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Linux Desktop Myths Examined

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the wearing-the-corporate-pants dept.

Linux 718

Call Me Black Cloud writes "NewsFactor Network has an overview of the $95.00 Gartner report titled, "Myths of Linux on the Desktop". It's a good look at several points from the perspective of a corporate user, not a home user."

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Myth #1 (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892241)

Linux is ready for the desktop

We all know that's not true!

Re:Myth #1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892305)

Fact or Fiction?

Q: Linux will make me ghey?
A: Fiction. Linux will make you *very* ghey.

Re:Myth #1 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892406)

Myth #2

Windows is the superior desktop OS, and is intuitive and stable.

Myth #2

No information is being sent to Microsoft at this time.

FreedomInTheUnitedStatesofAmerika: +1, Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892416)


Read this story about Feeling The Boot Heel Of The Patriot Act [alternet.org]

Cheers,
W00t

There is a more insidious thing about Linux (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892459)

Hello,

Recently I've been introduced to an operating system known as Linux.

Lured by its low cost, I replaced Windows 98 on my computer with Linux. Unfortunately the more I use it the more I fear that this "Linux" may be an insidious way for the Dark One to gain a stronger foothold here on Earth. I know this may be a shocking claim, but I have evidence to back it up!

To begin with, Linux is based off of an older, obsolete OS called "BSD Unix". The child-indoctrinatingly-cute cartoon mascot of this OS is a devil holding a pitchfork. This OS -- and its Linux offspring -- extensively use what are unsettingly called "daemons" (which is how Pagans write "demon" -- they are notoriously poor spellers: magick, vampyre, etc.) which is a program that hides in the background, doing things without the user's notice. If you are using a computer running Linux then you probably have these "demons" on your computer, hardly something a good Christian would want! Furthermore in order to start or stop these "demons" a user must execute a command called "finger". By "fingering" a "demon" one excercises an unholy power, much the same way that the Lord of Flies controls his black minions.

Linux contains another Satanic holdover from the "BSD Unix" OS mentioned above; to open up certain locked files one has to run a program much like the DOS prompt in Microsoft Windows and type in a secret code: "chmod 666". What other horrors lurk in this thing?

Consider some of these other Linux commands: "sleep", "mount", "unzip", "strip" and "touch". All highly suggestive in a sexual nature. I know that our Lord cannot approve of these, and I urge them to be renamed to something appropriate to the Christian community. Interestingly "CONTROL-G" (the sixth key from the left of the keyboard) does an abort. To write files a "VI" editor is included. All these are to ensnare the unsuspecting christian who could get tempted by typing "VIVIVI" all day long.

Fourth, Linux uses a flavor of DOS known as Bash. Bash is an acronym for "Bourne Again Shell". On the surface this would appear to be supportive of the Lord. However, remember that even Satan can quote the bible for his own purposes! While I believe Linux may be born-again, its obvious by the misspelling of "born" that its not born-again in an Christian church. Will the lies ever cease?

Additionally, one of the main long-haired hippies involved with the GNU Free Software Foundation supports communism, contraception and abortion. He has consistently supported 60's counter-cultural "values", and his web site even advocates government support of contraception. He also wears fake halos, and has quips about his made-up church that relates to his free software. I find such blasphemy to be extremely unsettling.

One must also remember that the creator of Linux, a college student named Linux Torvaldis, comes from Finland. I'm sure all the followers of Christ are aware of the heritical nature of the Finnish: from necrophilia to human sacrifice, Finnish culture is awash in sin. I find little reason to believe anything good and holy could arise from this evil land.

Finally, let us remember that there is an alternative to using the Satan-powered Linux. I think history has shown us that Microsoft is quite holy. I'm told that its founder, William Gates is a strong supporter of our Lord and I encourage my fellow Christians to buy only his products to help keep the Devil at bay.

I wish I had more time to expound upon my findings. Unfortunately a family of Jews has moved in across the street and I must go speak to them of Jesus Christ before they are condemned to eternal hellfire.

Please investigate this as you see fit and I'm sure you'll reach the same conclusions that I have.

Re:Myth #1 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892490)

No, myth #1 is "Linux on the Desktop". "Linux is ready for the desktop" is myth #2.

Lets take an objective aproach. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892551)

My company wants 500 desktop pc's.
They should:

Allow the operators some liberties, but be prevented from running all those crappy downloads and virus ridden emails.

Support Printers, file shares, be Microsoft Office compatable, have an email client and www client.

The low licensing costs should be fairly low and predictable, Ideally we'd like to swap in and out a couple of desktops.

What should I use, for my workplace?

Desktop is not ready for Linux either! (1)

axxackall (579006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892567)

Well, at least Linux should not mimic the ugly UI [sourceforge.net] most of users have on their desktops today.

Mirrored anywhere (-1, Offtopic)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892242)

Too bad it's reg required. :\

Re:Mirrored anywhere (1)

dubbelj (515855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892334)

There are a link in the notice to the overview on newsfactor: http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/21431.html

Re:Mirrored anywhere (-1, Offtopic)

EvanED (569694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892349)

Any people complain about linking to newspapers that require *free* registration... geez...

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (621411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892247)

Linux Explains Desktop Myths To You!

