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Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says 589

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from the cliche-about-free-time dept.
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Jos Creese, CIO of the Hampshire County Council, told Britain's 'Computing' publication that part of the reason is that most staff are already familiar with Microsoft products and that Microsoft has been flexible and more helpful. 'Microsoft has been flexible and helpful in the way we apply their products to improve the operation of our frontline services, and this helps to de-risk ongoing cost,' he told the publication. 'The point is that the true cost is in the total cost of ownership and exploitation, not just the license cost.' Creese went on to say he didn't have a particular bias about open source over Microsoft, but proprietary solutions from Microsoft or any other commercial software vendor 'need to justify themselves and to work doubly hard to have flexible business models to help us further our aims.'"
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Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Torp (199297) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:02AM (#46925569)

    "Microsoft gave us a 98% discount in exchange for this article."

    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by asmkm22 (1902712) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:13AM (#46925615)

      Yeah, I've never known MS to be flexible and helpful in the way he describes, so I'm guessing he's getting special treatment.

      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Informative)

        by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:17AM (#46925631) Homepage Journal

        You're not negotiating for a big enough organization. All the vendors can be extremely helpful when the dollar signs in front of them are big enough.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fustakrakich (1673220)

          Exactly. Has anyone ever seen a big depositor waiting in line at the bank?

          • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:25AM (#46926263)

            Exactly. Has anyone ever seen a big depositor waiting in line at the bank?

            No, but I have seen plenty of big investors being fleeced by the bank. Normally with a to good to be true special offer. That's more or less directly Microsoft's standard MO. Every product will have a base set of decent features and for those features every box will be checked. There will even be an "Open" XML format that you will seen to be able to export your data to. The trick is that, built into your software will be some extra freebie small feature you can't escape from. Once your users start using that feature, they are hooked and can't escape. In the price of every Microsoft Word license you have to include the potential that it forces you to invest in an entire set of SharePoint servers and an outsourced support company. There are entire countries like the UK and South Korea (which had an ActiveX control as a key part of it's banking infrastructure!) which have been tricked by this. Double doesn't even come close.

            • Lock-in? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:55AM (#46926951)

              In the price of every Microsoft Word license you have to include the potential that it forces you to invest in an entire set of SharePoint servers and an outsourced support company.

              How exactly would that happen? I don't think I've ever seen a SP server actually deployed in any organisation I've worked in, from a tiny local business to one of the largest corps in the world. Most of them were Microsoft customers, though.

              I did, however, spend about 20 minutes yesterday trying to figure out how to do some simple data manipulation in LibreOffice Calc at an organisation that didn't use MS Office. It turns out that the on-line help in Calc is so good that if you search for the name of a function it doesn't find it. Also, it actually is on-line, meaning if your Internet connection is slow or down, your basic "productivity" software is broken.

              It's not a popular sentiment around here, but I suspect the CIO is right about going with Microsoft even without any undisclosed deal, at least in major sectors like office software. The organisation where I was working yesterday picked LibreOffice on cost grounds, but the money lost to silly inefficiencies like the terrible on-line help system I mentioned above would pay for a copy of MS Office within weeks, if not days or hours.

              You're right to express concern about proprietary data formats like the MS Office file formats, but the reality is that right now MS Office is widely used and you often have to be compatible with their formats anyway to communicate effectively. So either your alternative software can read MS formats, in which case the lock-in problem doesn't exist, or you can't, in which case your alternative comes with a serious limitation before you even start.

              • Re:Lock-in? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by higuita (129722) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:50AM (#46927143) Homepage

                Have you open a bug in libreoffice about the online-help problem? If they aren't informed about the problems, for sure no one will fix it.

