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Penguin Not Taking Flight Down Under

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the flightless-birds dept.

Linux 294

Bill Bennett writes "New Zealand Reseller News reports that Linux adoption down under is three times lower than North America. From the article: 'Adoption of open source software is slow in the Australasian region according to a report from analyst firm Forrester. Only 18% of the businesses in Australia and New Zealand surveyed for the report were using Linux, while 11% were considering its use. Analyst Sam Higgins says the low rate - three times lower than North America - is because open source is caught between two worlds. He says customers have been conditioned to buy software from vendors and their approved partners.'"

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18 %? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497358)

Isn't that a bit high, even for North America? What am I not understanding here?

Sounds like it's 3x more than NA, not 3x less.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497390)

Over 50% of companies in North America are using Linux? Does this count companies that have someone who checks Slashdot once a day as 'using Linux?' Can anyone substantiate this rather surprising claim?

Who are they surveying? (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497408)

18%.... Who are they surveying?

If they're surveying a random selection of businesses that use computers linux adoptions is going to be very very veeeeery small.

However, if they only survey large enterprises, you're going to find a substantially higher rate of linux adoption. The operating system is applicable to those environments, and at a large scale you're saving millions of dollars. Small businesses would probably end up paying more to utilize linux since it requires someone more knowledgeable then the kid next door who's good with networking and installing services packs.

Moreover, if they are surveying large enterprises (which I imagine they are), one needs to remember that the enterprise business environment in the states is different the then it is down under. The shear size and number of big evil mustachioed corporations is on another scale in the states.

I've been doing my bit (2, Interesting)

dotgain (630123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497560)

I've worked at three places - one fairly large - in New Zealand since 2000, all of which I 'brought Linux to'. For the small businesses it's been an immediate cost-saver, dropping things like MailMarshall, IIS, Propietary firewalls.

I've never let go of MSSQL, however, since the existing software was always dependant on it. (I'm not saying there isn't a way out, just we've always been very happy with MSSQL, one of the few outstanding Microsoft products).

Linux appears to be as popular with home users here too. Before 2000 I worked for IHUG, which became NZ's most successful ISP though the boom, who used almost exclusively Linux.

The most interesting deployment has been Asterisk. While not a smooth ride, we've now got a reasonably reliable software PABX with two GSM lines and four BRI, and it's already providing a cost-saving without even touching VOIP. Sure, the companies may have paid me in wages what they would have otherwise spent, but they get to keep the skills (I'm very loyal to all those who employed me, and continue relationships with them), and they're feeding my family, not a greedy corporation.

Re:I've been doing my bit (1)

ls -la (937805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497657)

we've always been very happy with MSSQL, one of the few outstanding Microsoft products

Funny, I've had the opposite experience. I brought MySQL to my company, and I have only had one or two minor complaints (such as not supporting nested queries). Then we got a MSSQL server for a different application, and I had tremendous problems with it. Queries would work fine when I asked for one thing and when I changed it slightly, it would give me an error about something which was completely irrelevant to the small change I made. And then there was the problem of having to work through Access. This is the least-polished and worst-written of the MS Office programs. Queries in a file would randomly corrupt for no reason (running them would kill the program), and I would have to delete and re-create the queries, or go back to the last saved version and *hope* it hadn't corrupted yet (since the corrupt queries weren't always the ones I was working on).

Re:18 %? (2, Insightful)

Gallech (804178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497556)

I could be wrong, but I believe what we are talking about here is "companies that have at least one Linux box", not "companies that are deploying Linux exclusively".

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that 50% or more of North American companies are using Linux in some capacity, and plan to continue to add Linux servers in the future. Medium and large companies especially have lots of smallish projects where a LAMP solution (for example) is a perfect fit: setting aside for the moment companies that find good fits for Linux in support of large applications.

As for Australia not following this trend...hey, every company or individual has that choice. I'm not an evangelist: I'm of the mind that you use the right tool for the job- Linux, Windows, OS X, VM, OS/390: whatever. And sometimes, due to skillset, previous investments, or what have you, some companies make a good case for using some platforms that might not make complete sense to me.

Another way of looking at it: its an untapped market for future growth!

Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497359)

Lower Linux adoption rates. That's the beautiful thing about choice.

Choice... (2, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497409)

Surly when people have the choice, they make the correct decision, right?

Re:Choice... (2, Insightful)

kumachan (618013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497490)

No, people still buy McDonalds

Re:Choice... (2, Insightful)

dotgain (630123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497565)

A better analogy would be that people still (like me, unfortunately) smoke.

The badness that is McDonalds is not as widely accepted and believed, even if it is just as cancerous and pushed at the kids through advertising and sports sponsorship.