Zeroth Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892251)

Don't you FP people program?:)

tsarkon reports goating the choad watch! its funny (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892253)

[goatse.cx]
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m g
o / m m \ m m m m m m \ m m m m m m/ m m\ m m m o
a| m m m | m m m m m m \ m m m m m| m m m| m m ma
t| m m m `. m m m m m m | m m m m | m m m : m m t
s` m m m m| m m m m m m | m m m c\| m m m | m m s
e \ m m m | / m m m / m\\\ m --mm \\ m m m : m me
x m\ m m m\/ m m--~~ m m m m m~--mc| \ m m | m mx
* m \ m m m\m-~ m m m m m m m m m m~-c\ m m| m m*
g m c\c m m \ m m m mm.--------.mmmmcc\| m | m mg
o m m c\ m m \cmmmmm// m mmm m (m(cm; m\ m | m mo
a m m c \ m . cC mmm) mmmmmmm (m(cmmm; m| m/ m ma
t m m c /\ | m C mmmm)/ m_ m \ (ccmmm; m|m/ m m t
s m m c/ /\| m Ccmmmm) m _ m | m(cmm; m / m\ m ms
e m m | m ( m cCcmmmm)\mm_mmm/ m// m/ / m m \ m e
x m m | m m\ c|mm m \\mmmmmmmmm// (mm/ m m m | mx
* m m| \ m m\mmmm) m `---- m --' m m m m m m | m*
g m m| m\m m m m m mccm\ m m m /m m m m m mm/ | g
o m | m m m m m m m/ m m| m m | m\ m m m m m m| o
a m | m m m m m m | m m/ m m m \ m\ m m m m m | a
t m | m m m m m/ / m m| m m m m | m\ m m m m m |t
s m | m m m m / / m m m\mm/\mmm/ m m| m m m m m|s
e m| m m m m m / m m m m| m m| m m m | m m m m |e
x m| m m m m m| m m m m | m m| m m m | m m m m |x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Ummm, is it my imagination... (2, Insightful)

ambisinistral (594774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892254)

Ummm, is it my imagination or does this article link to a report you have to pay $95 to read?

How are we supposed to comment on it?

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (5, Funny)

Romeozulu (248240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892270)

Not reading the article shouldn't keep any /. user from posting.

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (2, Funny)

ambisinistral (594774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892294)

Well, yea, I'll grant you that. However there wasn't even much of a writup we could jump to wildly wrong conclusions about.

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892282)

Just like all other comments. Pull it out of you ass. Nobody reads the articles anyway.....

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (4, Funny)

RealBeanDip (26604) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892299)

This is Slashdot for cryin' out loud - comment anyway, nobody ever reads the ACTUAL article!

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892372)

Or you could just read the _overview_, also linked in the article...

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892387)

The word "overview" is the link. Next time I submit a story I'll add (this is the link here) :)

Re:Ummm, is it my imagination... (1)

ambisinistral (594774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892535)

What can I say, I was so dumbfounded by the link to the $95 order form that I never even noticed the other link. Soooo.... how much is that link gonna cost me? ;-)

This is a first (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892394)

OK, so you clicked the second link, but not the first, anfd actually READ what was on the second link. Somehow, you did not manage to read the first sentence of the submitter's posting, nor did you manage to hit the first link. Let me help you out some:

NewsFactor Network has an overview of the $95.00 Gartner report titled, "Myths of Linux on the Desktop".

Now, I bolded the pertinent section to help you out. Please read that. And while you are at it, CLICK THIS FUCKING LINK [newsfactor.com] .

Another linux myth... (2, Flamebait)

VAXGeek (3443) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892256)

Cutting and pasting diverse objects using the X11 clipboard is easy! Good thing I have this middle mouse button.

Re:Another linux myth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892314)

Everything is text, and that's good enough for me.

In Windows, I can copy a portion of an image between two applications. In Linux, everything is text, and that's good enough for me.

In Windows, I can copy a segment of a word processor document between two applications without losing any formatting. In Linux, everything is text, and that's good enough for me.

As a Linux user, everything that is good enough for me is good enough for the whole world. Thank you for your acceptance of my world view.

Re:Another linux myth... (0, Offtopic)

RadioheadKid (461411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892463)

a funny comment: 1 karma

an insightful comment: 1 karma
a good old-fashioned flame: priceles

Typo in sig. --- Welcome to Slashdot!

Re:Another linux myth... (1)

C0LDFusion (541865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892534)

Probably not a typo. Probably just the .sig character cap, you insensitive clod!

Myth #1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892257)

Linux is a great desktop system... FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Yes, it is a myth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892508)

We all know you can't poop on Linux. You have as bad aim as someone posting "FIRST!" on an article that already has 1,000 comments.

Dispersing the Linux Myths (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892260)

One of the biggest wails heard by the most vocal and fanatical zealots in the Linux community is that Windows and most of the programs that run on it are bloated and slow, while screaming about how fast and "un-bloated" Linux is. Where this myth started I do not know, but it is obvious that it is a deliberate effort by Linux fanatics to tarnish the good name of Microsoft and Windows and to lure Linux newbies and those curious about the OS into making the fatal mistake of installing it on their computer. The fact that this alleged truth seems to go unquestioned shows how reluctant most Linux advocates are to admit that their once lightweight OS has degenerated into nothing more than piles and piles of spaghetti code and a huge mess of cheesy, mostly unused apps that is characteristic of most Linux distributions these days.

Now to dispel the myths:

Myth 1.) Linux is good for old computers.

This Linux Lie is often perpetrated when a newbie wants to try out Linux, but is reluctant to install it on his or her main computer (with good reason) Others replying to his question will say that it is fine to erase the hard drive of his old Pentium 166 with Windows 98 SE to prepare it for the Linux revolution, but the fact is that Linux performs horribly on slow computers in comparison to Windows. Sure, Linux may turn an older computer into a feeble server or a router, but try running things that you could run fairly quickly under Windows such as anything GUI, particularly an office app or a web browser, and Linux crawls, stutters, grinds the hard drive for 10 minutes, and generally eats up all the RAM in your poor machine's system like an obese glutton.

Myth 2.) Linux is lightweight

Once, yes, but now it couldn't be further from the truth. Linux has quickly snowballed into a gargantuan assortment of apps and bloated libraries that have been stitched together by the slaves of Tux. No amount of RAM will satisfy Linux, it will eat it all until there is nothing left to do but start swapping. Many Linux purists will say that is not true, but since they choose to only use the command line or maybe blackbox or windowmaker they have no say. The very fact that they would be torturing themselves with such rubbish just goes to show that they find straining their eyes and wrists on the geeky command prompt or configuring their blackbox using text files less torturous than suffering through the unbelievably slow load times and bloated programs found in KDE and GNOME.