                • Re:Lock-in? (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by Nemesisghost (1720424) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @09:08AM (#46927649)
                  But that's just it. For an organization to have to report that something is broken means it's not worth the cost, even if that cost is free. In addition, bug reporting is fine when you are a technical person. But think about those who actually make the decisions, they usually aren't technical and will be unwilling to report that something is broken beyond the guy who convinced them to use a broken product. And that phone call/meeting will end up with the decision maker demanding that they spend the money so at least he can have something that works, if not the entire organization.
                  • Re:Lock-in? (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by bkr1_2k (237627) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @09:26AM (#46927757)

                    So people don't ever have to report bugs to Microsoft? I think you and I live in different worlds because we report them routinely, to all of our vendors, whether we paid for the software or it was free.

                    • by smash (1351)
                      Like it or not, microsoft's shit works well enough to actually get work done. It is by no means bug free. But it is "good enough" at the things that matter to ordinary people. Ordinary office drones don't give a flying fuck if a program is open source if it can't do what they want it to do.
              • Re:Lock-in? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @09:11AM (#46927671)

                It turns out that the on-line help in Calc is so good that if you search for the name of a function it doesn't find it. Also, it actually is on-line, meaning if your Internet connection is slow or down, your basic "productivity" software is broken.

                What a coincidence! I've had the same experience with MS Office! Help is by default set to "online" and the search function is so poor that I usually don't bother and instead just Google it.

                In all fairness, MS Office is so popular that Google usually has the solution. Why write a decent help system when you have whole sites dedicated to sorting out how to use your software?

              • by bkr1_2k (237627)

                Whether or not the help is installed locally or just refers to an online help is usually an install option, in my experience. I haven't installed libreoffice in a long time because I don't like it, personally, but I think it's probably still an option. Maybe not.

                If you don't factor in re-training costs, it's never a fair comparison. Training, however, doesn't take millions or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars and once your workforce is trained, new employees can always ask existing employees how to

          • by Chas (5144) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @05:09AM (#46926605) Homepage Journal

            Exactly. Has anyone ever seen a big depositor waiting in line at the bank?

            Only when the bathroom is full.

        • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Casandro (751346) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:40AM (#46925721)

          Well, but a week long Exchange semi-outage still costs money, no matter what your support level is. (Happened at a large German manufacturer of household appliances) Microsoft software just doesn't seem to be enterprise ready.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @01:29AM (#46925881)

            Microsoft software just doesn't seem to be enterprise ready.
            That's what the London Stock Exchange said a few years ago. Nothing new though, the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchanges switched to Linux a few years earlier. Somehow the stock exchanges found the total cost of ownership for Open Source to be lower. But what do they know about money...

            • Things look a bit better for the Win 8/Server 2012 network stack, but my experience with Windows in high connection rate environments is that it just doesn't compare to some of the *nixes.

            • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Jack Griffin (3459907) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:23AM (#46926251)
              Different environments from most businesses which just need file, email, web and a few app servers. I'm sure you can find any special use case to suit your argument, but the fact remains, for most people, most of the time, walking into an MS shop requires the least amount of effort. Try not to let you religious beliefs stand in the way of reality.
              • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

                by rioki (1328185) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:25AM (#46926465) Homepage

                Apps, apps apps.

                Basically the Windows / Unixlikes divide has little to do with actual technology. If you have lots of servers, the license costs add up and chances are you are running custom apps. If you develop your own apps, the target OS matters little. But if you intend to buy applications, windows is the go to OS. The license costs for the OS pale in comparison to the cost of developing the application for a different OS.

        • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ArmoredDragon (3450605) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @02:36AM (#46926083)

          Another thing to consider too though, is how long ago was he doing business with Microsoft? The reason I say that is because of this bit:

          proprietary solutions from Microsoft or any other commercial software vendor 'need to justify themselves and to work doubly hard to have flexible business models to help us further our aims.'

          In other words, it's because of Linux that Microsoft has to step up its game and do better than it did in the past. Had it not been for Linux, Microsoft would behave more similar to how you expect government services to behave (think rude employees, long lines, and general disregard for customer service at the DMV.)

    • Possibly. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @01:08AM (#46925817)

      "Microsoft gave us a 98% discount in exchange for this article."

