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You win some, you lose some," as the old saying goes, but rarely do the two occur nearly simultaneously. Sure enough, however, that's just what happened to open source software in Germany recently: It was being celebrated in Munich even as it was dumped in Freiburg. "Linux brings over €10 million savings for Munich" was
one side of the story. The other side, however, was very different. "German city
dumps OpenOffice, switches to Microsoft" was that tale in a heartbreaking nutshell, causing more than a few furrowed brows here in the Linux blogosphere.
That is ALL it is, they need features and length of use that OO/LO just isn't made for so if I got a flat and go to buy a jack and you say "Here is a screwdriver, its free!" you have NO right to get mad if I go "That's not what I need" and then continue to buy a jack.
Is LO bad? Nope but it is NOT a drop in substitute for MS Office, I'm sorry but its not. i give it to all my home users but would NEVER suggest it to business users, its not a good fit for that use case. Its support for headers, footers, and tracking changes is iffy and buggy, the ersatz VBA they have in calc is terrible, BASE is a buggy bad joke, its just not a good tool for business.
And frankly the "just jump on the upgrade treadmill!" shows another reason why FOSS isn't a good fit, you have to PAY to have all those machines upgraded, you know this...right? that you can't just give everybody admin and let them install whatever they feel like, that it ALL has to be approved and then installed, and since last I checked LO doesn't come with MSI support that means somebody would have to go around to ALL of those thousands of machines and update them, only to do so again in a month or two when the next upgrade comes out.
I'm sorry folks but that ain't how business works, this is why you have plenty of businesses several versions behind on MS Office and a couple of versions behind on Windows, because you don't just shove new versions out the door constantly. YOU may think that is fine because you consider your time worthless, but it is NOT free for any business, sorry.
"last I checked LO doesn't come with MSI support that means somebody would have to go around to ALL of those thousands of machines and update them, only to do so again in a month or two when the next upgrade comes out."
Or, if a company uses Linux, said company can simply update LibreOffice with the very same utility used to update the operating system and every other package installed on it. It's not LibreOffice's fault that Windows doesn't have an effective package management system.
And considering that medium-to-large businesses tend to roll out automated remote management of workstations and servers alike, it's not like it takes a massive team of IT guys running from office to office doing manual upgrades; rather, it's more often a case of a sysadmin pushing out a new image (if a Windows system) or initiating a package update from the comfort of his office chair.
NO NO NO, have you NEVER worked in an office? you do NOT allow the users to install and update EVAR! Geez no wonder the Linux community doesn't know what business users need if THIS is the attitude!
Most software HAS TO last a minimum of 3 years, preferably 5 in an office because of what a PITB it is to have to deal with testing and rollout, so what is the community's answer? "Herpa derp, just let everybody update anything anytime, herpa de derp!" Yeah right, and when some update leaves them in single user mode are YOU gonna pay the $15K a day in downtime? thought not.
You either make a product the user wants or you go home, simple as that. updating anytime is fine for home users but NOT business and you know what? the home users are happy with Windows, which ever since Vista has beena whole lot easier to keep clean and running good.
So you don't have a market, you don't have a product people want, and you expect the world to do things YOUR way like you were Apple or somebody important. No wonder linux has been flatline for years.
"NO NO NO, have you NEVER worked in an office? you do NOT allow the users to install and update EVAR! Geez no wonder the Linux community doesn't know what business users need if THIS is the attitude!"
I never said for the users to perform the upgrade. I said for the sysadmin in his desk chair to perform the upgrade. Your comments make me wonder if *you* have ever worked in an office at all, let alone a real-life IT department.
If you're going to respond with empty ad hominem remarks instead of actual content, then at least do yourself a favor and read the comment which you're deadpanning. You might actually be taken seriously for once.
And for the record, I work in healthcare IT. Help desk specifically. I deal with cranky old doctors on a daily basis complaining about some piece of software. If there's anyone who knows simultaneously what users want and what IT can do to make users' wishes happen, it's probably going to be someone like me, since that's what I do every single day.
Riiight, because he has NOTHING better to do all day than roll out constant updates. How many LO releases were there in the last 18 months? 14? Then you got the OS updates, the browser updates, and if ANY of them goes wrong guess who is stuck fixing them? is it the Linux community? NOPE which is why even in companies that use linux on their servers they do NOT use Linux on their desktops!
There is a REASON why MSFT has a patch Tuesday, there is a REASON why IE gets 2 years worth of security patches per version, there is a REASON why you can take a copy of MS Office 2K3 and have it updated to current with ZERO hangups, its because businesses do NOT roll out new software willy nilly! Are YOU gonna guarantee that that new update is gonna break a mission critical program? are YOU gonna do all the testing required before the rollout?