Re:Choice... (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497492)

And what would that "correct" choice be??

Re:Choice... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497507)

And what would that "correct" choice be??
MULTICS

Sheep (5, Funny)

geekd (14774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497365)

He says customers have been conditioned to buy software from vendors and their approved partners.

Who would have thought there'd be sheep in New Zealand?

Seriously, if they want to waste their money, I guess it's good for me. Less competition.

Re:Sheep (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497545)

It's got more to do with the fact that New Zealand companies are inept and about half the outsourced IT firms are a bunch of complete fucking cowboys. I've been hired by companies to design websites only to discover that I know considerably more about system administration than their IT services provider. To this day I have an email address with one local small business that should be forwarding to me that regularly stops working every month or so and I have to go hound people to get it working again.

Linux requires more brain than these people have to spare... So does Windows, but at least they can look busy by clicking on things randomly without getting "You're a retard - please fire yourself at once" error messages back every time they press enter...

MOD PARENT UP (2, Informative)

cralewyth (934970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497656)

This is so true. I know of a nz high school student who knows more about his school network/computers in general than the admins seem to... Perhaps it's a problem of computer literacy, rather than simply non-availability or whatever.

It's called critical mass (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497367)

If you take two separate monkey clans and observe their behavior, you will find that once a certain number of one clan starts doing something specific (like washing food in a stream before consumption), that the second group, without any contact with the first group will also start doing the same thing automatically. It is called critical mass, and it explains why it takes a long time for something to initially occur, but once a certain number of monkeys start doing it that it automatically spreads to other unrelated monkey clans (of the same species).

Re:It's called critical mass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497402)

This was called the 100th monkey phenomenon by Lyall Watson, and apparently has been debunked, though I can't remember the details.

Re:It's called critical mass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497413)

That's new age hippy bullshit, son.

Re:It's called critical mass (3, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497429)

f you take two separate monkey clans and observe their behavior, you will find that once a certain number of one clan starts doing something specific (like washing food in a stream before consumption), that the second group, without any contact with the first group will also start doing the same thing automatically. It is called critical mass, and it explains why it takes a long time for something to initially occur, but once a certain number of monkeys start doing it that it automatically spreads to other unrelated monkey clans (of the same species).

Interesting, but obviously impossible.

Re:It's called critical mass (2, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497582)

Interesting, but obviously impossible.

Atheist. Obviously it's yet another proof of Intelligent Design.

Monkey clans copying each other ? (4, Interesting)

gibodean (224873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497438)

If the monkey clans don't have any contact, how is it explained that the second group seems to be copying the first group ? Is it behaviour that would just be expected to evolve independantly by each group just due to monkey psychology ?
Or more likely that there is contact (visual of the stream at least), it's just that the researchers didn't see it....

Re:Monkey clans copying each other ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497476)

I don't know...I've seeen monkeys beating off in at least three different zoos. And I'm talking born in captivity monkeys. How would they learn how to beat off if not by this critical mass/100th monkey thing?

Re:Monkey clans copying each other ? (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497498)

If the monkey clans don't have any contact, how is it explained that the second group seems to be copying the first group ?

Quantum flux deep juju.

KFG

Re:It's called critical mass (4, Informative)

MightyPez (734706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497525)

A phenomenon that has been debunked. Check the following articles in the Skeptical Inquirer: "The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon" and "Watson and the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon," by Ron Amundson, SI, Summer 1985, pp. 348-356; and SI, Spring 1987, pp. 303-304.

Re:It's called critical mass (2, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497606)

check the following articles

More conveniently, Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has a summary and links.

The penguin IS the bad analogy, BadAnalogyGuy... (1)

kale77in (703316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497554)

A penguin taking flight? Penguins aren't supposed to 'take flight' -- They're, um, flightless birds. Penguins NOT taking flight is normal, natural, fully expected and probably for the best. Better analogies anyone?

Maybe Australian Fairy Penguins [wikipedia.org] are the problem in the battle for mindshare. What hard-hitting business-person can seriously urge their adoption in a competitive market?

Really amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497609)

You have turned this thread into a discussion about the merits of your analogy rather than about the story presented. Even your stated premise, that it takes a critical mass of users to reach widespread acceptance of the Linux platform, is drowned out because of the bad analogy.

Bravo. It's almost inspiring.

Re:It's called critical mass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497623)

This is such bullshit.

The title.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497382)

Penguin Not Taking Flight Down Under

Sounds like my dick.

:::Sorry, I almost spiiled my beer on keyboard..still laughting at title

Re:The title.... (4, Funny)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497483)

Penguin Not Taking Flight Down Under Sounds like my dick.