      Possibly. But there's enough weasel-room to reach his claims without that.

      1. Lock-in: If his systems are already running MS software (which they probably are) is the cost of data migration counted against MS or is it counted against any alternative?

      2. Hiring/Training: Is his office paying for training and certification OR is his office REQUIRING that anyone applying ALREADY have certification.

      3. Discounts: Once you have 1 & 2, is Microsoft offering discounts just big enough to come in under the cost of migration?

    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:55AM (#46927169) Journal
      Congratulations. Rather than actually deal with the truth, you just accuse the man of unethical conduct. That makes you a lying piece of fanboy shit. And, it is the exact kind of shit you are spewing that shows the attitude alluded to by the article. I have used FLOSS for about 25 years now and while everyone talks about community and how much help is available, the truth is the most common answer to a question asked of the community is silence, followed closely by "RTFM, n00b!", "Stop your shit questions and use Google", and other such helpful responses.

      With MS, they can go to MS and MS will bend over backwards to help them. What do they get with FLOSS? Well, they can try to find someone who is competent, but who do they go to and how do they find out? I guess they could use Red Hat, but I have worked with Red Hat and know what you get for that support contract.

      And, I know this is going to get modded down by FLOSS fanboys and I don't care. You fuckers need to hear the truth. Just look at the non-confrontational responses that have been modded troll. The troll post is Torp's.

      But, hey, don't let the fact that Torp is making shit up because you fuckers like his opinion solely because it feeds into your delusions. Go fuck yourselves.
    • by smash (1351)

      Depends. Having done both open source and closed source (and currently using both) - the problem with open source solutions is often the death by a thousand cuts. You'll get something to mostly work apart from a little problem playing with something else. Inevitably, any support in the form of google, etc. is a case of "well the other closed system is broken". That's all well and good from an idealistic perspective, but people in the real world need to get shit done. A classic case is DHCP based WPAD

  • True Costs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:03AM (#46925575)

    'The point is that the true cost is in the total cost of ownership and exploitation, not just the license cost.'

    Yeah, exploitation IS a cost. That's why I don't use Windows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by khb (266593)

      Perhaps the language from "across the pond" is hard for some US readers to parse. "Exploitation" meaning "use effectively" ... without knowing more about what this bloke's department(s) are tasked to do, it is hard to call him to task for his choice.

      I would not be surprised if Macintoshes were even a better match for his user base.

      I cannot seem to find it, but I recently ran across a bizarre claim that the average office worker's time is dominated by outlook (duh) but that Microsoft Word was number two at a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "virtually ANY change is highly disruptive"... you mean like replacing heirarchical menus with a dog's breakfast ribbon?

      • Re:True Costs (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bloodhawk (813939) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:30AM (#46926283)
        Outlook nowadays is far more than just a mail client, in a properly configured environment it integrates everything from your mail, calendaring, lync, voice and collaboration. currently their is no easy match for a correctly configured outlook desktop experience for many users.
  • Recruiting policy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:17AM (#46925633)

    most staff are already familiar with Microsoft products

    So the guy hires Microsoft compliant engineers and surprisingly they're most efficient on MS products. What isn't said is that probably that guy himself has always been a Windows user, and thus he prefers to hire windowsians. And there... I am not surprised. How would you feel hiring Linux people when yourself you don't have a clue about what it does and how it works. The thing is, Linux engineers would have no problem learning Windows stuff, while the opposite is more seldom. Hiring engineers interested in open source, Linux, openness in general would be more profitable for the company in the longer term, though.

    • Re:Recruiting policy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _Shad0w_ (127912) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:25AM (#46925661)

      He's the CIO for a county council, when he says "staff" he means office staff and he's talking about Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows for the desktop. His entire IT department probably fits in one fairly small room. I'm frankly impressed they haven't just outsourced the whole of their IT management; it's how councils here usually seem to work. Come to think of it's it's quite possible they have and he's actually the only person who works for the council directly.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        "haven't just outsourced the whole of their IT management;"
        That can depend on the security and police clearance. A lot more eyes are needed to track local issues on web 2.0 and social media at a town/city level.
      • Re:Recruiting policy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Xest (935314) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:45AM (#46926533)

        You really don't have the slightest clue about what a council does or how big it's operations are do you?

