news: Racal to trial free Linux to avoid £1m MS upgrade

news: Racal to trial free Linux to avoid £1m MS upgrade

Post by bo » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/pagelink.asp?page=article&link=%2Fcwa...

Issue date: 16 December 1999
 Racal to trial free Linux to avoid 1m MS upgrade
 Cliff Saran

 Racal Defence Electronics is looking to shave 1m off its IT
 bills by using the Linux operating system on its desktop PCs
 instead of Windows 2000 and Office 2000.

 The defence contractor is planning to pilot the free operating
 system under a project to test its usability and user acceptance
 in a desktop environment.

 The pilot is an innovative step for Racal. Linux has been
 heavily criticised for lack of Office productivity applications
 and not being friendly enough for the end-user.

 If the pilot is successful, it could lead to one of the largest
 implementations of Linux on the desktop.

 Steve Lewis, one of Racal's IT executives who is leading
 the project, said the move was a bold step for the defence
 contractor, but the potential cost savings had proved to be
 too attractive to ignore.

 He said, "We have 3,500 PC users. To move to Office 2000 and
 Windows 2000 will cost us 1m in licence fees alone."

 Racal has been forced to consider upgrading to a new operating
 system because of its concerns that support for its current
 system, Windows NT 4, might diminish as Microsoft develops new
 operating system software, such as Windows 2000.

 The aim of the pilot, which IT staff will be running in their
 spare time, is to resolve some of the traditional roadblocks
 confronting users who move to a Linux desktop environment.

 Lewis said, "[One of the biggest problems that] we need to
 contend with is people being emotionally wedded to Microsoft."

 The main technical hurdle will be to provide a viable
 alternative to Microsoft's Outlook/Exchange software which
 offers groupware features such as assigning tasks, shared
 calendars and discussion groups to users.

 Lewis has given Windows 2000 18 months to resolve teething
 problems and technical issues.

 He said, "If we want to do anything substantial [with Linux]
 it has to be mature and tested and available within the next
 18 months, after which time Windows 2000 will have stabilised."

 
 
 

news: Racal to trial free Linux to avoid £1m MS upgrade

Post by Rene » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


What is this? It has been pointed out over and over again, that to save the
cost for software or OS upgrade is not a good reason to move to Linux, or to
anything else. Even increased productivity pays only on the very long run.
You got to take into account the enormous costs of user and administrator
education, not to mention a few hardware changes that will be necessary.

No, there are various reasons to switch to Linux, but for me cost saving is
not among them.

Rene

 
 
 

news: Racal to trial free Linux to avoid £1m MS upgrade

Post by hwk.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:> What is this? It has been pointed out over and over again, that to
save the
> cost for software or OS upgrade is not a good reason to move to Linux,
or to
> anything else.

Before or after Microsoft raised their prices again?

Quote:> You got to take into account the enormous costs of user and
administrator
> education, not to mention a few hardware changes that will be

necessary.

True, but you overlook the magnitude of the problem: 3,500 desktops!
That is a lot of WIN2K and OFFICE2K to pay for.

Racal is betting that some up-front user training will pay off in the
long run.  KDE, GNOME, StarOffice are excellent user offerings.

Quote:

> No, there are various reasons to switch to Linux, but for me cost
saving is
> not among them.

????  As a general statement, or as it pertains to user desktops?  The
economy of Linux as a workgroup server or Internet server over NT is
well documented.  I think this is a case of trying to extend that to the
desktop and I will be very curious to see the success or failure of this
endeavor.

Quote:> Rene

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
 
 
 

news: Racal to trial free Linux to avoid £1m MS upgrade

Post by sfcyb.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


Get real, In any company cost is ALWAYS and issue. It is a very
important aspect of any MIS project. This said, the cost of the software
is not the only cost that needs to be considered. The cost of downtime
is another factor that must also be considered. Here is another place
where Linux blows any MS product out of the water. In the past, the
NT-heads have claimed that upgrading to Win2000 would be easier than
switching to Linux. But from what I have read, this may not be the case.
It will take a major effort to cut to Win2000... All things considered,
the release of Win2000 looks like a great opportunity for Linux.



Quote:> What is this? It has been pointed out over and over again, that to
save the
> cost for software or OS upgrade is not a good reason to move to Linux,
or to
> anything else. Even increased productivity pays only on the very long
run.
> You got to take into account the enormous costs of user and
administrator
> education, not to mention a few hardware changes that will be
necessary.

> No, there are various reasons to switch to Linux, but for me cost
saving is
> not among them.

> Rene

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
 
 
 

1. What MS-Windows was free (Re: What if Linux wasn't free?)

Yeah, whenever I get out of my usual stomping range, I invariably discover that it isn't just CS
students who despise Windows.

Anyway.  I took a Chemistry class this semester, and another student asked on the class mailing list
why a certain software product didn't work as expected.  The professsor (a biochemist) blandly replied
"because it's a Micro$loth product", and proceded to describe the hoops you have to jump through to get
the results you want.

Then I went down to the Chemistry department's Media Lab to play with the molecular modeller.  (Nice
SGI system; too bad they wasted it on W2K.)  I tried to paste the sample commands from the browser into
the modeller's input window, and found that it didn't have a menu bar.  "How do I paste into this
window?", I asked the guy who was on duty in the lab.  He tried ctrl-This and ctrl-That, and finally
gave up, saying "I don't know.  I usually just do it in Linux -- it's real easy to use cut-n-paste
under Linux."

Microsoft is in *serious* trouble.  I think the X-box is designed to be Bill's escape pod.

Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

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