I can take a copy of XP RTM, install ALL my software including MS Office 2K3, and then go through all 3 SPs on XP PLUS all the patches that came after PLUS all the SPs and patches for MS Office 2K3 and I will bet my last dollar that at the end of it all it will ALL work, 100% functional, all the drivers work, all the software will run, ALL of it, why? Because MSFT spends millions of dollars making sure that it does.
Show me ONE distro, just one, that can pass that same test and THEN I'll be happy to say your product is ready. everybody says Ubuntu is ready for the masses? i'll put Vista, the most hated MSFT OS last decade against your choice of Ubuntu or PCLOS, same test I just outlined, wanna guess what happens? i don't have to guess because as a retailer evaluating your product I tried it, it fell down and went BOOM! Meanwhile the Vista machine still had 100% functionality, it ALL just worked.
Linux is free if your time is worthless, most sysadmins I know get paid a minimum of 50k a year. at those prices fixing your OS when some poorly QAed update trashed the system is simply not worth it. I know this shocks most Linux advocates but most people and especially most businesses? DO NOT CARE about the cost of windows, its $140 for a product that gets TEN YEARS, a full decade of support! Its yearly cost is less than I spent on pizza today friend, so you have to bring a truly incredible product to compete with that yet all I see is excuse and "free as in beer/freedom" that the majority couldn't care less about. i'm not a programmer so I'm not working on any program for free PERIOD so the source is worthless, and if a business can afford to pay the systemadmins to do nothing but deal with the helter skelter "we'll update/upgrade when we please" attitude of Linux I'll show you a company whose equipment I'll be picking up cheap at their OOB sale.
No one (at least no one who has half a brain) is saying to update constantly; you are correct that there are considerations, and a sane Linux sysadmin would know better than to utilize a bleeding-edge package selection in an enterprise environment. That's why good IT departments utilize both testing and production environments to make sure that an update won't break anything before rolling it out to everyone; this is true regardless of the operating system used - Windows, Linux, Solaris, even doggone OS/360. If you're trying to claim that Windows replaces the need for a pre-update testing environment, then I reckon you ought to rethink your ideas of what enterprise IT is all about.
Oh, and you know who else puts in lots of effort to make sure their operating systems work? Red Hat. Novell. IBM. Oracle. Very big names, and all providing enterprise-level support for their respective Linux products. Red Hat and Novell in particular support both desktop *and* server installations. You act like Linux-driven enterprises are left to die when there are quite a few options for external support.
"Its yearly cost is less than I spent on pizza today friend"
On a completely unrelated note, $140 worth of pizza in one night is quite a bit of pizza.
RHEL costs $400 a year for support contracts on TOP of the OS, which you have to pay for if you want to get the updates. Cost of Windows to get the updates? ZERO. See this is where all your arguments fall down as the ONLY distros that do actual QA and QC cost several times the cost of Windows because they simply can't get the economies of scale.
I wish that I could provide links here as I have a nice article written by one of the devs of RHEL where even HE admits that Linux on the desktop is bunk, because of several brain dead moves by linus when it was first released (such as the "let the devs do it" attitude of driver management) that insures Linux simply won't make a good desktop product, its just too easily broken.
Let me make this as clear as I possibly can, Linux ONLY works on the server because you frankly have a competition that doesn't care about the low end PERIOD so doesn't even attempt to compete. WinServer is one of the most expensive products out there, a single server license can easily run to over $1000 depending on which version you want and then you have the user licenses on TOP of the OS cost. With such a high cost frankly its worth paying an admin high 5 figures to deal with updates and serious problems because even figuring in his cost you still come out ahead.
When it comes to desktops on the other hand the math does NOT work, as any admin with half a brain can quite easily lock down Windows and with a single WinServer to take care of AD and GPOs you have a turnkey system that practically takes care of itself and needs VERY little maintenance. I personally have several SMBs with XP systems I personally set up more than half a decade ago where the ONLY thing they'll need from me is my services migrating them to Win 7 which we are in the process of doing.
And i noticed you completely skirted the question so I will say it again, show me ONE Linux product designed for the desktop, NOT a server product that can "kinda sorta" be used as a desktop that 1.- will give you a trouble free upgrade path for at LEAST as long as windows, 2.- will survive an upgrade from the 2007 release to the current without SERIOUS issues, and 3.- Costs equal to or less than Windows to run.
As I said i'll happily post the results, complete with pictures, of the "Hairyfeet challenge" because as a retailer I have already done the tests and can tell you that in every. single. case. the amount of time spent dealing with issues makes Windows the cheaper product on the desktop.