        I used to work for a council doing IT support. There are many things wrong with working for a council in terms of the fact it will sap your soul as you watch people get promoted based on whether they're over 60 and need to be given a higher paying job to pump up their final salary pension, or whether you generally just give a shit about doing a good job and get that beaten out of you because anyone who suggests improvements is shot down as a shit stirrer.

        But I'll give them credit, one thing they're not is small operations, and if I took absolutely nothing else away from working there I did at least take away the fact that it was one of the more interesting networks I ever got to work on for it's sheer scale. Few private sector businesses give you the experience of scale and number of distributed sites and the level of network management that goes with that as a local council can.

        We had around 10,000 desktop computers and laptops to support, we had a network that spanned many hundreds of distributed, and sometimes quite distant sites. You had fairly complex active directory setups because there was originally (later amalgamated) multiple IT teams - one for education, one for central services, one for social housing and so forth with a forest containing a top level domain run by central services and the other departments own domains branching off that. We had 100mbps pipes running from 170 schools to a central location that had it's own connection to the internet as well as a link to janet. You had links to youth centres, satellite offices for social services, for social housing and so on and so forth. Infrastructure for handling customer complaints, for managing property boundary data of every house in the district, for managing the births and deaths registers, for running elections and god knows what else.

        As an aside, well, actually, more on topic, Microsoft invests a lot of time and money into wooing councils because they are such massive customers. 10,000 Windows and Office licenses and a hundred or more Windows server licenses as well as tons of exchange and SQL server licenses amongst other things is nothing to scoff at. Especially when there are hundreds of such local authorities in the UK meaning the net worth to Microsoft of capturing as much of UK public sector as possible is in the many hundreds of millions range at very least. I overheard our head of IT joking with a Microsoft salesman once about how they both fiddle expenses buying themselves more expensive meals and hotel rooms and services than necessary. My boss was set on a trip to Reading where Microsoft entertained them at a bar, with good time girl stood around using the sexual desperation of your average old boys club council manager to buy them over. Yes this shit really does actually happen.

        A quick Google shows Hampshire County Council has around 40,000 employees. Some of these will be folks like bin men, but this larger than the council I worked for even, so I wouldn't be surprised if they have around 20,000 - 30,000 computers for those staff.

        Councils are offloading a lot of services to private sector now, either selling them off, or just outsourcing the services. But the majority of councils still do IT in house.

        I'm a developer nowadays working in private sector and am far happier for it, but if there's one thing local councils IT departments are generally not, it's small backroom operations.

        • by Sad Loser (625938) *
          absolutely right
          same goes for health
          however the common theme is that the way that these organisations work is that there is no structure to pay competent FOSS IT people 50-60k a year to administer the network.

          It therefore seems 'cheaper' to pay for Microsoft products and to have a bunch of low grade IT staff who can only cope with Microsoft products on 25-30k a year who end up running the helldesk, which casues more unhappiness.

          IT staff are like classic cars. the cheapest classic car will always w
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by VortexCortex (1117377)

      Not to mention with Open Source there's no such thing as Win XP's end of life, and subsequent shift to the "buy updates for the bugs we already sold you" model.

      The FLOSS model monetizes work on the software too. Only difference is that you only pay a FLOSS dev once for their work, instead of multiple times. Imagine if a mechanic adopted the proprietary software model.

      Each person who drove the car would have to pay up for all the fixes done. To monetize the work done once multiple times he'd just put a coi

      • by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:32AM (#46925697) Homepage Journal

        No, instead you have the end of support for even LTS releases, and then you're hooped if the upgrade doesn't work.

        Open source is definitely not superior to Windows in that regard.