They have pills for that now.

Re:The title.... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497531)

Yea, and if your hardon lasts for more than 4-hours, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you can't get it up, consider dieting and excercise before you start popping pills that could permanently damage your little penguin.

Needs to be said (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497383)

OSS != Linux
Linux is a subset of OSS

The article pretty much uses OSS & Linux interchangeably, which isn't the case.

Anyways, with that in mind, what exactly does the author mean by "Trojan Horse"?
The report shows that 50% of organisations using open source software are paying for support and cite that as one of the main challenges for implementation.

Higgins says some software developers use open source as a professional services Trojan horse.

Re:Needs to be said (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497393)

free software, lucrative support contract for if it breaks probably.

Re:Needs to be said (1)

saned (736423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497417)

Anyways, with that in mind, what exactly does the author mean by "Trojan Horse"?

Higgins says some software developers use open source as a professional services Trojan horse.

Perhaps they think the developers 'use' open source software to get their foot on the door, then after they're hooked, the real expense will come when the developers charge for extra needed work.

-p@

Re:Needs to be said (1)

wiresquire (457486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497455)

What they mean is that the consultants can come in and say that the cost of the software is $0.

Of course, the consulting fees for implementation are large, but perhaps not quite as much in total as the cost for licenses of < insert off the shelf s'ware > + implementation.

Back many moons ago when I was in a large consulting firm we would often discount the software as heavily as possible. Our money was made, and all our targets/bonuses were based on how many hours we could charge, so we really didn't care if we made $0 on software license revenue or hardware mark ups.

ws

bad survey? (0, Troll)

ZhuLien (150593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497388)

That's because in Australia organisations that do surveys do so in a way that doesn't represent the demographics. I know of 5 companies that were not surveyed which use Linux for various purposes.

Re:bad survey? (3, Insightful)

oc-beta (941915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497422)

Well, using statistics, those companies do not have to be surveyed to be represented in the overall statistics. How many people watch the Super Bowl? I have never been asked if I did, yet they know. The wonder of Standard Deviations and Representative samples!

Re:bad survey? (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497444)

Isn't slashdot just full of fucktards? I can't tell you how many times people try to refute studies with an argument that starts off with, "Well, I know someone/company/etc who does x so these stats can't possibly be true."

Re:bad survey? (3, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497446)

The wonder of Standard Deviations and Representative samples!

But what happens if you the standard deviations don't float your boat? What happens if you only like non-standard deviations?

Re:bad survey? (0, Offtopic)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497551)

But what happens if you the standard deviations don't float your boat? What happens if you only like non-standard deviations?
They have private clubs for that sort of thing.

Or farms.

Speaking of farms, one of my friends sent me a link to this video called Farm Sluts [foxsearchlight.com]
Farm Sluts is a hilarious dark comedy of a man's journey upon opening that one unfortunate e-mail leading to a neverending cascade of pop-up windows and scantily clad women.

Farm Sluts contains partial nudity, language and untimely random acts of perversion. All Searchlab Shorts are unrated.
Soo.. mostly-safe for work, but I doubt you can get away with watching a video for 17 minutes, with sound, at work.

Three times lower? (2, Insightful)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497394)

North America's adoption rate is three times higher than 11-18%?
33-54%??
Really?
If that's true, that's pretty good!
Can somebody confirm?

Re:Three times lower? (1)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497433)

I can believe it for businesses, in the server department. Apache is rather popular, I hear. Home desktop users are another story entirely, I would assume.

Re:Three times lower? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497563)

I'd like to know what "three times lower" is supposed to mean. 1/3 as much?

Anyway, I think this is not a reflection of the relative cluelessness of us ockers, but that we don't have as many big companies. Smaller operations everywhere tend to use MS. There's lots of Linux in government, the big companies we do have, and universities.

Re:Three times lower? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497628)

Same thing as the AOL commercial where they state that spyware
causes your computer to be up to 500% slower.

Someone didn't take a math class at some point, you
cannot be more than 100% slower, it would not be moving.

I beleive your assumption is correct, they did it in the forward
direction, then said "1/3 of the speed doesn't sound fancy and
people are scared by fractions, therefore I'm pretty sure I can
flip that upside down and compare the other way around"

Which generally doesn't work.

'Ay, Digger! (5, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497404)

Maybe sh**ty download links from Bigpond Telestra - during the peak open source adoption phase - had something to do with it?

Try and download an ISO without local mirrors in Sydney?

Re:'Ay, Digger! (1)

Elitist_Phoenix (808424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497547)

Why not try plannetmirror?

Re:'Ay, Digger! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497559)

One Word: Bittorrent

Re:'Ay, Digger! (1)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497580)

Three more words: International Data Allowance.