Myth 3.) Windows is bloated

This absurd statement is the most fictitious, and is spouted over and over again by the Linux faithful in the hopes that they will brainwash themselves into believing this most grievous of the Linux Lies. My computer, an Athlon 1600+ w/ 256 mb RAM running Windows XP, takes merely seconds to start, the whole system taking about as much time to load as KDE by itself takes to start up in Linux. Even on my old 166 Mhz IBM Aptiva Windows 98 SE runs very well, is quite snappy, and is just as featureful as KDE, even considering that Windows 98 is a four-year-old OS. None of this speed or functionality was even remotely matched by any Linux GUI I ran on it. The lie spouted by many Linux users that Windows 9x is an unusable crap OS is something that perplexes me, as I had far more stability/mysterious problems on RedHat 7.2 and KDE than I've ever had in Windows 9x (for instance, one time konqueror started freezing for 5 seconds every time I started it or clicked on a directory, and this went on for a week until the problem mysteriously disappeared) Linux users often compare uptimes like penis size, but unless you are running a server or like wasting energy to keep your box on 24/7 this is irrelevant. I should note, however, that on my computer Linux locked up every 5 minutes after starting GNOME, which I found out the problem was due to a four-year-old bug in the Linux kernel (so much for open source fixing bugs quickly) that caused it to corrupt memory and lock up X windows on my nvidia card. I managed to get it to only lock up around ever 5-7 hours, but this still is more than Windows 98, which usually goes for the whole day without having to reboot.

Myth 4.) Windows applications are slow and bloated

This lie has even less substance than the ones before it, and is the same as the "Windows is bloated" statement. All of the core windows apps such as the file manager, web browser, and office applications start up nearly instantly on even a marginally fast computer. After waiting and waiting for konqueror to load (even when I just loaded it) or going to the bathroom while staroffice does its thing, I was amazed at how blazingly fast comparible programs like outlook, word, internet explorer, etc were by comparison. Whoever said office was bloated must have been on crack. Maybe when people say "bloated" they mean full of features.

To end, if you want to get some work done, don't use Linux, you'll spend all your time tweaking it and waiting for slow assed programs to load, I know Windows costs money but its not that expensive and besides Linux is only free if your time is worthless. If Linux got less bloated (which isn't likeley to happen) and didn't appeal to drooling geeks so much it may have a future on the desktop. But like Microsoft's business practices or hate them, you can't anymore say you use Linux because it is a superior OS, especially if you compare it to Windows XP.

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (3, Funny)

snoochyboochy (593098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892374)

Lookout everybody, Balmer's started reading /.!!!

MODS ON CRACK -- AGAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892388)

Glad to see the MODS ARE STILL ON CRACK. This is FLAMEBAIT, MORONS. GET A FSCKING CLUE.

Re:MODS ON CRACK -- AGAIN (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892456)

I realize that, I just had to vent some philisophical feelings. Now, lets go break stuff!

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892415)

Dude. I agreed with you upto the point just before
you said: "The lie spouted by many Linux users
that Windows 9x is an unusable crap OS is
something that perplexes me"
Why, perchance,
are you running XP since Win98 was real stable for
you?

Win98 is a piece of junk. Anyone that says
otherwise doesn't know their ass from their
elbow.

- Moomin

What you failed to mention (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892424)

Yes, Linux has lots of bloat. More than Windows when you get down to it. The most important thing you overlooked, most of that bloat is optional in Linux unlike Windows. I've installed SuSE from a DVD, bloat is pleantiful, and removing it isn't always trivial, but it is doable, and you can opitonally start with a bare install. Try removing IE from XP. Optional bloat isn't so bad, and distro makers are moving in the right direction, as time progresses distros get better. Except more maybe RedHat which seems to be getting worse.

Re:What you failed to mention (1)

starunj (644667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892481)

Removing IE is:
Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs > Add/Remove Windows Components > Uncheck IE > Click on OK.

You're done. And as a windows user: RTFM! or press F1.

Re:What you failed to mention (2, Insightful)

platipusrc (595850) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892538)

Since when is removing a shortcut the same thing as uninstalling an application?

SuSE from a DVD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892492)

Try gentoo, you choose your own bloat.

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (2)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892441)

It's probably obvious, but plese note that the above is not the article at the "overview" link.

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892442)

amen brother!

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (2, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892446)

It seems /. has transformed "proof by anecdote" into something both "interesting" and "informative". Bravo.

Linux users often compare uptimes....... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892471)

Well I have a 'server' tucked away in the house, it has big fat noisy HDD's that I don't want in the living room, it runs my Email, ADSL,dns/dhcp and stores everything that I wouldn't want a thief to make off with (because it's hidden away).

So,
I run linux 24/7, it gives me:

A reasonably secure filing system (thieft proofish)
Email (at the cost of exchange server)
DNS/DHCP
A quiet living room (no noisy HDD's)
and the ability to let anyone plug a pc in and join my home network, friends, house mates and people who bring round some music on there laptop for parties.

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892526)

How can installing something that costs you nothing be a fatal mistake? It's not like you can't put Windows back on if you don't like it, which most people won't at first (hell, I didn't like it at first, until I gave it a serious effort). And I don't know about bloated. I do know about choice. I know that for what I do most MS apps have very few features that I really need and very many that I don't need. And you don't have to install all 6 CDs that you might get with your Linux distro.

I would agree with you that for desktop work you need at least the system requirements of a Windows box but for many server tasks (not all) you can happily do on a 486 with very little RAM. Certainly don't need to waste any resources running a GUI on a server that you never need to touch the console on.

And for some young kid who wants to learn how to program and doesn't have rich parents there's nothing better than Linux. What does Visual Studio and MS SQL server cost now days? Especially if you want to use your SQL server on a public IIS server and license it legally?

And the time thing is complete bull shit. I can't tell you how much time I waste dicking with Microsoft servers because the MCSEs don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, and never have to touch the *NIX boxes.