        I have yet to work for a company big enough to be rolling their own updates and patches, even though anyone could, in theory, do so.

        • No, instead you have the end of support for even LTS releases, and then you're hooped if the upgrade doesn't work.

          As opposed to Windows 8 where upgrading isn't even an option?

        • by sjames (1099)

          How about small enough then? For a while, I maintained Debian 'Woody-Potato' for a 10 person shop.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Yeah, because Ubuntu is the only company that can support Raring Ringtail. Nobody else could possibly read the source.

          • ...and that costs? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @02:52AM (#46926137)

            It seriously amazes me how little thought many geeks give the "it's open so anyone can support it!" argument. Seriously? You think that anyone can just sit down, read the source of a complex project, and fix and maintain it? It is just that easy?

            Of course not. You need not just a programmer, but a good team and they can't be idiots. Maintaining something as large as an OS is a big job. So if the primary developers aren't doing it any more, you have to hire someone else to do it. So what's that cost? You can't ignore that, pretend like it isn't a real business cost just like software licenses.

            Also there's the overall cost of sticking with something really old. This bitching about XP upgrades is silly because, by and large, the systems that need the upgrade are extremely old (I'm an IT support guy by profession). So if you took the route of paying to maintain this extremely old software on extremely old hardware it could end up costing you a lot in the long run in terms of productivity, as well as support.

            Heck we've seen this in large scale systems like mainframes. IBM will generally support a mainframe as long as you like... for a price. You get companies running shit so old it is exceedingly expensive for the maintenance contract, and it is inflexible and has trouble dealing with their current business needs because it was designed 30 years ago. An upgrade would be a much better use of resources.

            We even have a situation like that at work. We have an old Netapp FAS that we are still paying support on. 250GB SATA drives, no upgrade path. The support contract is multiple thousands a year, and getting higher. Netapp is happy to take our money and keep ti running but it can't run the new OnTap, can't take larger disks, etc, etc. The right answer, the one we are doing soon (hopefully) is to replace it with a new unit, migrate the data, and stand it down. Ya it is a bit of work, but it will be cheaper AND better in the long run.

            Maintenance, upgrades, lifecycles, these are things you deal with for anything, software included. If you really think it is a feasible idea to just maintain a version of Linux forever, you are kidding yourself.

            Also if you are wondering what long term maintenance of Linux costs, check out RHEL sometime. See what a support contract for a heavily supported, stable, Linux runs you. Then consider that MS has the same lifecycle on their OSes.

        • Re:Recruiting policy (Score:4, Interesting)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @01:11AM (#46925827) Journal
          I don't know, there's a guy here on Slashdot who still supports software built on Motif, without any problem. That's the equivalent of being built on Mac Classic. And it will continue to work for the foreseeable future.
          • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:26AM (#46926271)

            I don't know, there's a guy here on Slashdot who still supports software built on Motif, without any problem. That's the equivalent of being built on Mac Classic. And it will continue to work for the foreseeable future.

            I support a few Motif apps at work. but what is this "without any problem" phenomenon you speak of?

        • by cmurf (2833651)
          Why doesn't the upgrade work? Oh you mean Vista. That's a really good point because that a huge part of the XP problem, is that people were scared shitless into not upgrading, so the fixation on XP was much stronger than it otherwise would have been. And now the upgrades to Windows 7 and Windows 8 are even more challenging for those XP users because it's such a huge change.

          If you mean 5 years of Ubuntu LTS support isn't long enough, I think you can pay for longer LTS support from Canonical, and if not th
      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Imagine if a mechanic adopted the proprietary software model.

        Each person who drove the car would have to pay up for all the fixes done.

        No they wouldn't, just like each person who uses a computer doesn't have to pay for the operating system on it.