Re:'Ay, Digger! (2, Insightful)

IdLinkAnOinkInvitePl (946469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497587)

Don't estimate our crappy bandwidth's effect on this situation. Until recently former Government monopoly, now just privately owned, Governmentally enforced monopoly, Telcom NZ, insisted 128Kb/s was a broadband service. Try downloading fedora at 128K!

Re:'Ay, Digger! (2, Insightful)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497631)

In Australia, anything that's not dial-up is called "broadband". Even 128kbps.

Re:'Ay, Digger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497607)

It doesn't have to be popularity, it may just be lack of seeders on their torrents...

Flightless? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497407)

According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] it seems that this isn't exactly a recent problem, penguins have been flightless for over 40 million years...

Mixed Metaphors (1)

Ugly American (885937) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497465)

According to wikipedia it seems that this isn't exactly a recent problem, penguins have been flightless for over 40 million years...

That was my reaction, too, when I saw the headline. "Flight of the penguin? I thought they swam...."

Re:Mixed Metaphors (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497564)

Penguins fly through a denser medium.

We call it swimming.

I imagine that if you put penguins in a liquid with lower density than water, they'd start flapping their wings a lot faster if they wanted to go forward.

Re:Flightless? (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497472)

Yes, i always thought the slow, funny-looking waddle penguins have was meant as a metaphore for Linux on the desktop.

Re:Flightless? (1)

BinaryOpty (736955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497649)

Also according to that very same Wikipedia article in the very same sentence where they state they're flightless, they mention that pengiuns only naturally exist in the southern hemisphere! So the title is totally broken: both wrong about flight and redundant about being down under.

What I have found (4, Interesting)

oc-beta (941915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497411)

I have found that the adoption of Open Source software directly ties into the amount of money that a SMB is likely to make. For example in the UK, adoption is probably among the highest. However, SMB's are wortha bout 25% of their counterparts across the pond. In Austrailia the same holds true, SMB's are typically of higher value. Therefore, adoption of Open Source software is less. I know that there are exceptions to this rule, and some very wealthy companies use Open Source software, but 80% will follow this rule.

Re:What I have found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497503)

thats probably much more to do with economics than the software.

startups that dont have much funding are more likely to choose open source & also more likely to fail or make less money than their better funded counterparts.

if they are less willing to spend money on software, they are probably less likely to be willing to spend money on important stuff too.

the 20% that do succeed were probably almost as well funded as those that spent lots on proprietry software.

Linux is for poor people (5, Interesting)

Rinkhals (930763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497418)

If it's anything like it is in South Africa, there will be a strong perception that "Windows is for serious professionals on the cutting edge, other OSes are for everybody else."

Notwithstanding that Ubuntu (the word, the concept and the distro) originates in South Africa.

Nevermind....

Re:Linux is for poor people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497532)

"Stealing windows is for serious professionals", I take it?

nagios & apache? (1)

ZhuLien (150593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497419)

I forgot to mention, *most* companies I've worked for use nagios! and perhaps a 30%-50% use Apache.

Slashdot hates australia (0, Troll)

Cannedbread (841645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497426)

like once a week there is a story about some weird ass thing that australia is doing. To me it seems like australia is just a wannabe of the american south. I cant really give any examples cause im to dumb to remember them, but i read storys about how the australian government is doing something stupid all the time. Can we have a story about how australia is better than the rest of the world? Cause i know my view of australians as a bunch of crocadile dundee's must be wrong, but im not seeing any evidence contrary. please educate me. (or flame i guess)

Re:Slashdot hates australia (1)

Cannedbread (841645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497487)

well upon searching past articles for "australia" i found the following articles. i am now going to base my entire opinion of the nation on how i feel about slashdot articles mentioning them. feel free to do the same with america.

Good:
Australia Pushes Geothermal Energy
Australia To Legalize VCR Recording and CD Ripping
Australian Linux Trademark Holds Water
Australia Says No To Spyware
Australia Gets 8Mbit/s Broadband now, 20Mbit Soon
Crocodile's Immune System Kills HIV

Bad:
Internet Censorship in Australia?
San Andreas Banned In Australia
Kazaa Owners Risk Jail
Tougher Copyright Laws for Australia
AU Regulations on LAN Cabling?
Australian Man Found Guilty for Hyperlinking
Linux Trademark Rejected in Australia (?)
Aus. Gov't Considers Fines for Online Suicide Info
Aussie Speed Cameras in Doubt Because of MD5
Australia's 'e-tax' Windows Only

im not trying to hate on australia, it just seems like there are many stories about some australian politicians doing wacky stuff. anyone else notice that?