At the end of the day the ONLY selling points you have is "free as in beer/freedom" which the beer part is worthless as i pointed out because WinDesktop is so cheap, and since I and most of the planet couldn't care less about source code (see the runaway sales of Apple products for proof) the second argument is worthless as well. At this point in time your product is simply unsuitable for the target demographic, which is why nobody uses it in SMBs and why adoption is flatline, its just not a good product for desktop usage.
"RHEL costs $400 a year for support contracts on TOP of the OS, which you have to pay for if you want to get the updates. Cost of Windows to get the updates? ZERO."
You're focusing on one vendor. SUSE offers their best product support subscription (which includes 24/7 email/chat/phone support with 4 hour maximum response time) at $220/year/machine, inclusive of the operating system itself. Canoncical's Ubuntu Advantage costs $158.10/year/machine, and includes both 24/7 support and legal assistance regarding the use of open-source software vs. proprietary solutions.
If Microsoft can offer 24/7 support for that price (that's actually good), then I'll admit defeat on that point. I've yet to find an instance of that (Microsoft's support line for Windows 7 Enterprise is only Monday - Friday, 6AM - 6PM).
I'm also curious where you're pulling your numbers; According to its site, Red Hat's most expensive desktop support package is $299/year/machine. That's inclusive of the OS. Admittedly, however, it does not include 24/7 support, so it's still pricey considering that.
"brain dead moves by linus when it was first released (such as the "let the devs do it" attitude of driver management)"
This is only half the story, since this is only applicable to closed-source, nonfree drivers. Free drivers are able to be integrated into mainstream kernel development, since the kernel developers have unrestricted access to the source code and therefore can actually debug them.
Besides, even if Linus & Co. provided minimal driver development, how is that different from Windows? Last I checked, the majority of Windows drivers are developed by the hardware vendors. In other words, Linux kernel developers are actually doing more driver development for hardware vendors than Microsoft is.
Then again - even if we're going to take the "write your own drivers" approach as true *and* bad, you're also leaving out that Linux was first released as a hobby project, with Linus alone developing his kernel. It wasn't until development began to expand that kernel development could possibly encompass driver development beyond Linus' hardware at the time (an old AT box with an i386 processor).
"Let me make this as clear as I possibly can, Linux ONLY works on the server because you frankly have a competition that doesn't care about the low end PERIOD so doesn't even attempt to compete. "
You mean other than the numerous security and reliability advantages of running Linux over Windows in a server environment?
"show me ONE Linux product designed for the desktop, NOT a server product that can "kinda sorta" be used as a desktop that 1.- will give you a trouble free upgrade path for at LEAST as long as windows, 2.- will survive an upgrade from the 2007 release to the current without SERIOUS issues, and 3.- Costs equal to or less than Windows to run. "
I've yet to see Windows be able to do what you're asking, considering the installation issues I've run into upgrading XP and Vista machines to 7 (silly things like installation failing because there are two SATA drives connected) that are simply nonexistent in the Linux distributions I use on a day-to-day basis. However, since you want some names thrown out...
1) I've yet to run into major upgrade troubles on any relatively-recent Linux version. I can't provide specific information in the timeframe you request since my Linux usage started mid-2008, but I can say that every LTS Ubuntu upgrade I've done (exempting my eMac, which is an invalid comparison since Windows doesn't run on PowerPC) has gone flawlessly. Upgrading Windows versions, on the other hand, invariably has required reformatting the hard drive; perhaps this has changed with Windows 8, but every other Windows version I've used from 3.1 through 7 has had major problems with version upgrades.
2) See above.
3) Considering that the versions of Ubuntu I used in my upgrade anecdote were free-as-in-beer, criterion 3 is satisfied as well.
"As I said i'll happily post the results, complete with pictures, of the "Hairyfeet challenge" because as a retailer I have already done the tests and can tell you that in every. single. case. the amount of time spent dealing with issues makes Windows the cheaper product on the desktop. "
Please do. I've yet to see a single instance where Windows will successfully upgrade from major version to major version without requiring a drive reformat; if it *does* succeed in installing the new version, software incompatibilities appear and registry corruption occurs, since Windows doesn't have the package management capacity that relatively-modern Linux distributions do.
You being a retailer also brings up some other issues, considering that Microsoft and Best Buy (for example) are confirmed to have worked together to spread FUD about Linux. There's a nice ZDNet article about it; Google "Microsoft trains Best Buy Linux assassins".