    • by AudioEfex (637163)

      That would be great if Linux IT professionals existed in any number to make it useful. Can you find one? Or even a few? Yeah, but it's not sustainable. Most engineers with a pedigree required for that kind of work are not going to be in nearly the abundance of those trained in Windows. That's the entire point - it would cost a lot more to headhunt and find those with the specific skills needed for such, when you can throw a Wiffle ball and find a half dozen qualified Windows IT professionals. And whe

      • Re:Recruiting policy (Score:4, Informative)

        by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @02:34AM (#46926079) Homepage

        There's thousands of people out there who will claim to have windows knowledge, and the vast majority of them don't have the first clue. So you'd end up with an extremely poorly configured network just limping along (as happens in many places)...

        Theres a lot less people claiming linux/unix knowledge, but the vast majority of those who make such claims actually do have such knowledge, and experience, and in many cases its a genuine interest for them rather than a 9-5 job.

        Finding competent windows engineers is generally *harder* than finding competent unix engineers simply because you have many more incompetent ones to sort through first. And generally the most competent people have experience of multiple systems anyway because one of the key differentiators is that someone highly competent will do proper research and use the best tool for the job at hand, rather than just using what they're most comfortable with or what they think is expected.

      • by dbIII (701233)

        That would be great if Linux IT professionals existed in any number to make it useful. Can you find one? Or even a few?

        Try a place that has a CS department that is not sponsored by Microsoft and you'll find such a thing in close to 100% of CS and IT graduates since about 2005.

    • by ruir (2709173)
      Lets face it, it is probably what he uses, all he knows, and all he wants to use. However from there to it is cheaper, it is a long stretch.
    • most staff are already familiar with Microsoft products

      But has anybody told him that XP is no longer supported?

      Where did they put "Network Neighborhood" on this version of Windows????

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Centralized user login, and two-factor authentication, you're pretty much going to be stuck with either Red Hat Directory Server, or MS Active Directory server. RHDS is going to run you about $15,000. The same MS AD install will be significantly less. This is only one example. I would say that things like Sharepoint and Exchange are pretty outrageously priced. But if you keep it simple, MS can be fairly cost-effective.

    On the other hand - the logistics of managing Windows licenses is pretty insane, comp

    • by Jack Griffin (3459907) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:41AM (#46926325)
      Last MS Exchange deployment I did (years ago) ran about $4k for the server license and about $100 per user (from memory). And that server could run up to 1000 mailboxes. Expected life of an Exchange Server (software) can be well over 5 years, so you're talking peanuts per year. It isn't even worth arguing the license cost. The biggest benefit is Exchange Admins are a dime a dozen, and if they go away I can get a guy from any of the millions of IT support companies to walk in off the street and maintain it with no issue. Good luck having that same business continuity with your home-brew flavour-of-the-day Linux distro that some neck beard has setup his own unique config that needs an equally ugly neck beard to try and decipher if he happens to leave the business. Never mind arguing the user interface issues from some flaky email client that doesn't do the half the stuff Outlook does seamlessly, and doesn't plug-in to all the cool cloud stuff everyone has these days (Salesforce, dropbox etc). Say what you want about everything else MS, but Exchange and Outlook are a best of breed product (ignoring your single use case and taking into account how real businesses use email/collab apps)
  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:34AM (#46925703)

    I am a supporter of Linux and open source and truly want it to be a success. I admit, however, that sometimes the arrogance of Linux developers is holding Linux back from acceptance. Such as refusal to have a compatability layer for binary driver compatability between kernel versions and the refusal to allow users to use binary drivers. For instance, I have heard that many Linux developers wanted to drop support for floppy disks, "because few Linux developers have floppy drives", despite there being tons of floppies around that users may need to access. THat says it all about the mentality of some Linux developers, they dont care about users, are arrogant, live in a bubble, are elitist and sort of think of Linux as their private club and sort of want it to be hard to use, because it makes them feel special since they are able to endure the pain of using it.

    • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Informative)

      by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @12:49AM (#46925757) Journal

      This is why myself and Hairfeet no longer support Linux for average users.