Re:Slashdot hates australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497499)

"Me and God - we'd be mates!"

Re:Slashdot hates australia (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497653)

I am Australian, and me and most of the Australians I know hate our government too. Somewhere there must be some massive demographic that actually voted them in, but I don't have any contact with them. (also, crocodile dundee is an idiot)

How about internet connections/speeds? (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497428)

When I was in Australia a few years ago, I found that internet penetration simply wasn't as good as Canada. Sure, the major cities were well connected, but many of the smaller ones suffered from absolute shitty service, connectios, availability, prices, or any combination thereof. Even in the cities the prices weren't all that great. Hell, dialing a local number by landline still costs per call (which really sucks for dialup especially when crappy connection=random disconnects).

Open-soure in my mind often tends to depend a lot on a decent connection to the 'net. Downloading CD ISO images, installing packages/updates from apt/etc, downloading packages or source files, reading online documentation, etc.

It could be that "down under" is simply being hindered by a case of lacking resources, mainly comparatively crappy internet service.

Crappy internet service (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497569)

When I was in Australia a few years ago, I found that internet penetration simply wasn't as good as Canada
Australia has a half privatised government run organisation called Telstra that runs almost all of it's land based communications. The current and previous CEO's appear to be ones that were thrown away by US companies, and have been more interested in "changing the culture", creating new executive jobs for freinds and getting the company ready for a full sale rather than communications. This sort of situation has led to members of the government refering to Telstra as "half pregnant" - but you can't get pregnant with the way Telstra has been treated.

Re:How about internet connections/speeds? (2, Informative)

comp.sci (557773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497570)

Offtopic, but in response to parent:
In regards to your statement that "dialing a local number by landline still costs per call":
My guess is that they are just using a different payment system, as most European countries do.
You do pay for local calls as well, but in every case, only the calling party is charged. (In the case of western Europe, not too much)
Coming to the US, I was surprised by the fact that they force two people to pay for each call and can get away with it.
To me, using the phone in the US seems to be quite costly, compared to other systems, so I would not say that they are "still" charging this fee. (I have to admit I dont know how the billing works in Australia)

Re:How about internet connections/speeds? (1)

aldwin (802565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497584)

Open-soure in my mind often tends to depend a lot on a decent connection to the 'net. Downloading CD ISO images, installing packages/updates from apt/etc, downloading packages or source files, reading online documentation, etc. It could be that "down under" is simply being hindered by a case of lacking resources, mainly comparatively crappy internet service. I'd agree with this completely. Australia in general has crappy internet services, and in Adelaide (a smaller state capital) prices for broadband have only in the last year dropped enough for usage to take off. I personally tried to move my home computer to linux a few times on dial-up but it wasn't until I got broadband that it finally "clicked", and I'm now running Ubuntu pretty much exclusively.

Re:How about internet connections/speeds? (4, Informative)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497655)

Its much better now than what you said it was. Heck, I can max out my connection 24/7 by downloading from my ISPs mirrors and not count a megabyte against my monthly 20GB quota. Many other non-'Group of the Four' ISP's are same.

The reasons why Australian interwebs access is crap:
1) Telstra controls some part of the connection delivered to >98% of all broadband users, including ones wholesaled from them.
2) Until Ziggy and Alston were kicked out, Telstra was a bloated company.
3) Sol and his Amigos came in with a decent plan to clean the company up and deliver superior services. Unfortunately, they decided to keep those services to their own monopoly. Those plans, excluding a nationwide (proprietary because it involves crap you'd usually only find in america, i.e everything Sprint and Verizon sell in the US) WCDMA 850 network are now on hold because Telstra can't be bothered wholesaling.
4) Keep in mind Telstra's share price is at it's lowest ever and many shareholders are rightfully pissed.
5) The only thing that got broadband going in Australia was the stupid $29.95 200mb 256/64 plans. Due to Telstras wholesale pricing (which they have been smacked for over these exact plans before), ISPs make almost nothing on them.
6) .... as a result, every time Telstra changes its prices, ISPs have been forced to kill any chance of unlimited plans. In the days of when cable was the only choice (and besides that, only a few suburbs in the major cities have cable since they stopped rolling it out due to fights with city councils) for broadband access, Telstra introduced capped plans to replace unlimited ones. The whole industry soon dropped unlimited plans because 'Telstra basically made us'.
7) The 'Group of Four', Telstra, Optus/Singtel, MCI and AAPT/Telecom NZ carry most traffic domestically but refuse to let anybody else enter into the arrangement to protect their ailing business. Don't give me this bullshit about MCI etc. having peering policies because even though others do carry more traffic than at least one of the group (apparently Primus does more traffic than AAPT) have been refused entry. Ironically, it was a competition regulator decision which created the 'Group of Four' in the first place and the four have been lobbying to keep it that way ever since.
8) ... in the mean time PIPE Networks and other peering exchanges are routing away loads of traffic per minute from the group of four. With arguably better QoS depending on who you are with, too.