And automation is still just as much of a pain in the ass in XP as it was in DOS.

Re:Dispersing the Linux Myths (5, Insightful)

GrimReality (634168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892575)

that on my computer Linux locked up every 5 minutes after starting GNOME, which I found out the problem was due to a four-year-old bug in the Linux kernel (so much for open source fixing bugs quickly) that caused it to corrupt memory and lock up X windows on my nvidia card.

Do you know that Microsoft's virtual monopoly mens that hardware makers do not have the incentive to write drivers for alternative opeating systems. They could at least release full interface specs so that the work would be done by someone else. No they haven't done either. And I suspect Microsoft could be bullying (indirectly pressuring) hardware makers not to write drivers for GNU/Linux et. al. or release specs. Now, don't say that they have to make money from the dirvers. They don't sell their drivers, they have to provide it with the hardware they sell.

I know Windows costs money but its not that expensive and besides Linux is only
free if your time is worthless.

'free' in the GNU/Linux terms means freedom, not moolah. I know this is a (Score, -2000, Overrated and Redundant), but I have no choice but to say it again. It means 'freedom'. Lower cost of acquiring the software is just a perk. Again consider installing Windows on 30 machines. With GNU/Linux one licence is good for all, while on Windows you pay for each workstation for software alone.

These arguments are exactly what everyone I have spoken to seem to make. It is partly true but it is like listening to a part of a show that is supposed to be funny, but can only be funny if you had background information of the show. So, where is the background info. of this show? Microsof's dominance, coercion in many forms on hardware makers.

Thank you for understanding.
GrimReality
2003-05-06 17:09:14 UTC (2003-05-06 13:09:14 EDT)

Who sponsered this study? (1)

T_moz (648207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892272)

This almost seems like it may have been co-sponsered by Gates and friends.

Registration NOT required (4, Informative)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892273)

The Gartner link is registration required, but not the overview. There are TWO links ....

Re:Registration NOT required (1)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892288)

That might be true but still the first link is useless as well - since it is slashdotted already. Bad luck, eh?

Re:Registration NOT required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892364)

Knowing that would mean that you not only read the article before replying, but you read the whole front page blurb as well. Wow you must be new to ./ or not interested in Karma Whoring.

There's a typo (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892274)

The title should have been "The Myth of Linux on the Desktop".

Some FUD, not all (4, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892278)

Its true that the initial TCO for linux will rise - whenever you are switching from one platform to another, there will be costs.

I also don't believe Linux saves money on hardware compared to Windows - it seems many offices are holding back with Windows upgrades, and IT expenditures on all desktop hardware and software seems to be slowing. For most people, Win2K is fine.

What the study fails to mention is security. Linux and open source in general appear to be far ahead of Windows in this regard.

In any case, most IT people have become innured to these studies - they are often pointless mental exercises without much factual backing.

Re:Some FUD, not all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892365)

"Appear to be far ahead"?

Where do you get that?

Linux has had more exploits this year than windows. Any total numbers of compromises when compensated for Linux's lower share come out to be about the same.

Linux is just as insecure as windows. Again, anyone that actualy deals with this stuff knows the truth, everyone else just "believes".

Re:Some FUD, not all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892429)

But, security really isn't much of a desktop issue per se... Well, not as much as in the server market.

paid support (4, Insightful)

jameson71 (540713) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892308)

I don't see why "paid vendor support" is such a big deal with corporations, when it typically amounts to either A: Someone telling you what should have been documented on their web site or B: someone telling you to hire a guy to come in at $200 an hour to tell you you have a bad ram module, and replace it.

Re:paid support (1)

HP-UX'er (211124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892480)

the issue is liabilty ...

if *you* make a bad decision, its your manager's fault.

but, if the vendor makes a bad decision, blame falls there, or even a lawsuit.

a manager will likely opt for "someone else's fault" almost everytime.

some very good points (5, Insightful)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892315)

Something I have definitely noticed with initiatives like OSS which are still currently largely under the radar of the public is that those who are promoting them are screaming as loud as they can to get heard and will say whatever will get them a little attention. Things like "Linux won't cost you anything." "You never have to upgrade." "You get support forever."

All of these things have a kernel of truth to them, but when someone looks a little more deeply at the issue and sees that it's more complicated than that it makes the original statement seem deceptive. It should be noted that even after the author goes through all the myths put forward by OSS proponents he still in the end says that he believes Linux on the desktop offers a real cost savings over Windows.

A wake-up call (5, Insightful)

Thornkin (93548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892318)

It is too easy for Linux advocates, surrounded by their Linux friends, to lull themselves into a sense of complacency. Too often they weave tails of easy rollout and lower cost that are simply not supported by reality. While I suspect that this report will be attacked as FUD, instead it should be a wake-up call to the Linux community. It should be used to show us which direction to go and what to improve on. We should take it as a roadmap, not an attack.

Re:A wake-up call (4, Interesting)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892468)

Look, I agree that there is a certain feeling of complacent superiority festering in certain segments of the Linux community, but these sorts points are still 100% prime USDA bullshit.

Look at an example from the article: The author suggests that it's a myth that Linux is free, because you must either pay for support or pay people to support it. This is a dishonest arguement, because it purposely blurs the concept of support with the concept of licensing fees. They're not the same thing.

Anyhow, I'm all for constant and honest reevaluation of our real weak points. That said, I'm all for constant and honest reevaluation of our real weak points, not for trying to address problems pulled out of the ass of some moron trying to hawk a paper.

This sort of exercise is just a waste of time.

Half Right (4, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892328)

This guy is half right. Every one of his myths is indeed a myth. But there is truth in every myth that he fails to note. For example:

Linux is Free:
He says it isn't free because support costs money. Well, if you don't get support it is free. There are lots of CS and IT guys looking for jobs. If you hire them to support you rather than pay RedHat it may turn out to be cheaper.