      I do admit I was more of a FreeBSD bigot but after 5 and 6 were so bad and I stayed with 4.x all the way to 4.12 I kind of gave up :-(

      I do not care about RMS extreme ideology about freaking drivers. I WANT THEM TO JUST WORK. Why can't apps just work between versions like MacOSX, Solaris, FreeBSD with the compat libs, and even Windows?

      I can click on a setup.exe from the XP era and unless it is a horribly written business app requiring local admin (more like win98 style written) it will run on Windows 8 no problem.

      Why do ATI drivers from 2 years ago not run on Linux? ABI and API compatibilities as Linux developers feel that is evil and encourages binary blobs! Funny no other platform has this problem with them.

      Socialist ideology about everyone that is closed source is harmful I know lets purposedly not include a stable ABi so things break when I do an apt-get update to force ATI and NVidia will just work. That is the ticket.

      These companies are still struggling to make win 7 compatible apps and only care about the latest versions. My ATI drivers from 2011 will not work on a modern distro., Therefore I am choosing Windows and sticking to Linux for a VM. I might piss some some Slashdot moderators but I speak the truth. Why can't a stable ABI and API exist so one thing can just work? It is freaking 2014?

      • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Interesting)

        by armanox (826486) <asherewindknight@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @01:15AM (#46925837) Homepage Journal

        I'm going to have to agree with your idea on this one - the GNU ideology is the problem. I don't care about all the politics that RMS does - I want stuff to work. I like a lot of things about Linux, but when it comes down to it, Solaris, BSD, and IRIX are all just as nice for what I'm after.

        Which has lead me to advocate against desktop/laptop Linux, and I've even moved away from it on some of my personal servers (work is all still RHEL and Windows, which I can at least count on RHEL 6 to work for quite a while.

        • It could be complexity too.

          It is hard when you have many apis and libraries all changing all the time.

          I think CentOS/Redhat offer something like this, but not for the average Slashdot geek. I like the idea of an equilivant of the SXS in Windows. You have dynamic loading of apis and .so's and the linker links the right one at run time. Today Linux requires each one to work and will segfault or crash otherwise if you have the wrong .so or dependency.

          This will make storage larger but you wouldn't have issues l

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phantomfive (622387)

        Why do ATI drivers from 2 years ago not run on Linux? ABI and API compatibilities as Linux developers feel that is evil and encourages binary blobs! Funny no other platform has this problem with them.

        Man, I'd be happy if we could get a commitment to source-level backwards compatibility; let alone binary compatibility. Some of those library developers are vicious in culling old programs.

        • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

          by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:38AM (#46926511) Journal

          Linux developers feel that is evil and encourages binary blobs!

          The linux developers feel that having a stable API would have to make them compromise features in the kernel because they'd be unable to change the internals when needed.

          Funny no other platform has this problem with them.

          Funny how Linux is the most high performance kernel out there. It's no coincidence that it runs everything from your dinky little home router through your phone, internet srevers and up to the top supercomputer in the world.

          I'd say they clearly made the right choice.

          As another handy feature since almost all drivers are in tree, this means that old hardware is usually supported on new kernels just fine. Unlike Windows: I've used perfectly functional sheet feed scanners abandoned by their owners because they don't have drivers for Windows 7 or 8.

          Some of those library developers are vicious in culling old programs.

          Are you talking about the Linux kernel or applications?

          • "The linux developers feel that having a stable API would have to make them compromise features in the kernel because they'd be unable to change the internals when needed."

            Welcome to the real world. And I can guarantee you that I live with compatibility issues both in the kernel and in applications. The problem is not the kernel X function in Y hardware, the problem is you write software for the kernel X and on the next month you having to redo everything again because the kernel X.1 is not compatible wi
            • Welcome to the real world.

              er huh? I'm not sure what you mean by that. Linux is certainly used in the real world and is the modt performant real-world kernel in existence.

              the problem is you write software for the kernel X and on the next month you having to redo everything again because the kernel X.1 is not compatible with the previous one.