And yes, Australia is an exclusive M$ shop. Broadband penetration has nothing to do with Linux/OSS usage.
And I am quite happy with my 512/512 DSL for $69.95 per month with Internode thank you very much. While I can only pull 20GB worth down from non-ISP mirrors, I frankly don't give a shit that I'm not leeching pr0n at 100mbps like they do in Sweeden or whatever.

* IMHO CDMA would be decent (consumer choice) it if wasn't used as a consumer lock in tool, a.k.a ESN based authentication. For example, Hutchison (using a license of the Orange brand) runs a CDMA network in a few cities. Outside those cities their phones roam onto Telstra CDMA. Since neither of them will sign up ESN's from each other, loads of Orange CDMA phones are sitting unused, and most likely loads are already in landfill. Similarly, Palm Treo users who reguarly visit the bush can't import a Sprint or Verizon CDMA Treo. End rant. Don't flame me about how CDMA voice quality is superior blah blah blah, because Qualcomm invented it as a lock in tool to appease the mobile industry. Pure and simple.

The Aussie mindset (and conditioning) (5, Insightful)

Meetch (756616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497430)

Explanation by example:

A guy I used to know developed a product in Australia, and could not sell the product or the business to anyone.

So he moved his family and business to America. Some 3 years later the product was being sold by his American company to Australians, amongst others, and his business was purchased by one of the bigger companies for $US 20 million.

Then he and his family moved back to Australia.

It seems for some stupid reason that Australian businesses want to buy products from overseas companies, America being a popular choice. It also seems that obviously they don't want "free" stuff, because there's "no such thing as a free lunch" down-under. As a culture, we are wary of gotchas, too much for our own good. I believe it to be nothing more than an over-cautious approach to new things without obviously proven major backing.

I'm interested in hearing other peoples' takes on this...

Re:The Aussie mindset (and conditioning) (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497470)

I'm interested in hearing other peoples' takes on this...

Well, that depends on what you want to buy^H^H^Hhear.

Re:The Aussie mindset (and conditioning) (4, Interesting)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497528)

I think it's another manifestation of the famous "cultural cringe" where Australians seem to think themselves unable to create anything worthwhile.

With respect to OSS you may well be right about the no free lunch thing. I've had IT support staff at a government department tell me that they are "not allowed to use free software" when the government has recently made it the policy that FOSS must be evaluated before software is purchased. I have seen cases where inferior software (and not just easy to pick on stuff like Windows & IIS either) was used because it was commercial and therefore supported - even though access to the high priced support was limited to God knows who but it wasn't the people that used the software...

1. Buy expensive poor quality software
2. Pay for but don't use a support contract
3. Resist all attempts to bring in a superior FOSS equivalent
4. ???
5. Profit?!

Re:The Aussie mindset (and conditioning) (2, Insightful)

richlv (778496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497599)

most countries have these complexes. this is not restricted to software - we have clothes and furniture manufactured in latvia, then sent to other countries where it is re-labeled, re-imported and sold for ten times the original price. and there is a market for this.

now, opensource software has allowed a couple of software projects to raise their heads locally (www.zabbix.com, for example) and even companies have lately been more and more positive towards local software (this also has something to do with abroad companies screwing locals over and over...).

maybe oss could push the mindset in other direction, thus resulting in less expenses and better lide for everybody ? :)
(except re-labelels ;) )

it's not just linux (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497431)

Compared to USA and EU, Aussies also have less iSeries (AS/400) and less DB2.
The "critical mass" thing probably factoring into all these areas..

It Just Works (1)

oc-beta (941915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497435)

Higgins says some software developers use open source as a professional services Trojan horse. It is crazy, we install this OSS solution and our services appear to be more professional, instantly!

The doctor is in (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497442)

Did you see the banner at the bottom of Fox News that Doctor Who performed 80,000 sex change operations? I must have missed that episode.

They say he died. How many re-incarnations does he have left?

Former Penal Colony (2, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497458)

They're a bunch of criminals down there, they probably just use pirated copies of Windows and other copyrighted material.

Now excuse me while i go watch my newly downloaded Stargate Atlantis episode.

Re:Former Penal Colony (2, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497469)

As an Australian I am shocked! Until this day I had never, ever, heard this "joke" before. Ever. Its like the most orignal thing I've seen this month.