So "Linux is Free" is a myth. But "Linux can be free" is not. If you're going to talk about what is true and what is not you better be absolute. He also mentions the TCO myth. I have yet to see real numbers showing it go either way, and there aren't any here either. So don't bother looking for them.

Re:Half Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892469)

the support concept never enters my mind in the "linux is free" because support is necessary regardless of OS.

but the free concept does play a role when comparing to the new MS licensing scheme. No forced upgrades. Support will always be necessary, they still had to pay for support through MS, MCSE's and consultants, i dont see it as a drawback they will still need people to support the technology with linux.

What is important is how much money is necessary to support linux, there was a (couple?) of studies that showed that yes the admins are more expensive for (Linux/BSD?) but they can also support a larger amount of systems. That is not 100% without a question conclusive yet. but it is soemthing that is important to think about. If i can fire my 4MCSE's that make 20-30K a year and hire one *nix guy at 50-60K a year. thats a better deal. I'm not saying thats how it is, but its something to look into

Companies suddenly think that since the software is free, the code is available, that the support is also free. Well thats wrong, I like the community of support for linux, but i wont rely on that instead of a qualified paid techie. Just like I wouldnt with a windows system (theres a lot of community support there too)

Re:Half Right (5, Funny)

MrPink2U (633607) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892507)

Are you actually suggesting that in-house support is free? If so, you sound like management material to me!

One Issue Not Contended... (3, Interesting)

billstr78 (535271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892338)

... is the flexibility that *nix offers. I would like to see some Win MCSE write a .bat script that could perform half the tasks my bash/perl script foo could handle.
There is still the basic undeniable fact that becuase Windows hides the operating system internals away from the end user, it is far less configurable and less flexible.

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892417)

Are you saying that Pearl, and others like Python and, yes, even Bash are not available on Windows? Do you have any idea of the versatility of the Win2k and above command line or are you thinking of DOS of 10 years ago?

Your statements are nothing but platitiudes with no basis in fact. In short, thanks, but no thanks for the FUD. You are not helping the Linux movement by offering such ignorant statements. It makes us all look stupid.

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892561)

Show me some REALLY good docs on how to script the later versions of windows using built in tools. I've read most of the win2k server resource kit and I'm not finding much in there.

The sure isn't much on the internet, I have a few articles about the NT command line bookmarked. The help docs built into the commands is worthless. The resource kit doesn't really document what the tools actually do.

If you can script windows worth a crap, I've missed the magic documents.

/unix guy stuck with a few nt machines

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (2, Informative)

billstr78 (535271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892564)

The AC writes:

"Your statements are nothing but platitiudes with no basis in fact. In short, thanks, but no thanks for the FUD. You are not helping the Linux movement by offering such ignorant statements. It makes us all look stupid."

So the web server management, user account managment service startup, firewall managment, hardware configuration and the like can all be configured in Win2K using PERL and other commandline utilities?

You make yourself look pretty silly when you champion the utility of an Operating System whose designers themselves admit the inflexibility of. As we argue, Windows engineers are trying to figure out a way to add a usefull file based configuration and command line shell to the next release of windows.

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (1)

Eneff (96967) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892423)

Cygwin, my boy... Cygwin...

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (2, Informative)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892489)

Or VBScript, JavaScript, even PerlScript if you have the ActiveState Perl distribution installed. Windows Scripting is capable of some neat things.

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (2, Interesting)

leifm (641850) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892502)

It's kind of ironic isn't it, my first real computer was a Mac LC, switched to Windows when I got the chance because OS 7.whatever was so closed off. Now I am on OS X because it's more open than Windows and more polished than Linux. I think a lot of Windows' success can be attributed to it being more open than MacOS was back in the day, and now the tables have turned.

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892511)

While the geeks here find this to be a salient point, I would like to remind you Windows is written for people who don't care if the system internals are hidden from them. 85% of users are NOT programmers. I can't remember the last time my mom needed to write a bash/perl script to do something.

Re:One Issue Not Contended... (5, Insightful)

bellings (137948) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892528)

Why would anyone write a .bat script on Windows to emulate a Bash or Perl script on Unix, when both Bash and Perl are available on Windows?

I would be interested in any example of a Perl script you've written on Unix that will demonstrate the "basic undeniable fact" that Windows is far less flexible than Unix.

Otherwise, STFU.

KPortage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892340)

No more having to type emerge on the command line, just select the packages you wan't (providing they aren't masked), and just click merge. It couldn't be easier.

just emerge kportage now.

Oh, you mean you wan'ted debian on the desktop, sorry, kde 2.2 is obsolete and that 2.2 kernel won't support your usb mouse.

Totally misses it on TCO (5, Interesting)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892345)

This guy totally misses the point on TCO. The thing is if you go with a thin client model -- i.e., have a nice fat server with lots of processing power that can serve up the major appplications to Linux thin client PCs that are, in some part, acting basically as X terminals (although some applications can be seamlessly loaded and executed locally as well depending on demand and needs)

You don't need to spend $BIGNUM on client PCs. Only maybe about $200-$500 a seat in terms of the hardware. And large enterprises don't typically buy their support from Microsoft, they typically buy it from companies like IBM or EDS who then contact Microsoft only when there is a problem they themselves can't figure out. They buy this support whether they have a UNIX client, a Windows client, or a Linux client.... it doesn't matter, the cost of support is basically the same.

This guy really misses the boat, IMHO.

Inflama-tastic (3, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892351)

If the summary is indicative of the report (and I'm hoping it's not), let me say: Bullshit.

Let's examine one of the "myth" bullets:

Myth: Linux Means Longer Hardware Life

"It is true that a three- or four-year-old PC that is not powerful enough to run Windows XP Latest News about Windows XP and Office XP may be able to run Linux and StarOffice," Silver says. "However, enterprises need to budget for some additional costs to maintain older PCs."

Notice how the inflamatory, attention-grabbing headline does not actually describe the analysis below it. Rather than suggesting that the average useful lifetime of a PC running Linux is longer than that of a PC running Windows, they point out instead that older PCs might break down.

