Re: What Linux really needs

On Fri, 05 Sep 2008 00:36:41 +0100, Christopher_Hunter <invalid@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Crashdamage wrote:

On Thu, 04 Sep 2008 15:16:35 +0100, Christopher_Hunter
<invalid@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Crashdamage wrote:

On Thu, 04 Sep 2008 09:24:35 +0100, Christopher_Hunter
<invalid@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Crashdamage wrote:

I couldn't care less what Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dumb think.

/I/ could - it's actually quite important. As long as they don't see
as a threat, then so much the better for us. When the development of
our favourite OS makes Windows an insignificant irrelevance (as it
already is in the web server field), they won't see it coming...

They're not that stupid. They're paying attention.

Not really. They've been blind-sided repeatedly by FOSS developments!

In the past. Don't you think maybe they're paying more attention now?

Nope! The last half-way intelligent person (Gates himself) left MS a while
ago. They're just left with a bunch of overpaid mediocrities and some
salesmen. They are no longer credible except in terms of financial clout
(though rumour has it that the finances are not what they were!).

You miss the point. It doesn't matter what *I* want or how reasonable
your fees are - *I* don't get to choose the software. Our customers do,
and if we want to keep their business then we use what *they* dictate.
Linux is not in the equation for *any* of our several hundred clients.

We used to be in that position. We changed the direction of the company and
rapidly shed the "We /must/ have Windows" idiots in favour of enlightened
customers who will universally pay /much/ /more/ and fully embrace FOSS.
We're a /much/ happier company, making /lots/ more money, and having fewer
expensive problems!

I just don't see Linux being a realistic alternative for many years.

We made the move about ten years ago. Some of the services we provide were
a real struggle, but the programming staff we have, the hardware we run and
our extensive client base eased the transition more than we expected.
Certainly we lost some clients (perhaps your firm got some from us!), but
for every one we lost, we gained two more!

Again, we *must* use what our customers dictate. They choose, we use.

Do what we did. Educate your clients. If they won't take it, then they're
not the kind of clients you want or need. Get rid of them! We did - it
hurt a bit at first, but we're /much/ better off for it now!

Making the business case for FOSS is now easier than ever, particularly
when there are plenty of FOSS companies willing and able to provide high
quality end-user support at realistic prices.

As an aside: a large architectural company I do business with paid MS
for "support" for their 200+ machines "running" XP. Whenever they
had /any/ problem, all that MS "support" could ever tell them to do
was "Reformat and Reinstall".

Until they "saw the light" and migrated to a combination of Red Hat for
their servers and Suse or Ubuntu for their desktops, they used to
lose huge amounts of important data. They now pay a trivially small
amount annually to Red Hat and another support company, and they have
/no/ significant problems at all!

You don't need to make any of these points to me. But I doubt I can
convince the IT departments of hundreds of companies of the virtues of OSS
by myself.

You don't have to. Even a cursory glance at the computer press shows that
MS' days are almost over. They are withdrawing /all/ support for XP in a
few months, in an effort to /force/ sales of Vista. Vista is entirely
inappropriate for business use, and often necessitates the replacement of
older hardware. As the requirements to "run" that bloated mess increase,
as the virus threat worsens, as there are ever more security holes
discovered every day, Vista is a non-starter for business use, and they're
not being allowed the option to wait until the release of Windows 7...

A while back, I thought - "Hey, as everyone we do business with goes to
cloud-based apps the OS won't matter, it's just running in a browser. So
then if the vendor who supplies the software we run locally in the office
finally sees the light and supports Linux on the server, I can run a Linux
server and Linux workstations running virtualized Windoze, at least as a
stepping stone 'til they fully support Linux on workstations too. Cool!"

You're not going to see that happening for a /long/ time. The necessary
communications infrastructure doesn't really exist yet - except in a few
enlightened cities - and the expense of the data links required will
prohibit it for some time to come!

Naaahhh...ain't happening. Support for a Linux server for our software
packages is at least years away.

Write the damn' code yourselves. That's what we did!

For the desktop workstations - who knows?
Waaaay down the road. Vista compatibilty is the only thing the
programmers are worried about right now.

That's something we'll /never/ have to worry about!

And those OS-independent cloud-based apps? Get real. We have about 16-17
websites we must use, and *every one* requires IE 6-7, and most IE-only
plugins, Direct X or other crapware that prevents using Firefox on Windows
or even IE in a Windows VM.

Then the web "designers" are incompetent, and should be out of work! The
kludgey way (for example) that CSS works in IIS should be an embarrassment
to MS!

Particularly for small or medium-size businesses who can't afford custom
software, it's a M$ world and will be for many years. I hate it, but it's
the reality.

It might be in your world, but we moved on some long time ago. FYI - the
latest Red Hat server software is /only/ about 10 years ahead of /anything/
that MS have produced...

Sorry I don't live in your Utopian OSS world. I don't control the company,
a staff of programmers or choice of customers. I'm just one guy running one
office in a netork of 271 offices with several hundred multi-million - hey,
multi-BILLION dollar companies for customers. Somehow I just don't think I
can get many thousands of people to spend many millions of dollars on OSS
software all by myself. And by trying blow off EVERY customer I have and
therefore my business and my income because I'm a True Believer in OSS.

The bank might not understand. Not to mention the wife and family.

Been nice chattin' with ya. Yeah, OSS, Linux, etc. is pretty cool. I love
it. But I'm not an OSS Don Quixote. I gotta get back to reality. That
means I get to run CentOS and OSS at home, but M$ and crapware at work.
It's a living.

Registered Linux user #266531