Re:Former Penal Colony (0)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497520)

And as a viewer of Family Guy, I've never heard this retort before. Ever. Its like the most original thing I've seen this month. 'Any, any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me too as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. God you're so funny!'

Re:Former Penal Colony (4, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497645)

And as a viewer of Family Guy,

I think this quip goes back to at least Casablanca (1942). Almost as old as the original convict "joke".

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

Poor Penguins... (5, Funny)

uncamarty (245075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497462)

The REAL reason that Linux hasn't 'taken flight' here in AU is good old Aussie logic.
  1. Penguins can't fly
  2. Penguins can sorta fly - if they're underwater
  3. Ordinary PCs have an inbuilt water incompatibility.
  4. Have you seen the size of the penguins here? They're tiny! How can they be expected to hold any decent processing power, the poor little things?
  5. The upgrade path is simply murder...


Yeah... but (3, Informative)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497477)

New Zealand has a very large number of very small companies. It's much more common for companies to "outsource" things like email, webhosting etc. and, generally speaking, not bother with servers at all. Of course 90% of the people that provide these services do it on Linux boxes but, of course, they don't show up in the stats.

Dave

get over the penguin love (0, Flamebait)

slashk (519084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497500)

it's just an operating system.

and kernel rebuilds make it hard for an enterprises to accept.

screen shot of a linux kernel panic:

http://static.flickr.com/38/79844669_3368c9d8a5_s. jpg [flickr.com]

Look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497510)

I don't care who does what with who. As long as they make a backup copy, I fine with it.

1 Data point (1)

LadyLucky (546115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497522)

We're transitioning all our servers away from mixed Microsoft/Linux to entirely Linux over the next little while. We're using Novell.

Most people on the desktop will still slave away under Windows - finance refused to let me have a Mac.

2 main reasons. (3, Insightful)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497538)

I work for a largish reseller/supplier/hosting and support services IT
company in Australia.
The slow roll out of Linux in Australia I believe is directly
attributable to two things:
1) IT staff are not trained to support this "new" beast in the market,
and if not trained can not offer support.
2) the sales guys all think it's a load of "hippie love" and can't
understand how there can be any money made from it. Those that do
understand are very few and far between, but don't care anyway because
the proprietary software sellers are offering larger bonus's for
selling their gear.

Re:2 main reasons. (3, Funny)

dotgain (630123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497578)

It's just the same here in New Zealand, only our chicks are much hotter.

20 years behind? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497539)

Brits always say that those down under countries are 20 years behind modern times. Wonder if this is relevant.

everything's slow here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497541)

I am seriously not surprised, everything is slow down here in Australia. The only environment I have seen OSS used widely is in university (UNSW).

I tried to convert my current workgroup from using Photoshop to GIMP, because seriously, we DON'T NEED Photoshop to adjust colour levels and crop images, but I was told that, no, we WILL use Photoshop because all softwares used at work require proper licenses. At which point I simply gave up trying to explain. Same with converting from IE to Firefox, although I have been more successful there, thanks to the unpatched IE flaws and nifty features in Firefox. The boss is still using Avant browser though, not believing me when I told him that the Avant browser is only as secure as IE.

Other trends down under:

Computers using AMD processors are still rare in major IT retailers, see www.ht.com.au and www.csw.com.au. Not so long ago, a colleague was looking at getting a PC and he was convinced that a 3 GHz Celeron must be better than an A64 3000+, since the latter only runs at 1.8/2.0 GHz!

Gadgets that have been out for months or even years overseas sometimes never even make it to Australia. I remember when I had to get a Shuttle XPC from overseas when the nForce2 version came out, because most shops have never even heard of Shuttle or SFF then. Of course, now they are pretty popular... but I am still crossing my fingers and hoping that Nokia 770 will make it down here soon.

Lastly, I think most Australian still don't realise that no WMD were found in Iraq, while the rest don't even realise we participated in the war...

Re:everything's slow here (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497592)

there's a war on?

The reason is support (1)

WJMoore (830419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497543)

From my experience the reason that Australian companies are less eager to use open source is because of support. In the US and Europe support for OSS products is readily available. Whereas in AU the support is just not there for these products and using the US support companies just isn't a viable solution. Having said that, personally I don't think that having someone to blame/sue when something goes wrong should drive the ultimate decision on whether to use OSS or not.

Size of Economy (5, Interesting)

Redge (318694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497549)

Australia is small in comparison to the US and Europe - stating the obvious I know... But very relevant.

I work in IT for a Medium sized company - by Medium I mean 500 staff. I have 4 citrix servers, 1 file and print server and 1 database server and 1 exchange server. WIndows 2000 AD. I have an ISA server on the edge and a couple of PC's with server OS installed on it doing various little "things" inside the network.