They're charging $95 for this brilliant type of insight? The ridiculous idea that PC hardware's average working lifespan is three years aside, they're not making any point about Linux at all.

*sigh* I got to keep my resident pointy hair away from this one, lest he see the P300 workstation on my desk (still completely usable, BTW) and assume I'm damaging company revenues...

$95 report? (2, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892359)

Way to stick to the spirit of open source that you're reporting on!

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892418)

MOD PARENT UP

Myth #2 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892362)

NewsFactor Network is ready for a slashdotting.

Do the math... (3, Funny)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892373)

Price: US $ 95.00
Pages: 6

95 : 6 = 15.83$ per page !

wow! their business plan might be :

1) find something interesting /. crowd
2) write a 6 pages report (not necessarily interesting)
3) ???
4) PROFIT!!

Re:Do the math... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892428)

actually, and you may be amazed, but many companies buy Gartner research reports. Companies use these studies, believe it or not, to build business cases, among other things.

Re:Do the math... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892533)

...and given the number of people here willing to write thousands of words squabbling over whether desktop Linux will/won't have a lower TCO than Windows, there seems to be a considerable labor force available.

Re:Do the math... (2, Insightful)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892570)

Gartner provide highly valuable reports that are more than worth their price. If you were a CTO trying to convince the board that Linux is ready for the desktop, a Gartner report supporting your suggestion would be a very valuable weapon. $95 is peanuts in corporate land.

And, yes, they make a very, VERY handsome profit.

Excellent Resource! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892379)

This rocks.

I am doing a report for my Buisness Communications class on how switching from Windows to a Linux based system would be beneficial to a small company. Well a company of around 100 or less employees.

I might even post it to the /. but im not realy wanting my server /.'d

Sure there is support! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892386)

RTFM!

text of article (0, Redundant)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892402)

Hype about Linux on the desktop is increasing, according to Gartner's recent study, "Myths of Linux on the Desktop." The goal of the research was to enable enterprises to be objective in understanding the benefits of the Linux OS on the desktop, separating open-source fact from fiction.

"I want to stress that I didn't mean to be negative about Linux," Gartner analyst Michael Silver, the report's author, told NewsFactor. Linux's appropriateness for any given population has a lot to do with the specifics of each business' environment and its architectures of applications in use, he said.

To understand the real benefits, enterprises need to realize that some common assertions will prove to be myths, Silver says.

ADVERTISEMENT

Myth: Linux Will Be Less Expensive

Many Linux proponents argue that using Linux instead of Windows saves a substantial chunk of change because StarOffice/OpenOffice.org then can be used instead of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Office.

"This is a bad argument," says Silver, because "StarOffice and OpenOffice.org can run fine on Windows." He noted that if users believe they will save money running StarOffice instead of Microsoft Office, they can run it on their current version of Windows without spending a fortune to migrate all of their applications to a new platform.

Myth: Linux Is Free

"Supported versions of Linux are not free," Silver notes. Consumer versions of Linux are basically free, but "enterprises that require vendor support for their client OS will need to pay for it." While these costs may work out to be less than the cost of a Windows license and support, they need to be understood.

Many free, open-source applications ship with Linux distributions, but Silver raises this question: Are they the applications the enterprise needs? "Thus far, we have not heard of open-source movements to replace large enterprise resource planning systems ... and most current vendors do not charge less for a Linux user than a Windows user."

Myth: Linux Means No Forced Upgrades

"Many users complain that Microsoft forces them to upgrade to newer releases of Windows," Silver wrote. "However, we believe that things will not be that much different in a Linux environment."

Linux vendors only support their consumer releases (and free distributions) for a maximum of two years, Silver noted.

"Linux independent software vendors realize that they cannot support their products on every version of Linux that has or will ever ship," the report says. "So while there will always be the option of support from the open source community ... we believe Linux users will feel forced to move to newer releases of Linux just as Windows users feel forced to upgrade to new versions of Windows."

Myth: Linux Management Is Easier

Significant reductions in staffing are not likely to be achieved "simply by switching OSes without changing policies, lockdown or the degree of management tool implementation," according to Silver.

He notes that from a software break/fix perspective, many support calls are due to users doing something that misconfigures their system.

He expects Linux to have a slight edge over Windows for three reasons: 1) the existence of fewer viruses targeting Linux desktops; 2) fewer problems caused by conflicting applications; and 3) difficulty of understanding and repairing the Window registry. Since Linux is purely file-based, administrators may be able to troubleshoot application problems more easily.

Myth: Linux Has a Lower TCO

Management tools have been available for Windows for years, Silver observed, but many enterprises still have not been able to manage their Windows environment. This has often been due to too much complexity, lack of sufficient policies or standards, or cultural and political issues, according to Silver.

If this is true with Windows, "we see little reason to believe that the cultural or political issues will change just because the enterprise is now using Linux," he observes.

Myth: Linux Means Longer Hardware Life

"It is true that a three- or four-year-old PC that is not powerful enough to run Windows XP and Office XP may be able to run Linux and StarOffice," Silver says. "However, enterprises need to budget for some additional costs to maintain older PCs."

He points out that a new PC bought with Linux today with a goal of a six- to eight-year lifespan likely will require an expenditure for at least one OS upgrade during that time.

Furthermore, "enterprises should realize that if they buy two different model notebooks and two different model desktops and keep their PCs for four years, they will have 16 different varieties of hardware to manage," the report says, and more varieties of hardware and software will be more difficult and expensive to manage.

Myth: Skills Are Transferable

"Although Unix skills are transferable to Linux, Windows skills are not as similar," Silver observes, noting that "most enterprises' Unix skills today exist in a server-oriented department in the IT reporting structure, which is usually separate from the desktop support group."

Enterprises should consider whether their current structure will prevent them from leveraging skills across desktops and servers, Silver advises.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Silver sees some cost savings in migrating to the Linux desktop but says the move "will probably not eliminate all of the costs the enterprises expects."