There's also the question of how long ago you did your "Hairyfeet Challenge", as well as how it was performed; what hardware did you use? Did you test it without a dual-boot scenario? Did you attempt to upgrade to Windows 7 (since that would be more on-par with full Linux update)? Not saying your testing is necessarily invalid, but it's certainly an anomaly.
"its just not a good product for desktop usage."
Tell that to Peugeot Citroen with their 20,000 SUSE desktops. Tell that to Google with Goobuntu. Tell that to Wikipedia, whose desktops *and* servers all run Ubuntu (the exception being a single Windows laptop to run QuickBooks).
I don't reckon I'm alone in knowing that Linux - though not perfect - is leaps and bounds better as a product than Windows. It's faster, it's more secure, it's more stable, it's more innovative, and it costs less. Ever since I've migrated to Linux, the things that I thought were unavoidable - the constant reformats, the constant defragmentations, the constant virus removals, the constant installation issues, the upgrade treadmills - have virtually disappeared.
I'm not going to continue this discussion much further, since I'm a fan of letting the products speak for themselves, and Linux has done just that time and time again. Feel free to continue spreading your FUD if it helps you sleep at night, but you're not convincing anyone.
Lets see...$220x10 equals $2200 PER UNIT, Ubuntu $158x10 equals $1580 PER UNIT, cost of Windows? $140. You see? No matter how you slice it your math simply won't work. as I said with GPOs and AD frankly you can make WinDesktop a hardened turkey solution where jack squat is getting in, I have several SMBs going on 7 years now without a SINGLE bug, not one,all they are paying for is $30 a unit for AV (which you would be insane to run ANY business on computers without AV) which means that TEN computers costs less than ONE of yours for just TWO years with the lowest tier.
So I'm sorry but there is nothing else to say, no matter how you slice it the math doesn't work. This is why canonical is shilling for Amazon and losing users left and right, why Xandros and Linspire and Mandriva are all corpses along the road, because Linux simply can NOT get the economy of scale required to make it profitable in the desktop space, its just never gonna happen. This is why even with Win 8 a massive flop why none of the OEMs are going Linux, why Dell hides Ubuntu on its back page (and has to run their own repo thanks to the lousy QA from Canonical) because it simply doesn't add up.
Heck look at the numbers, if your argument held any merit the numbers wouldn't be flatline but Linux has been stuck at 1% for something like 5 years now, no growth at all. Again this is the opposite of the server room, where outfitting a single blade with Windows licenses can easily cost more than the hardware, but on the desktop Windows is sooo cheap that you just can'T get the economy of scale,end of story.
Yes, but what are you getting for that $140? Let's see:
- A product that'll be replaced after a couple of years (and will cost you more money to get it upgraded to the new version)
- Practically zero included software (not even a capable antivirus solution, which is just about required if your Windows installation is connecting to any outside network - and no, in a business, a $30 product won't cut it unless you're fine with incomplete virus signature databases and minimal support, if any)
- Mediocre vendor support at best unless you go with a third-party solution
- Zero package management (other than Metro apps if you're using Windows 8), and therefore more effort keeping everything up to date
By the time you add up Windows, Microsoft Office, a business-grade antivirus solution, the cost of new versions of all that software, and the cost actual 24/7 support for all that software (be it through a third-party or through on-site employees), I'm willing to bet that Windows ain't nearly as cheap as this $140 figure you're claiming. Plus there's the cost of downtime, which - given how frequently I've had to reboot Windows clients in order to get them functional again - is practically unavoidable with Windows unless you work constantly to baby and coddle it into cooperation. Linux doesn't have the above problems.
I also fail to see how your OEM argument is relevant when Microsoft's terms for reselling Windows forbid OEMs from advertising alternative operating system choices. *That's* why Dell keeps its Ubuntu-based offerings hidden, not because Linux is in any way inferior on the desktop. Because of that, Linux isn't preinstalled as much as Windows, and therefore consumers use Windows because they don't know how and/or want to install an operating system. Not to mention that Windows is actually advertised more than Linux (a point for which I'm willing to assign the blame to the major Linux vendors).
Your arguments *might* make sense for an ordinary-joe buyer shopping around in your store in 2004 (even that's dubious, since home users don't need the 24/7 support and therefore are just fine with a free-as-in-beer distro), but in the business world they don't hold up. Especially in my industry - where a technological failure can and will affect patient care - Windows is the problem, not the solution.
This is my last post; I have more important things to do than constantly refute your FUD. So I'll make this a very simple conclusion:
Justin Bieber's "Baby" has more views on YouTube than Mozart's "Symphony No. 40". Does that make Bieber's music better than Mozart's?
I didn't think so.