We just got VMWARE ESX to try and get rid of the PC's.

The 3 main applications we use are Windows based... There is no alternative for 1 of them... we would have to write our own. We have no Linux skills internally - we would have to hire in or skillup. We have no money to spend on a large scale development project to give us the software we need to change over. We can't afford the duplicate hardware to allow the parallel running required to make the change over a smooth as possible.

Granted all this can be staggered BUT... I recently asked the owners of the company to give me $200 000 to put in a complete DR solution and they said no - without even considering it. Imagine asking for a million dollars to change the whole network over.... and they ask WHY? - and I say: Linux is a better philosophy for running a computer network, and we'll save money - HOW much? I don't know, but we will. HOW long will it take to see the savings? Years and years.

Somebody up the back is now mentioning the savings on license costs... Sure - if you were building a network for a brand new company this would be considerable - for an already establised MS shop, these costs are annoying yet manageable.

I am very impressed with Linux (the VMWARE ESX version anyway). I have played with Linux before and I knew there were things about it that were better than MS - but it's not until it's in production on enterprise level hardware that you really appreciate it's simplicity and robustness. And it doesn't crash - ever.

It's simple really - there are probably 200 companies in Australia that have 3000 staff or more (not counting government departments), of those 200 companies maybe half of them are doing something with Linux because they can AFFORD to - they have the budget and the staff.

All the rest of us struggle on with what we've got - and if what you've got works - and your $100 million a year in turn over company keeps making money - how do you justify the change?

Business plan for New Zealand (5, Funny)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497572)

Its quite easy. Read the article and read especially the fact that people want to buy. So first step is stopping to offer downloads for free and offer Linux in a box.

Next step is to look at whom you are targeting. The people in New Zealand have hardly ever seen a penguin in their life. So replace that Tux with a friendly looking Kiwi bird and you'll get much more attention from the people there.

I guess those 2 small steps will double the impact of Linux in New Zealand.

Re:Business plan for New Zealand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497613)

>Next step is to look at whom you are targeting. The people in New Zealand have hardly ever seen a penguin in their life.

Funny that. One of the major tourist attractions round here is the Yellow-eyed penguin colony out on the Otago peninsula.
Of course, if your knowledge of New Zealand comes exclusively from the work of Peter Jackson, then no, no-one round here has ever seen a penguin. Possibly the orcs have eaten them all.

What are you on about! (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497641)

Hey Advocadus Diaboli, what are you on about? where in the world are you located? I, a New Zealander, or "Kiwi" if you will, we are VERY familiar with penguins here! From what I see/hear about americans, you guys have a "thing" for monkeys! "The people in New Zealand have hardly ever seen a penguin in their life" "Mate", all major New Zealand areas have at least a reasonably close cove for penguins, around Otago is the most common place to see penguins. "Kiwi Bird" We hate when people say "kiwi bird". Its a bird, its a kiwi!!! we get it! You dont say "Terrier dog" , "computer nerd male", "Ford car" etc. So why "Kiwi Bird"? LOL. Hmm, I have seen quite a lot of people who like linux. Get this, for some strange reason, in a population of 4 million, FOUR MILLION, there are less people using a given item. AMAZING! Its a bit of a strange article really, if you ask me. Whats next, OSX ?

Judging by my post, (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497651)

Formatting has not caught on down here. Guess thats because we are so gosh darn stupid...

Baaaaaaaaa! (1)

cute-boy (62961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497615)

Maybe it's just that your average 'down under' IT person whose company uses FOSS has a pretty low opinion of the marketing research types who tend to conduct these surveys, and the journalist types who tend to publish these sorts of things, and thus doesn't partake in such crap.

I know when someone calls to 'survey' me, I almost always tell them to get lost. I have better things to do with my time than help the afore-mentioned maintain their job security.

As for all the sheep jokes, well, BAAAAAAAAAA!

-Richard

They are uncomfortable with TUX (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14497627)

TUX is white, black and yellow. The Aussies would prefer an all-white mascot.

Linux Counter numbers (3, Interesting)

hta (7593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14497658)

United States of America: 24797 registered users, 86.73 users/Mpop
Australia: 2338 registered users, 120.90 users/Mpop
New Zealand: 687 registered users, 177.06 users/Mpop

A lot more Linux users per capita Down Under than Out West.

The Linux Counter [li.org] has more.

My rule of thumb is that perhaps 1 out of 200 Linux users register with the counter - but there doesn't seem to be a reason for Australians to register in larger droves than the Americans.

Guess they just don't tell their bosses about it....

Get Counted! [li.org]
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