But there is undisputedly healthy market interest in this migration. Significant sales growth is expected within a three- to five-year time frame, according to Forrester analyst Ted Schadler.

There are a number of market segments for the Linux desktop, he told NewsFactor, including Asian and Eastern European governments that want an alternative to Microsoft; direct point-of-sale Linux PCs -- what Schadler calls "the dedicated desktop"; and small enterprises.

Well it sounds like they missed the point (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892542)

Corporate desktops need to worry about the things listed above, but in addition, they also need to think about:

a) How do you manage user desktops?

b) How are applications used on such desktop?

In which case it leads me to think they've ignored the thin model client entirely. In addition, there is also a degree of control of configuration and management of such applications as well. fat-client models have rampant version control issues, vast number of problems with handling licenses, as well as a much larger software package to push out.

Such Research (4, Insightful)

Gleef (86) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892409)

"Linux vendors only support their consumer releases (and free distributions) for a maximum of two years, Silver noted."

Sounds like the only research the Gartner Group did for this report was to call Microsoft, call RedHat, and find out what they do.

They don't even bother to say what the TCO issues are between Linux and Windows, they just say "If [enterprise complications result in high TCO] is true with Windows, "we see little reason to believe that the cultural or political issues will change just because the enterprise is now using Linux," he observes. They didn't even check. They didn't do a study of their own, they didn't talk to people who have done TCO studies of this [winface.com] , or talk to Businesses who have already made the jump [bryanconsulting.com] . They looked at Windows, and they guessed.

And they charge $95 per copy for their uneducated guess.

At least they can do some work before charging people for it.

I guess this is one time... (2, Funny)

mfifer (660491) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892413)

...when NOT reading the article will be considered excusable ;-)

fair report (3, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892425)


This seems like a pretty fair and unbiased report... the only bullet point I have any issue with is the 'forced upgrade' one.

While it's true that commercial Linux vendors do not support older versions of their distributions indefinitely, the nature of the upgrade cycle is different with free software than it is with a closed-source product.

There are some costs that Linux and Windows upgrades have in common:

ongoing support

training

productivity decreases as computers have to be taken out of service temporarily to apply the upgrades

However with Linux, each upgrade to the OS is available free of charge. Microsoft requires you to give them money each time you upgrade. As such, forced upgrades are not as onerous on a company using Linux.

TCO (3, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892444)

With the Total Cost of Ownership up for debate I think a main point is being missed.

If I own a foriegn car, I expect the mechanic I use to charge a bit more (or a lot more). Plain and simple supply and demand. And I can't hire my friendly neighbourhood backyard mechanic neither because most backyard mechanics don't touch my brand.

Linux, as the purveyor of a much smaller portion of the computing environment suffers the same fate these days. 8 out 10 users use something else. If and when that reaches a more equal ratio there should be more people available to maintain these systems. And less time spent helping out with small issues.

Imagine an office full of staff who have been weaned on Windows. Toss them linux and half the maintainance costs wouldn't be on maintainance, but on solving issues the users create. Familiarity is a big part of the big picture.

As Michael Robertson noted yesterday - Lindows users insist on Anti-Virus protection. Yet when a virus comes out in linux there is usually a fix as fast as there is detection for the virus. As linux becomes more mainstream small issues such as this will go away.

Gartner... (1)

pvjr (184849) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892457)

Isnt this the same Gartner that has issued other pro-MS "reports"? Certainly not worth $95.00...

Re:Gartner... (1)

pvjr (184849) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892509)

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/01/28/072322 3&mode=thread

It's about time they examined this... (-1)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892460)

If it weren't for the lubricated rubber gloves on the hands of Microsoft Windows users, Linux may have died a long time ago...

And for an unbiased opinion... (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892466)

Read the comments posted at the end of the article :-)

It's NOT about the OS (2, Interesting)

saintjab (668572) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892475)

This is not about who likes what operating system; it's about which is more 'ready' for the desktop environment. There is no secret in the *NIX community that there is no desktop environment to compete with Windows. It would be GREAT if this werent true.. I prefer *NIX, allways have, flavor doesn't really matter, but NOT for a desktop. It runs like a champ for a server, it's great to tinker with and get under the hood, but it's not at all intuitive to a new or less experienced user. There have been great strides in the development of a sustainable *NIX desktop environment (props to KDE and Gnome), and they all have something unique to offer the user, but there is no solidarity between them. Being an admin in both worlds I feel the pains and pleasure of both on a daily basis; and I'm not a hardcore zealot for either. Why? Because there is a proper tool for every job, and who manufactures or creates the tool doesn't matter at all to me. What matters is, can I use the tool, and use it effectively for what I need to do. *NIX has not met this need in the desktop arena. I keep my fingers crossed, and I try the new revs as they are released, but it's not quite there yet. I have no doubts it will be in the near future though! BTW, I have both *NIX desktops and Windows desktops at work and home, and they are each of equal value to me. Unfortunetly, at this point, the *NIX desktops are for tinkering and learning.

L1nux r0x0rzx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892518)

Yeezz. Maybe in 2038 when they finally agree on a common copy-paste standard.

This seems like FUD (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892525)

I think that any enterprise rolling out linux on a large scale would be smart enough to go to a thin client, heavy server model. That's where the TCO argument starts to really support linux on the desktop. LTSP and such. As for your myths:

Linux will be less expensive:

Office is the lockin tool, much more than Windows itself. Running OpenOffice on Windows sounds like a great way to wade into a transition, taking the most bitter part of the medicine up front. If that's over with, the OS switch doesn't look nearly so daunting. Licence per license, linux is cheaper up front. Feel free to disprove that.

Linux is free:

Paying for an ERP package isn't much of a show-stopper. You're talking about buying expensive OS licenses + expensive ERP licenses versus buying inexpensive OS licenses + expensive ERP licenses. A shortage of available ERP programs for linux is a better argument, although there are several ways to access ERP systems running on windows or commercial Unix server from linux clients - thin or otherwise (so you're buying licenses for one server, and its client access rights to access that program). And with popularity in the enterprise will come native ERP programs.

