window [wikipedia.org]

Good for them... (1)

j-b0y (449975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802585)

Extremadura is one of the poorer regions of Spain and with the general funding squeeze trying to get the public deficit under control, I reckon they have a lot to gain from this.

Re:Good for them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802635)

And once they do, other regions will follow. In fact, once coders start developing some for-profit apps on Linux over there, they will realize that they can make LOADS of money by eating into Windows.
If lucky, this will stop airbus from trying put Windows in their GD cockpits. Scariest planes going.

So, 2012 is the year of the Linux desktop? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802591)

Finally! Just in time for the end of the world, too.

Re:So, 2012 is the year of the Linux desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803755)

So, Linux on the desktop will bring upon the end of the world!

UEFI (2)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802667)

I wonder if, in the future, having to buy hardware that is "designed for Linux", and is therefore in a market aside from the one of mainstream desktop PCs, could reduce the economic advantage of such operations.

Re:UEFI (2)

ironman_one (520863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802687)

Or this will make PC manufactures not touching UEFI with a ten foot pole.

Re:UEFI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802713)

Great, a ? :D

Re:UEFI (2)

guabah (968691) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802735)

But Linux distros already support UEFI, it could slow adoption of signed boot or whatever it's called.

Re:UEFI (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802749)

You have just discovered a gaping hole in the market for non UEFI hardware!

A few clarifications (5, Informative)

lufo (949075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802761)

Please allow me to make a few clarifications on the subject, because there are some additional facts related than can be missed if you didn't read TFA and TF(Spanish Newspaper)A linked by TFA:

  • Extremadura became pioneer in Free SW creating their own Debian-based distro 9 years ago, LinEx (Linux Extremadura)
  • They implanted a PC every two school students (primary education, up to 13 yr) region-wide running LinEx, appart from the Regional Administration
  • Now they're closing the LinEx development project, handing it to a national-level (rather than regional)
  • The information is based in a 2011-12-31 statement by the regional CIO, saying they're migrating from LinEx to "pure" Debian as LinEx is orphaned
  • I've tried to find additional info (like planning, additional commentaries, etc) in newspapers, the official regional citizen-info site, etc. on the subject but I've found nothing
  • I've found some statements from LinEx project (now ex-)workers but these statements where just suppositions
  • Regarding to a HW and UEFI related comment I've seen, I don't think they will replace any hardware, they will just migrate the OS in those systems already owned by the regional administration

Re:A few clarifications (1)

lufo (949075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802965)

handing it to a national-level (rather than regional) free-software promotion organisation

Sorry about that. The parent author.

Re:A few clarifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803075)

They implanted a PC every two school students

While it is nice to read about advances in desktop Linux usage, they are implanting a PC on every other student? Now that's just awesome.

Re:A few clarifications (4, Informative)

lufo (949075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803307)

It was done some years ago: in 2002 they bought 70.000 PCs and put the first 50.000 one for every 2 high-school students (so my first information was wrong, it's not under 13 but 13 to 17 years old) and the remaining 20.000 for primary education (under 13 yo.)

Here is a blog entry (in Spanish) from 2009 in which one of the responsibles comments on the conversion of the original PCs into thin clients:
http://www.itais.net/2009/01/26/reutilizando-70000-ordenadores/ [itais.net]

Re:A few clarifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38804033)

whoosh [wikipedia.org]

Re:A few clarifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803439)

In 2002 we implanting a new table with a PC between the students desktops.
In 2008 we started the migration to Netbooks because it was cheaper than buying new tables to put 2 PCs.
But crisis comes and this year the government doesn't have money to buy more netbooks, so we have some class with a Netbook for every student and others with a PC for 2 students.

Extremadura is testing every year many technologies that works ok in other countries, but doesn't scale with so many computers. Wifi-g didn't work for 360 computers in 12 different classrooms, so we use ethernet cable the first year. Then, we tested wifi-n. Wifi-n hardware are expensive, so we tested a Wifi-n PC Card to transform the teacher PC from a Terminal Server to a wifi-n access point. And so on. In some years I expect that we can buy all the new hardware, with all the systems ready.

Typical misleading summary (-1)

Exceptica (2022320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802795)

Click on the spanish link at the end of the linked article and translate it. They haven't even begun. They are in the boasting phase. Also, they are dropping a ridiculously incestuous 'Linux of Extremadura' distribution, also done only to suck in public money and boast about 'putting extremadura in the world tech map'.

Re:Typical misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802857)

such negative vibes man.. try to relax.

Re:Typical misleading summary (4, Informative)

lufo (949075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802941)

I don't know what the automated translation looks like, but I can tell you that

a) LinEx was not a "ridiculous incest", it made sense big time and also was more than just the distro, they put a free-software-based-PC every two under-13 school kids, they put the same PCs in every public library in the region ("Nuevos Centros del Conocimiento", New Knowledge Centers), they created elder-persons computer-literacy programs and more...

b) how can they "suck in public money" if they were the very public administration? They stopped giving away public money to (US) private companies, and created a public entrerprise to create a public-interest, publicly-available, free-as-in-beer-and-also-as-in-speech region-wide computer network with public access to the internet.

Isn't this an old story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38802821)

I thought they did this back in 2005.
http://www.osnews.com/story/12611 [osnews.com]

Re:Isn't this an old story? (2)

lufo (949075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38802865)

They created LinEx and migrated back then. Now they're migrating back to Debian as they end development of LinEx.

rmod +up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38803573)

OF AMERICa irc

Its not much of a migration (1)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803889)

LinEX is a debian based disto, so switching over to regular Debian is fairly simple and requires less maintenance.

Cool name (1)

sirdude (578412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38803999)

Extremadura is one cool sounding name for a province! I haven't been this impressed since I came across the prison planet of Crematoria [wikipedia.org] .

P.S. Hear, hear for more Debian users!

Re:Cool name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38804827)

You should check this Band..."Extremoduro" http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremoduro ....good rock and very very very good lyrics...but the only sing on spanish.Good reason to learn Cervantes Lang!

Re:Cool name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38805831)

It's called Extremadura because it's far away in the middle of nowhere.

Re:Cool name (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805927)

It is named thus, because it is in fact extremely dry. If it was in Asia or in Africa, we would classify the Extremadura as a desert.

Where's Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38806005)

Just waiting for Steve Ballmer to show up there, in order to bribe them to not make the switch to Linux. It seems like they do for everybody else that announces they are going to dump Microsoft.

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