              Not for userland code. For userland code, the kernel has a very stable ABI, osmething I believe there's a good Linus rant on. Some of the library developers are terrible

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        I do not care about RMS extreme ideology about freaking drivers.

        The reality is most people do not even know about that ideology and ultimately the attempts to sell the idea are on the basis of it being cheap: gratis, not libre.

        I know there is this whole "locked in" deal but who really feels that way? I haven't had any problems working across multiple operating systems and devices. The vast majority of the web is obviously platform agnostic, pictures, movies and music are all easily moved back and forth across platforms and even sending documents is no problem. Sending a

    • Got a link for that? Linux supports oodles of ridiculously obscure hardware, and support is rarely removed. Yes, they dropped 386 (not 32-bit x86 ... literal Intel 80386 as opposed to 80486) support some months ago; that was a special case because the weirdness of that architecture was permeating the kernel ... but a standard floppy disk drive? I can't imagine they'd be dropping support for that. That support most likely lives in some driver file somewhere and takes approximately zero developer time to

    • by Microlith (54737)

      Such as refusal to have a compatability layer for binary driver compatability between kernel versions and the refusal to allow users to use binary drivers.

      This isn't arrogance. It's acknowledging that things that belong in the kernel should be in the kernel. In the case of Linux, it's drivers. The only thing that binary drivers get you are hard to debug crashes, vendor dependence, and driver interfaces that must now be maintained ad infinitum. It won't save you from anything in the long run.

      I have heard tha

  • by Kremmy (793693) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @01:43AM (#46925915)
    Over the past month or so I've run into a number of cases of "slow internet" which turned out to be compromised XP machines. Not just a simple case of malware or botnet action, but cases where people have went so far as to replace their ISPs to mitigate their "slow internet" when the reality is that the malware is just hammering it THAT hard. This is just not cool, some of these people have spent more money on Microsoft than I care to think about, and I can't in good conscience ever honestly recommend a Microsoft solution again after seeing how bad some of these cases are. The great thing is that for the portion of my customers who went with the upgrade cycle, they're getting the full glory of Windows 8 and my god how many just want 7 back. It really is XP/Vista all over again...
    • by Boronx (228853)

      Only box I ever had with a rooted was a linux box. Some a-hole turned into a spam server.

  • Sure, if you consider the bribes, campaign contributions, lobbying gifts, and other payouts.
    • Not to mention the software and licensing fee hikes that small and medium sized businesses have endures so Microsoft can sell heavily discounted licenses to large organizations to bring that magic TCO down.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @05:18AM (#46926627)

    I want this person arrested for aggravated assault on the English language, immediately.

  • by Gumbercules!! (1158841) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @09:48AM (#46927981)
    I guess it depends on what you're doing, doesn't it? If you're trying to provide Microsoft Sharepoint access to Microsoft Office documents to users or Microsoft Exchange email access, then, yes, it probably is cheaper and quicker to do it with Microsoft stuff. It's a pretty ludicrous claim to say that the TCO of Linux is higher than Microsoft unless you are also clear about what your company expects your IT to do... If you're just trying to use Linux to emulate Windows, then of course that's probably a waste of time and resources.
  • by Stonefish (210962) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @10:47AM (#46928655)

    In terms of economics, I'd prefer to trust dollars not mouths. All of the major players in ICT in the last 15 years have a base platform of linux, Google, Facebook etc. They didn't use linux because its more expensive, they did it because it's cheaper. The longer that others stay with high cost platforms the longer their competitive margin remains.
    IT staff cost pretty much the same regardless of the base platform unless you're doing something really esoteric, if you use centos or debian and pay for support not licences where you have a choice you have a chance of making savings. One of the problems with MS is that through a series of low risk choices you get herded into a higher cost solution. Think of the way that wild animal are herded down a funnel with weak barriers until the final half mile which turns into a killing field. Only a few animals make the correct decision of breaking away, the other like this goose try to justify a costly platform as cost effective. ps Mr Creese owns a Windows phone too. He thinks its great. ;-)

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