Linux means no forced upgrades:

Of course linux shops will upgrade their systems to get newer, nicer software. An enterprise won't be running Redhat 9.0 in 2045 any more than they'll be running Windows XP or Mac OSX. The difference is whether you're paying out windows prices or linux distro prices every 3 years, and whether your company upgrades for business reasons or contractual Licensing 6.0 obligations. And whether you have a choice of vendors.

Linux Management is Easier:

This is where the thin client setup really pays off. Dumb graphics terminals with 5-years-ago pc hardware minus a hard drive (to fail) connected to top-notch, dependable server hardware, centrally managed. An extra 5,000 spent on a server for 300 less spent per client (x40). And good performance for the majority of 'enterprise' tasks.

Linux Has a Lower TCO:

Again LTSP. Simple, very-few-moving-parts, interchangeable-in-5-minutes clients and real server hardware with trinity dies RAID and multi-processors, and hot-swap power supplies.

Linux Means Longer Hardware Life:

Again, of course enterprises will do OS upgrades during a 6 to 8 year lifespan. They would with Windows too. Anyone know how many scheduled upgrades you'd have to go through with MS Licensing in that period of time? Again the licensing price difference. And variance in hardware makes life harder (and more expensive) for IT. For Windows, Linux, or any other OS. How is this a linux-myth-debunker?

Skills are transferrable:

This is a real hurdle for linux. But for how long? It seems like a matter of momentum. The more enterprises switch (in whole or in part) to linux, the more IT people will build their careers around it. The bigger hurdle is nick is back end-user skills and perceptions. Linux desktop environments have come a long way in the last few years, though.

Bottom Line:

Linux isn't going to dominate the desktop anytime soon, enterprise, personal, or other. And it won't be the end-all be-all bliss of computing nirvana where enterprises never upgrade software, and linux solves "cultural and political issues" (ha! that was my favorite part of your article) for companies. But I think it looks like a feasible way to reduce headaches and lower costs, and your article did nothing to change my mind.

TCO musings... (2, Interesting)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892531)


Management tools have been available for Windows for years, Silver observed, but many enterprises still have not been able to manage their Windows environment. This has often been due to too much complexity, lack of sufficient policies or standards, or cultural and political issues, according to Silver.

If this is true with Windows, "we see little reason to believe that the cultural or political issues will change just because the enterprise is now using Linux," he observes.


Umm, I do. With *nix, you can get away with using almost nothing in the way of "management tools." What most would consider essential utilities are included. Just add effort.

The situation is improving with newer Windows versions, but my impression is that they are still behind the game; I admit that maybe my ignorance of XP and longhorn might leave me biased, but for e.g.: try finding a list of open file handles in Windows, or a table of bound ports, or a robust scripting language. These types of tools typically need to be added. With *nix I usually can use an existing tool or combination of tools to easily and quickly find what I want, plus it is easily automated from then on. My impression is that things are not always that easy in Windows without (occasionally costly) add-ons.

Another point regarding desktop TCO - a lot of Windows-based office productivity type networks opt for Terminal Server/Citrix to lower cost and simplify administration. For use on a LAN (i.e. not considering low b/w access, where RDP and ICA really shine), *nix has a network transparent windowing system (X, in case that isn't completely obvious) that doesn't require connection licenses or $15,000 per server licenses plus maintenance. All things being equal (i.e., assuming all of the linux apps are adequate functional replacements for Windows apps, and hardware + software maintenance is about the same price), this is an area where linux is clearly cheaper because you don't have to pay for the network protocol.

95 bucks! (1)

starunj (644667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892532)

Make yourself a linux box for 95 bucks and see for yourself.

full text of article (not overview) (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5892537)

The original article is on zdnet here [zdnet.com]

What I find interesting (3, Interesting)

Synn (6288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892543)

Is that everyone today is talking about whether or not Linux will really give you cost savings over Windows on the desktop.

A year ago they weren't even ready to admit it was ready for the desktop at all.

Two years ago people would've laughed at you if you even suggested Linux on the desktop for corporate users.

I wonder if next year's report won't be whether or not you should use Linux on the desktop, but rather which distribution you should be using.

A Few Items ... (2, Interesting)

AlabamaMike (657318) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892550)

I was struck by a few things in this analyst's comments. First, he's worried about being flamed by the GNU/Linux community (did you notice his first comment was "I didn't mean to write anything negative about Linux.) Wow, the community's short temper is really affecting the way people talk of GNU/Linux. Next, I found that his argument for "Myth: Linux will be Less Expensive" was centered solely around the StarOffice/OpenOffice suites which really isn't pertinent to whether GNU/Linux would be really less expensive. Also, the "no forced upgrades" comment isn't well placed. Sure, you have to upgrade Linux, but a few items here that I felt he missed were 1: No one entity "forces" you to upgrade and 2: When you do upgrade there isn't a large cost surrounding this (and I mean LARGE, ask any CTO/CIO of a major corp about forced MS upgrades.) As for the lower TCO, his argument seems to me to be false because it is a "joint effect" logical fallicy. As I read this article, I reflected back on my own experience with these "Research" groups. Most of the time their "research" is brought about by way of a commission from some large corporation. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out MS had a hand in the production of this paper. There are somethings to be learned from this however, and I hope the community does pick out the true deficencies from the red herrings and addresses them.
-A.M.
PS - Someone sick RMS on him ... we all know it's GNU/Linux ;)

Cost? (3, Insightful)

lexcyber (133454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5892554)

Even if the support and maintence cost is as high as windows. It will still be cheaper since you slash of the software license cost from the total price. Even if you only move your servers onto GNU/Linux and/or *BSD. You will save a whole lot of money. Since the server + client accesslicenses are very expensive.

Isn't the best path just this minute to move over to openoffice.org for officeapps and GNU/Linux and/or BSD for the servers? As an initial move towards OSS and Free Software.

comments?

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